Seattle, WA -- The Communications Workers of America (CWA) filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Verizon Wireless today on behalf of Jesse Mason, who was illegally fired this week after joining with his coworkers to organize a union.
Mason had a stellar employment record with no previous disciplinary action while working as a Specialist at Verizon Wireless’ Seattle Northgate and Aurora Village retail store locations, just miles from two nearby Verizon Wireless retail stores in Lynnwood and Everett, WA where workers successfully voted to form a union last week.
Mason and his colleagues at the Seattle Northgate and Aurora Village Verizon Wireless retail stores recently went public with their union campaign, and on Friday, April 15, he attended the Everett and Lynnwood workers’ union vote count in solidarity. Mason was captured celebrating with the workers in photographs published in The Everett Herald, and the following Tuesday, he was fired.
“Verizon management targeted me for organizing a union,” said Jesse Mason. “It’s illegal to do that, and I’m confident that I will eventually be reinstated. I’m not scared because I know that there’s a growing movement of retail workers — from Verizon Wireless, to Starbucks, to Apple — who are joining together to demand a voice on the job. They can fire me, but they can’t fire all of us, and we won’t stop fighting until every worker who wants a union has a union.”
“The day after Everett and Lynnwood store workers publicly announced our union, Verizon flew their in-house union-busting team to Seattle, but it did not deter us,” said Austin Hitch, a Specialist at Verizon Wireless. “Verizon workers are more empowered than ever to fight back against illegal retaliation like this, poor working conditions and low pay. Verizon’s union-busting tactics have only made us more resolved to stand up for our coworkers and have a voice on the job.”
“Jesse’s firing, just days after dozens of other workers at two nearby Verizon Wireless retail stores successfully formed a union, is a clear tactic meant to intimidate other workers,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “This is par for the course from Verizon, which is notorious for trying every anti-union tactic in the book in its retail stores. We are calling on Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg to reinstate Jesse and know that the Biden Administration is working aggressively to crack down on blatantly illegal union-busting actions like this.”
Verizon is one of the largest providers of communications services to the federal government, with over $2 billion in federal contracts. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless has a long history of union-busting, including an aggressive anti-union campaign launched in 2014 amid organizing efforts at its retail stores in Brooklyn, NY, where workers ultimately triumphed and formed the first union for Verizon Wireless workers with CWA.