Friday, November 22, 2002

Dated November 19, 2002

Dear Tony:

Hope this note finds both you and your wife in good health, and while I'm at it happy Thanksgiving Day to you'all.
Going through the net I came across iBEW 1212.org and saw a posting dated Nov.09,2002 by Peter Quaranta and it said that "Medical Plans for Medicare Retiress:
The Medicare "Fee-for Service" Option will not be canceled as of 12/31/2003 as previously announced". Boy is that great news.
I want to thank you and all of the other fellow members of IBEW that put that strong fight to get VIACOM to not cancel our Medical Plan. As the results show it was worth all the trouble and effort you guys went through to get the job done. As the saying goes it was A JOB WELL DONE!.
Thanks again Tony and the gang.

Romeo

Here is my open letter response to Romeo Quaranta:

Well, my friend, I am not as pleased as you, and all of those that pat themselves on the back for an accomplishment that is at best specious.
First they didn't add anything that is new. We were supposed to have insurance coverage until Dec. 2003. All the company did was increase the rates. Second they still have not told us whether we will be covered beyond that infamous December date?
At least though, you can find comfort in the fact that we are covered by a major plan for another year.
Hopefully they will still honor the moral commitment that was made to all of us at CBS, that left the company, with the feeling that we would be covered for life by the medical plan, and not dropped at a time in our lives when getting coverage will be difficult, and very costly.
Further if the company was open about their tactics they would not have approached our WEBMASTER and presented the package for this years coverage, thereby passing the Union as the quasi representative for the plan.
They still haven't gotten it yet. Honest, and open dialogue,is much better than the back-door approach they used.
If the package was so great they would have heralded it from the Goodyear blimp.
So, dear friend Romeo, we thank them in the Holiday spirit for giving us what we had, (but at a higher rate of course) and pray that they will be generous to us in the future.
Happy Holidays yet to come, for you and your family, and friends.
Tony Cucurullo

Webmaster's note:

I received the information from Chuck Baker just after he had sent it to Keith Morris (this was at the end of October, 2002.) I had called him to find out about some personal problems I was having with medical coverage, and before ending the conversation, I off-handedly asked him what, if any, progress was being made with the retiree medical coverage. After he told me the good news, and mentioned that a packet of information was being mailed to all retirees, I asked him if I could publish it on the website, and he asked me not to do so, because the information should come from the Union.
I complied with his wishes, but also E-mailed Keith, and asked him to release the information as soon as possible.
Since no information was forthcoming, I was preparing to post it on the website, when the promised packet of information arrived from the company.

Dave Minott