More than 225 eligible certified American Sign Language interpreters at Purple Communications, the second largest video relay service provider in the country, voted to join The Newspaper Guild yesterday in California, Arizona and Colorado.
Purple Communications call centers are the first video relay service providers in the country to unionize. Workers who led organizing at their sites said the votes marked the beginning of a new set of professional work standards for video interpreters and new opportunities to advocate for the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.
"Everyone at CWA has given us our Capitol 'V' in Voice. History has been set. We only have the stars to shoot for! Let's show everyone what we can do. United we stand!" said Antonia Peel of Oakland, Calif.
The interpreters will become part of TNG-CWA Local 39521, the San Francisco-based Pacific Media Workers Guild, which also includes the 900-member California Federation of Interpreters.
Next up: Interpreters at Purple Communications in Chicago are scheduled to vote on Dec. 14th.