Wire Tech Uniform Q & A

The District 3 Office has been engaged in discussions with AT&T management for several months concerning the 2016 Wire Technician uniforms. As you know, the shirts are made of 100% polyester and CWA’s position is that these shirts pose a risk to our members’ health and safety, as they are not flame retardant and they increase the risk of heat exposure. As a result of our discussions, the Company has committed to deploying a 100% cotton uniform for Wire Technicians in District 3 as follows:
 Wire Technicians in District 3 can begin ordering the new 100% cotton uniforms on Monday, 4/10/2017.
 The new 100% cotton uniforms will begin shipping on 9/30/17.

We also posed several questions to the Company and received the following answers:
Q: Will Wire Technicians in District 3 be permitted to wear older uniform shirts until the 100% cotton uniforms arrive?
A: Yes. All of the SE Directors have agreed to let WTs wear old BAP uniforms (pre Cintas) until the new BAP arrives which is scheduled for 9/30/2017.

Q: Will the “transition shirts”, or (pre Cintas) shirts be ordered for all Wire Technicians or just new hires?
A: Last summer we offered transition shirts to all Wire Technicians that were new or that said that did not have the old BAP. This year we plan to allow all the Wire Technicians hired since last year’s transitional shirt (October 1st) was offered, an opportunity to get transitional shirts.

Q: We are requesting that Wire Technicians in District 3 be permitted to begin wearing 100% cotton personal clothing, while at work, until the Company has provided a safe uniform for them to wear.
A: The apparel program provides a variety of comfortable, safe, Company-paid-for, clothing. That apparel program is a valuable part of the Company’s branding and customer service strategy. There is no need to ignore such a valuable, mutually beneficial program and allow Wire Technicians to wear personal clothing on the job.

Many of you know that AT&T was cited for OSHA violations in California due to the 100% polyester uniforms that were distributed to Wire Technicians in 2016. As a result of this citation, Wire/Premise Technicians in California (CWA District 9) were permitted to wear non-offensive 100% cotton personal clothing to work, until the 100% cotton uniforms arrive. As the OSHA laws vary from state to state, the Company has declined our request to do the same in District 3. The Company’s refusal to accommodate our request, has left the District 3 Office no other option than to file a formal complaint with OSHA.