By Sahid Fawaz
Talk is cheap, according to the nation’s labor unions. They want the facts, not lip service, on what companies are really doing with the tax cut savings.
“Unions are pressing companies they bargain with to disclose details of what they’re doing with savings from the Trump tax cuts, the latest move by organized labor to pressure corporations to pass along their windfall from the overhaul.
Four unions have recently filed formal information requests with 11 companies, including American Airlines Group Inc., AT&T Inc. and PepsiCo Inc. subsidiary Frito-Lay, requesting disclosure of the firms’ plans for the extra cash freed up by the tax cuts. The labor groups say failure to comply could lead to the filing of complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, which enforces the federal labor law requiring companies to provide unions that represent their employees with information germane to collective bargaining.
‘President Trump and the Republican Congress promised that billions of dollars in corporate tax giveaways would ultimately raise wages and brings jobs back from overseas, but a union contract is the only way to get that promise in writing,’ Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton said in a statement. ‘Working people deserve to know how their employers plan to spend their tax savings so they can bargain for a fair share of the windfall and ensure that corporations do more to bring jobs home and improve pay and benefits.’
Along with CWA, which is currently in negotiations with American Airlines subsidiaries Piedmont Airlines and Envoy Air, and with AT&T, the unions sending the requests are the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of Teachers and the Teamsters. The companies they’re targeting include long-term care providers, for-profit health corporations, and XPO Logistics.
The requests seek disclosure of what each company’s estimated gains from the tax revamp will be, how much they’ll spend on stock buybacks, how much capital investment they intend to make in the U.S. and abroad, and how many U.S. jobs they plan to create or bring back from other countries.
One of the recent requests has already been rebuffed. In a letter to CWA last month, Randall White, AT&T’s Midwest labor relations vice president, wrote, ‘Because of the stated purpose for your inquiries, your requests are not relevant to the bargaining relationship between the company and the CWA.’ White also told the union that it was seeking “irrelevant, immaterial” information.
In response to the unions’ announcement Wednesday, Marty Richter, a spokesman for AT&T, said the company looks forward ‘to bargaining a fair contract at the table, not in the press.'”
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