On May 1, International Workers’ Day, founding members of the Tower Climbers Union (TCU)/CWA held a national town hall to share their vision for the future and developments in their efforts to improve conditions and standards in the wireless industry. During this historic, first of its kind event members discussed topics impacting workers including work/life balance, health and safety, industry pricing and wages, working conditions, and more.
“One of the issues in our industry is the culture and the things that are taught to us young. Things like working from sunup to sundown and if you leave early you feel this guilt,” said tower climber and TCU/CWA East Coast Organizer Carl Milloy. “There is always this saying in our industry: ‘either you have all the time and no money, or all the money and no time.’ I think it’s long past due that we stand together and we make the changes needed.”
CWA President Chris Shelton spoke to the workers and encouraged them to continue organizing and to keep fighting for what they want. “We have to get as many people as we can to fight the good fight, to make sure that these companies understand that they have to give you the respect that you deserve in a job that's very, very hard to do,” Shelton said.
The town hall comes less than two weeks after an overwhelming majority of wireless tower climbers at QualTek in Henderson, Nev., filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for a union election. TCU/CWA has several hundred founding members in 35 states and the number continues to grow.
Check out this new video from federal call center workers at Maximus, who went on strike on March 23 – the anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Even in the face of strong resistance from the company, the workers have been organizing to form a union with CWA, get better pay, and improve working conditions.