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Verizon Wireless Retail Store Workers in Brooklyn Vote CWA

July 1, 2014

Verizon Wireless Retail Store Workers in Brooklyn Vote CWA

 Verizon Wireless Retail Store Workers in Brooklyn Vote CWA.

In a huge victory, retail store workers at six Verizon Wireless stores in Brooklyn, N.Y., voted for a union voice and representation by CWA Local 1109.

This vote is a breakthrough not only for these workers but for thousands more across Verizon Wireless who want a union to help address their issues on the job. For more than a decade, Verizonhas done everything possible to prevent VZW workers from joining 40,000 Verizon Communications workers and 80 Verizon Wireless technicians who already have CWA representation.

This vote begins to break down that barrier and ensures representation to these retail store 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.”

VZW executives kept up an intense campaign against workers who wanted a union voice 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.

But CWAers fought back. Dozens of Verizon landline and wireless technicians filmed testimonials, talking about the benefits of having a union voice. CWA members hand wrote letters to each of the 63 retail workers participating in the election, and AT&T Mobility retail workers in New York rallied with the workers too.

The Verizon Wireless workers also received support from numerous elected officials, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In the end, Verizon Wireless’ intimidation tactics didn’t work. So determined to cast her ballot, one pregnant employee actually arrived at the Bayridge store already in labor. She was unable to walk down the stairs to vote, so the National Labor Relations Board set up a special voting area in the bathroom of the store.