NATIONWIDE—Fed up with the wireless industry squeezing every last penny from customers and employees, wireless workers from the nation’s three largest carriers—AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile—today launched Wireless Workers United, the first-ever national network of union and non-union workers organizing to protect good jobs and quality customer service. Hundreds of wireless workers are gathered in Orlando today to discuss their plans to improve job security and pay, end extreme sales goals and curtail offshoring and outsourcing of retail stores, call centers and technical work coast to coast.
“The wireless industry makes billions in profits each month, but executives have chosen to drive a race to the bottom in recent years, slashing our pay and benefits,” said said Ristan Trim, a Verizon wireless worker from Brooklyn, New York. “Enough is enough: we are standing together with one voice to make sure our industry thrives, and that means holding industry executives accountable to their workforce. With a national network of wireless workers, we’ll be able to combine forces to change the industry from within.”
Wireless workers today also announced their support for more than 13,000 AT&T wireless workers across the Southeast region currently fighting for a fair contract. This afternoon, wireless workers from all three companies will rally together in front of AT&T and Verizon stores in downtown Orlando.
“It was only by firmly standing together that our Mobility co-workers won a precedent-setting contract for wireless and retail jobs with first-time job security protections and better, more stable pay,” said Nilda Meadows, an AT&T wireless worker from South Carolina. “Now, we’re heading to the bargaining table to win for our families and communities. We are standing strong to make sure the industry operates with integrity and protects and preserves good jobs for our communities.”
Wireless Workers United released a Statement of Principles, a series of demands developed by a group of workers from all three companies that lays out a comprehensive vision for the future of the wireless industry, including:
- Fair Wages, Commissions and Benefits: Workers demand additional compensation for all time worked, improved job security, a transparent commission structure, tuition reimbursement, paid leave and child care assistance, flexible scheduling and regular raises to reflect cost-of-living increases.
- Respect for Employees as People and as Workers: Workers demand the freedom to organize for better conditions, fair policies and flexibility in scheduling, an end to arbitrary reassignment, and realistic goals that consider sales climate and products.
- Support, Training and Communication with Management: Workers demand the ability to provide feedback to the management team, consistency across work groups in training, policies, and procedures, and evaluations based on observations, not metrics.
- Honest and Integrity in Customer Relations: Workers demand that customer care always be separate from sales, technical support, and billing issues to ensure the best outcomes for customers. That means that solutions should be tailored to customer needs, not the latest promotions, and that customers not be subjected to unethical sales tactics that result from unattainable sales goals.
“There are more than 130,000 frontline wireless workers at the three major carriers. Imagine what we’ll achieve together when we stand together,” said Greg Caron, a T-Mobile worker from Colorado Springs.