you might have missed...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

14 States Held Hostage: Day 3

day to day in your old USWest territory, we are in the office doing our usual tasks.  I'm turning up new DSLAMs, if you don't have fast internet, check your options online at  special limited time deals if you order while we're still here :-D

Sunday, October 7, 2012

not quite on strike, day to day at CenturyLink

basically in the 14 state Northwestern Bell / USWest / Qwest region that Century Link bought a year ago, CWA and IBEW workers are out of contract, and working day to day.  CTL is trying to screw the workforce down to the level of a bad cable company using the Hewitt Associates playbook.  no need to retype a lot, I'm going to copy my get'Facedbook stuff because, hey, I got it right the first time.

>> no contract. CenturyLink union workers of the CWA and IBEW are working day to day pending a change in the Bain-ish attitude of the company negotiators. the company's stated intent is to screw down wages to those of the cable companies, directly and by jabbing more healthcare costs. that's a disease going around, the only cure for which is a careful eye by consumers, and a straight Democratic vote in November. if you like Syria, you'll love the USA that the million/billionnaires want for you.

>>  The Seven Principles are taking a beating from the company side. Everybody I talk to on both union and not sides in the 14 state region wants to do the best job possible for the customers. We know it's a tough nickel out there and want to win on reliability and service. Had a senior guy couple weeks ago say in a round table that contractors are killing them and they want good stable company employees. The top level apparently doesn't buy that. Time for actions = words.

>> A great deal of blame should go to Hewitt Associates. The celebrated union-buster was brought in by Qwest to run benefits (!) and kept by CTL. Fox in the henhouse. And they can't be there unless they were let in for a reason. 

>> CTL is still shaky with Hewitt disease. Day to day. They're crazy to push everybody not face to face with customers below $8 an hour. Here are some numbers... salary packages are 60% of costs. The 13,000 "classic Qwest " workers, out of 50,000 total CTL staff, get under 40% of that 60%. That looks pretty close to parity to me head to head.

>>  not only do they want to two-tier many of the workforces (to create internal tension between workers) but they've just proposed to hack the old-timers another $300 a week to boot. I don't think this day-to-day thing is going to last that long.

nothing has changed in two days on either side of the contract expiration.  so, business as usual Monday.  no guarantee for any other day.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

cars suck. repairs suck. until it's done, then I am a genius and you should all throw money

the dashboard is back together (well, radio is still out) and clean as a whistle.  hope replacing that $25 blend door motor fixes the heat issues.  for those who like their Great American Novels finished, not just published... had everything off to the dash, it should have kicked loose.  guessed right on the wide-stud shoulder issue.  a few days of penetrating oil, jam a WonderBar up under the dash frame and some taps with a 2-1/2 pound cross-pein hammer, and pop! -- it's off.  still couldn't find the control even after cutting a hand hole in the dash which is under a trim cover, so I finally got a good excuse to get a fiber-optic inspection camera.  what was $250 for Ridgid at the Depot three years ago is $80 with a newspaper coupon at Harbor Freight.  works well... really, they are cellphone parts in a different housing, so it's not serious engineering.

I also decided to replace a lock solenoid for the driver's door while I'm gutting things.  problem I found after I took the door panel off is that I put the windows down for access... and the glass keeps me from getting to the solenoid.  so tonight instead of falling asleep to The Denver Zingers Hour!  starring Jim Lehrer, with special guests Willard and Barack, I will reconnect the battery and run up the window.

if it all goes well, we will escape to Cold Stone to celebrate.

if it bites... like for instance, if a cable got pinched and the car burns up... we push it into the street and call 911.  I don't expect that.  but being an old systems manager, I anticipate the possibility.  the garage door will be up, the tranny in neutral, and the wheel chocks moved to one only on the easily-kicked side.

the radio, converted to a Kenwood that does iPhone, is a beast to get in, with all the converter connectors and such.  it goes in this weekend, probably.