In a major win for CWA members, the San Diego City Council passed the Contractor Transparency Amendment, which will require companies like Verizon, who are construction and right-of-way permit holders, to disclose the subcontractors they are using to complete permitted work. This City ordinance follows on the heels of the passage of a subcontractor transparency ordinance by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in May, which CWA was instrumental in helping craft.
Low-road subcontracting has become increasingly prevalent in the telecommunications industry and CWA has been actively raising concerns about its impact on workers and consumers. An October 2020 report by CWA exposed the extent to which carriers rely on a vast network of contractors to build out their networks and connect customers to broadband, often cutting their own union employees out of much of this work. In June 2020, CWA released another report analyzing the city of San Diego’s 5G deal with Verizon, which revealed gaps in subcontractor disclosure requirements.
“As a telecom technician with over twenty years of experience working in San Diego, I have seen firsthand the pitfalls of multi-layered subcontracting arrangements when it comes to work quality, public safety, and labor standards,” said Frank Lopez, a Telecom Technician and Chair of CWA Local 9509’s Health and Safety Committee. “I’m proud to be a part of the movement to hold contractors accountable and excited to work with the City of San Diego’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement to make this policy a success and model for other cities nationwide.”
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