AT&T’s Final Arguments For Firing Hooker

Over the weekend, I received copies of the legal briefs that were recently submitted to the judge presiding over my case. Legal briefs basically summarize the testimony and evidence during the trial in a way that is favorable to one side or the other. Frequently, they are used as one last push to get the judge to see things a certain way; they are usually peppered with case-law from years gone past to bolster an attorney’s argument. Sometimes, they are used to white-wash or discount problematic testimony from witnesses on either side.

In my case, briefs were submitted by the NLRB attorney, the Local 4034 attorney, and the AT&T attorney and that was the final step before the judge begins his deliberations. I should have a ruling hopefully in three to six months; if the latter, then this case will have taken two years since my termination in early October 2016. If you love “laborese”, here is a link to the NLRB case(s) page which documents the eleven different charges issued to AT&T by the feds.

While various attorneys were litigating my case, I voluntarily limited what I would post so as not to cause consternation among those who were trying to help me get my job back. Now that the briefs are filed, there are things about this case that are important to be talked about while we try to gain a fair contract with AT&T Midwest. And even after that, we will then need to be able to enforce it against those managers who refuse to follow, not only the contract, but their own policies regarding just cause, safety, mutual respect and many more.

Here are the legal briefs from my case. They are public documents which can be viewed and shared by anyone; I always recommend sharing our knowledge. All are readable, but also (one in particular) lengthy; so, read them at work.

Actually, prepare to learn a great deal about how AT&T fires people! (Credit)

One of These Briefs is Not Like the Others

AT&T seemingly found it necessary to document my alleged unlawful discipline in great detail. Likely this is because, when I became certain that I was the victim of retaliation by AT&T management, I did exactly what I would recommend to my members:

  1. Follow all rules; “short-cuts” are equal to policy violations when management is after you
  2. Never speak to a manager without union representation (Thanks again, Caresian!)
  3. Document all conversations with management by email; cc the union regarding roadblocks, policy deviations, safety concerns, etc.
  4. Keep a diary of each work-day in case you are interviewed by management, or a lawyer or a judge. (I used a voice-activated Google-form type of thing)

Even as the unfairness of management’s actions took its toll, I knew it would be vital to have contemporaneous notes (time- and date-stamped in my note-taker app) and especially emails to/from your supervisor (it is legal to cc or bcc your union rep on these – and highly recommended!). Automating this process using note-taking apps on my smart-phone made this important task very easy to do, even when overwhelmed by stress of knowing I was a “dead-man walking”. This is certainly something we all should consider doing when working without a contract.

You’ll understand more after reading the briefs.

It’s called “building a record” and it is vital to keeping your job if management starts lying.

Steward Notes

  1. I have long advocated for stewards, officers or any interested activists to attend NLRB hearings regarding their employer. What better place to obtain management statements, made under oath, about terms and conditions of employment? This applies to OSHA, EPA, etc. hearings. All contain info regarding terms and conditions and likely apply to contract enforcement
    1. Reading AT&T’s brief should be required reading for stewards, for this and many other reasons.
  2. A careful reading of all the briefs will indicate likely COBC violations committed by management in their zeal to end my career
  3. At least two of the managers who testified in my discrimination hearing had to testify in another, separate discrimination proceeding with the NLRB — This should be a red-flag to HR except HR only goes by what field supervisors tell them
  4. Asset Protection under oath admits to “losing” evidence in the investigation of me – AP’s methods need union scrutiny during relevant grievances
  5. Building a record is key; emails involving management interaction are best!
  6. Stewards need stewards!

 

 

About BA Hooker

Approaching middle age. Husband to beloved Wifey; father and grandfather to several Favorites and GrandFavorites. Convicted unionist, and fired for it. Unable to abide a bully for long. Overall imperfect, yet still talking. I'm likely to slip in some non-union posts in here occasionally, probably about sailing or something slightly anarchist. While I wait for a resolution to my attempts to regain my employment, its my duty to diligently attempt to replace my lost wages. Part of the way I do that is by ad placement on this blog; ; and part of it is some Amazon affiliate links that are mostly books I consider required reading for union activists and plain old troublemakers. If you want to help support my efforts, I teach union activism. Reach out. Similarly, I built this website and a few others like it for small businesses and local unions. If you like it, reach out.
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  1. Pingback: The Death of Leadership at AT&T – BHB Restore

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