Comcast Workers Petition Labor Board for Vote on Collective Bargaining
Customer Communication Technicians who work out of Comcast's Fall River and Fairhaven offices have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to supervise a union representation election. If a majority of the techs vote for union representation it will finally compel management to begin talks with employees for improvements in wages and working conditions.
The technicians have been pursuing collective bargaining for over a year. In September 2010, a majority of the workers signed up with IBEW Local 2322 and requested that management voluntarily recognize their new union. Workers sought voluntary recognition because of management's history of aggressive -- and sometimes illegal -- interference in workers' freedom to choose a voice at work.
When Comcast management refused to voluntarily begin talks about wages and working conditions, the techs enlisted support from their elected officials, other Comcast workers and community groups to pressure Comcast into recognizing their union.
Congressmen Barney Frank, Jim McGovern, Stephen Lynch, Bill Keating, John Tierney and Senator John Kerry have repeatedly urged Comcast to begin talks with its employees. Hundreds of unionized Comcast workers across the country have signed letters of solidarity and support for their co-workers in Massachusetts. In another show of support, many Massachusetts communities have sought to include workers' rights as part of their franchise agreements with Comcast.
"While we weren't successful at getting Comcast to sit down and talk with us, we are more confident than ever that collective bargaining and a union contract is what we need to have job security at Comcast," said Brian Almeida, a tech from the Fall River garage with ten years of service.
"Management recently made some changes in our working conditions that could adversely affect our service and our work," Almeida continued. "We really need collective bargaining to have a stronger voice on a broad range of issues."
"Over the last year we have become better informed about our rights and more united on the job," said Christine Dexter, a tech who spoke at a White House forum on workers' rights last March. "It has given us the confidence to move ahead with an NLRB election."
The workers' petition was filed with the NLRB on November 4. The union vote is expected in about six weeks.
For updates about the Comcast workers union, visit the Comcast Union Bulletin Board at:http://comcastunion.blogspot.com