Jan 31, 2013
CWA Installers claimed that from 2002-2004, Lucent Technologies (now Alcatel Lucent) was discriminating against senior installers by forcing them to permanently move long distances as part of “permanent transfer” contract language. After 10 years of investigation and hearings, a settlement was reached that calls for up to 193 installers to share a $1.4 million award.
We asserted that Lucent was using permanent transfer language to force more senior installers to relocate, in an effort to get them to resign or retire. At the same time, Lucent kept less senior installers at work in their home locations. These forced transfers were a real problem for workers, and many were transferred more than once, often to a location that didn’t require their work skills.
CWA T/T Vice President Ralph Maly and the CWA bargaining team eliminated the permanent transfer language in 2004 contract bargaining. It took eight more years for installers to get justice, but they did.
In 2003, Local 4090 (now Local 4050/4090) then President Mike Klein assisted installers in filing complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A class action lawsuit was eventually filed and nine long years of hearings, research, interviews and statistical analysis pushed the company to mediation, with the $1.4 million settlement reached in December 2012. A judge is reviewing the settlement and how the award will be allocated among the 193 installers.