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CWA WILL OPPOSE TELECOM DEREGULATION INITIATIVES WHICH DON'T ADDRESS WORKER AND CUSTOMER CONCERNS

 CWA WILL OPPOSE TELECOM DEREGULATION INITIATIVES
 WHICH DON'T ADDRESS WORKER AND CUSTOMER CONCERNS
 MIAMI BEACH, Fla., April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Communications Workers of America announced that it will "oppose every deregulation initiative" by telecommunications companies unless the companies agree to maintain and improve service to consumers at affordable rates, thus reversing the trend toward service degradation. Reversing the erosion of quality service will require the full utilization of skilled workers represented by the union, according to CWA.
 The union's fight for universal service and quality jobs in the industry will be waged before public utility commissions and legislatures as well as in the collective bargaining arena and at job sites, CWA's executive board declared.
 The board statement was announced at the union's convention today in Miami Beach as delegates heard a report of a special task force on telecommunications technology and regulation.
 The task force report cited fast-paced changes in technology, competitive forces and deregulation as posing threats both to price and quality of telecommunications services and employment stability.
 The union panel noted: "Other industries such as the airlines, trucking, savings and loan, and long distance telephone service have already experienced the wrenching changes caused by deregulation and competition. Employees are laid off and those who keep their jobs see their standard of living lowered and their unions busted or weakened."
 Long term costs have been "devastating," the task force stated. "Air fares are at historic highs ... tax payers are forced to pay out billions of dollars to salvage the wreckage of the savings and loan industry."
 The report concluded that, "If left to their own devices the companies, both the established telephone companies and their new competitors, are likely to try to make the industry's workers and residential customers pay the price for the new age of telecommunications."
 Noting that telecommunications deregulation bills are already proposed in several states, CWA's executive board stated that the union will be moving in the regulatory and legislative areas immediately.
 CWA is the largest telecommunications union in North America, representing 600,000 workers in both the United States and Canada.
 -0- 4/8/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Miller or Gaye Williams Mack of the Communications Workers of America, 305-535-0729/ CO: Communications Workers of America ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:


TW-SB -- DC035 -- 6459 04/08/92 17:17 EDT
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Date:Apr 8, 1992
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