Union solidarity beat a company campaign to get rid of Local 4100 representation at Comcast in Detroit, and helped win a new contract. From left, local bargaining team members Charles Collier, Vince Baldwin, Nikkia Johnson and Rodney Woods.
CWA locals are taking on Comcast and coming through with good contracts and strong bargaining units. That’s exactly what happened in Detroit and Port Huron, Mich., where members of Locals 4100 and 4008 negotiated and overwhelmingly ratified new contracts.
“CWAers at Comcast have to fight every day for their existence,” said CWA District 4 Vice President Seth Rosen. “They’re not just fighting for fair treatment and good contracts, they have to deal continually with a company that is determined to eliminate them,” he said.
Under such conditions, it takes hard work and a high level of solidarity to bargain a contract and withstand a company-supported decert and that is what the CWAers accomplished.
In Detroit, Comcast persuaded a group of newer workers to file for decertification, promising them raises if they got rid of the union. Ultimately, the very workers Comcast counted on as anti-union votes sided with CWA and helped bargain a contract that provides wage increases of 5.8 percent over the three years, plus retroactive pay increases ranging from 6.9 to 11.3 percent.
“Educating members and getting them involved made a world of difference,” said Local 4100 President Greg Wynn.
CWA Staff Representative Shannon Kirkland said CWA members invited the worker leading the decert to join them in a bargaining session. “He found out Comcast had deceived him and he came to the bargaining table on our side,” Kirkland said.
In Port Huron, Local 4008 members bargained a three-year contract that provides a 5.8 percent wage increase over the contract term, a signing bonus and a new post-retirement health care benefit, among other improvements. “The retirement health care stipend follows a formula based on years of service that will provide up to $800 a month to help reimburse health care costs,” Local President Mike Schulte said.