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Friday, May 21, 2004
Why are these people on strike anyway...

9 of 10 Believe SBC's Health Care Offer is "Fair and Reasonable";
Nearly 90% of Union Households Surveyed Agree

San Antonio, May 21 — Consumers in SBC's 13-state territory, from California to Connecticut, overwhelmingly believe that the company's current offer on health care and job security is fair and reasonable.

According to the poll, nine of ten respondents say the company's health care offer is fair and reasonable, after learning more about the proposal and comparing it with the average American's current coverage.
In fact, nearly 90% of union households surveyed also said the SBC health care proposal was fair.

SBC is currently negotiating a new labor contract with the Communications Workers of America, which represents 100,000 SBC employees. In its current contract offer, SBC is proposing health care coverage with no monthly premiums and modest increases in copayments, averaging $35 per month.

Today, SBC's CWA-represented employees launched a four-day strike. After only three days of lost wages, most CWA-represented employees will have lost more pay than the company has asked for in health care contributions for an entire year.

Upon reviewing the proposal, James Klein, president of the American Benefits Council, said, "SBC is already in the top tier of companies providing the most generous benefits, and continues to be so even with the modest copays proposed. Especially against a backdrop where most companies are compelled these days to either drop or reduce coverage, SBC should be commended for being so firmly committed to such a generous benefits package."

The company's proposal also provides job security safeguards, including a guarantee that any employee whose job is declared surplus will be offered a new job within his or her home state.

On the issue of job security, nearly 70 percent of respondents believe the SBC proposal is fair.

The poll of 450 residents across SBC's 13-state territory was conducted by Baselice and Associates. The margin of error is +/-4.9%.

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