Verizon Wireless Retail Workers in Oswego, Ill., Form Union With Communications Workers of America
Verizon Wireless workers in Oswego add to union wave at the notoriously anti-union company, join CWA-represented Verizon workers in Brooklyn, Seattle, and Portland
Oswego, Ill. — Adding to the nationwide worker momentum at U.S. retail stores, Verizon Wireless retail workers in Oswego today voted to form a union with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in an official National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election. With a seat at the table, Verizon workers in Oswego are looking to secure better working conditions, including respect on the job, fair compensation and good benefits, adequate staffing levels, and a safe work environment.
The six Oswego workers, who successfully pushed back against the telecom giant’s aggressive union-busting tactics and retaliation, add to the national wave of union organizing at Verizon Wireless retail stores. They will join hundreds of thousands of telecommunications and customer service workers as members of CWA, including Verizon Wireless retail workers in the Seattle area who won a union election with CWA in April 2022 and Verizon Express workers in the Portland area who joined CWA in August 2022.
“After dedicating 8 years of my life to Verizon, a company that has done nothing to show they value me or my co-workers, I am incredibly proud to finally have a voice on the job and join my Verizon colleagues at CWA,” said Omar Rodriguez, a Verizon Wireless employee at the Oswego location. “At my Verizon Wireless store, we are severely understaffed and underpaid, and are experiencing working conditions that are not sustainable. With our union win today, we are ready to take our collective voice to the table and negotiate a fair contract that provides us with better wages and working conditions so that we can provide the best service possible to our customers.”
Oswego workers' decisive win in the face of Verizon’s aggressive union-busting comes after the NLRB issued a formal complaint last week alleging Verizon violated the law by illegally firing Jesse Mason, a former Specialist at Verizon Wireless’ Seattle Northgate and Aurora Village retail store locations, for engaging in union activity earlier this year. The NLRB is seeking a remedy by asking the company to reinstate Mason, provide him with compensation for lost wages and consequential damages, and issue a letter of apology for terminating his employment in an act of retaliation.
“Oswego Verizon workers are the latest to join a larger movement of Verizon retail workers across the country who are standing up against one of the biggest bullies in the industry,” said CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton. “Verizon is successful because of their dedicated workers, and it’s time those workers get treated with some respect. Just as Oswego workers were encouraged by their colleagues in Seattle and Portland, it is our hope that today’s win inspires other Verizon Wireless workers across the country to use their collective voice to fight for better working conditions.”
About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, and manufacturing.