Communication Workers Union, May 14, 2014
New York –Today, retail store workers at six Verizon Wireless stores in Brooklyn, N.Y., voted for a union voice and representation by the Communications Workers of America.
This vote is a huge victory for these workers and for thousands more across Verizon Wireless who want representation to address their issues on the job. For more than a decade, Verizon has done everything possible to prevent Wireless workers from joining 40,000 Verizon Communications workers and 80 Verizon Wireless technicians who have union representation.
Today’s vote begins to break down that barrier and ensures representation to these retail stores workers. They also join more than 40,000 workers at AT&T Mobility who have organized without fear at their company for nearly two decades.
Bianca Cunningham, who works at the Bensonhurst store, said, “we walked in the footsteps of our brothers and sisters who fought before us. We banded together in the face of adversity and combatted fear with hope. We look forward to Verizon Wireless workers stepping out of the shadows and joining the 40,000 strong in CWA who work at Verizon to continue to fight for the middle class. ”
CWA and Verizon agreed that the six Brooklyn stores – seven until Verizon Wireless management closed one – would be the appropriate election unit. VZW executives kept up an intense campaign against workers who want a union to address their job insecurity, declining wages and discipline for unreasonable/unfair sales metrics.
Workers were ordered to attend one-on-one captive meetings with management as often as three times a day. On Monday, on the eve of the election, the company even shut down several of the Wireless outlets for as long as two hours to inundate the workers with anti-union propaganda. The number of corporate executives camping out in the six stores was a “who’s who” of top company management.
The VZW workers had a lot of great support from CWA members, including AT&T Mobility retail workers in New York — check out their video, and Verizon Wireless techs and Verizon members who told the VZW store workers, “there’s 40,000 of us and we have your back.”
They also received support from numerous elected officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio.