Following discussions with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, CWA President Chris Shelton reported that CWA-represented workers at AT&T will receive a $1,000 bonus.
Republican leaders have promised that households would receive on average a yearly $4,000 wage increase as a result of the tax bill that passed earlier this week. They also have claimed that the corporate tax plan would produce new jobs in the U.S. as companies return work from offshore.
Last month, President Shelton contacted the CEOs of some of the largest corporations where CWA members work including Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications, American Airlines, General Electric, NBC Universal, and ABC Entertainment, asking them to guarantee the $4,000 wage increase promised by the Republican corporate tax cut.
Just like tax cuts in the bill, the AT&T bonus is temporary and falls short of promises the Republican leadership has made to support working and middle-income families. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, President Shelton said that while CWA was pleased to have negotiated additional money for members, "We won’t rest until we get at least what they promised," from AT&T and other employers.
Shelton also stressed the importance of the union in holding employers accountable. "By pushing employers for this raise, CWA proves that working people have power when we join together to negotiate for a fair return for the work we do. Unions remain the most effective means for working people to stand together and achieve wage growth and keep good jobs in the U.S. If you don't ask for your fair share, you'll never get it, so join a union and start asking," Shelton said.
CWA President Chris Shelton's Statement on the Republican Tax Plan
There's no question that the tax legislation is a huge giveaway to corporations and the wealthiest Americans at the expense of working families and young people who will be stuck paying the bill for decades.
This is an example of deal-making by and for corporate interests and the 1 percent. Working people will pay the price for the tax loopholes that encourage companies to move even more jobs offshore and the attacks on programs that working and middle income families count on.
Congress's own Joint Committee on Taxation pointed out that benefits for working and middle income families are meager and temporary, with just 10 percent of the tax cut going to middle and working class families. The JCT also noted that 53 percent of taxpayers will see their taxes go up in 2025, because of the games Republicans are playing.
The plan adds at least $1 trillion to the deficit, and that already is being used by Republican leaders to justify their campaign to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
This tax plan is upside down. Instead of making working families pay more for tax breaks for the corporations and the richest Americans, we should be closing the loopholes that Wall Street will continue to exploit. We should be rebuilding our infrastructure, making education affordable, and making sure that corporations keep good jobs here in the U.S., instead of opening up new loopholes that encourage the offshoring of jobs, as this tax plan does.
President Trump and the Republican leadership still claim that working families will get at least a $4,000 pay raise, even though most economists – and even CEOs – say that corporations will use their tax cuts to buy back stock and reward investors.
The American people know a bad deal when they see it. That's why the percentage of Americans who oppose the plan, now 55 percent, continues to grow.
Those voices will grow even louder come Election Day 2018. We'll keep exposing this Republican tax plan as a corporate money grab that results in working and middle income families paying more, but getting less. We’ll keep reminding working people about the $4,000 raise that President Trump and the Republican leadership promised them.