T-Mobile Workers United (TU) opened its first field office in Wichita, Kan., on Monday to support the growing momentum and energy of the union's organizing campaign at T-Mobile US and MetroPCS. The new office will be a place where workers can learn more about TU and members can ramp up their efforts to improve call centers, retail stores, and other facilities.
Lothar Schröder, George Kohl and Angela Melvin cut the ribbon on the new field office.
"T-Mobile workers in Wichita are ready for a seat at the table, and the opening of this Local office is proof of the momentum of our campaign to come together as workers and collectively bargain with our employer," said Angela Melvin, a customer service representative at T-Mobile's call center in Wichita. "We have come such a long way in building our union at T-Mobile, and I know there is much work to be done. I cannot wait to see what the building of this union has in store for us!"
Germany's largest union, ver.di, represents workers at T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom. In a great show of support, ver.di leaders traveled to Kansas to join TU Chief Stewards from across the country, TU Local 6457 members, Wichita politicians, community leaders and CWA activists attending the ribbon cutting.
"Ver.di and CWA have been working in solidarity and friendship together for many years," said Lothar Schröder, a ver.di union leader and vice-chairman of the Deutsche Telekom Supervisory Board. "Forming TU in 2008, we made an important and unique step for the global labor movement in furthering our international union cooperation. Now with the opening of the TU field office in Wichita, we continue on this path. Ver.di and I are committed to do what it takes so that T-Mobile workers can freely decide whether they want to join a union to have a voice in the workplace."
Wichita Business Journal: Union trying to organize T-Mobile opening first nationwide office in Wichita.
TU members and allies celebrate the grand opening in Wichita.