From the AFL-CIO Now blog, written by James Perks
Verizon Business Workers Join Unions
Kevin Leppman and his co-workers at Verizon Business in New England and New York spent their first Labor Day as union members this month.
In August, as part of its new three-year contract with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the Electrical Workers (IBEW), Verizon agreed to extend union recognition to more than 600 former MCI technicians at Verizon Business.
The new union members will be covered by the contract beginning in December.
Says Leppman, a 10-year veteran at Verizon Business:
It is nice to know that we will soon have the same rights and benefits as other Verizon techs. To finally have a voice at work, it’s a good feeling.When a majority of Verizon Business technicians throughout New England and New York signed cards to form unions with IBEW and CWA, the company refused to recognize their union. Instead, management began a fierce anti-union campaign, which the company abandoned after a grievance over nonunion workers performing union work went into arbitration. The agreement to recognize the union settled the arbitration.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who along with several members of Congress supervised the vote count, joined the Verizon workers for a celebration of their victory at a Labor Day breakfast sponsored by the Greater Boston Labor Council.
Pictured above: Verizon Business technicians celebrate their organizing victory with Sen. John Kerry (center) at the annual Labor Day breakfast of the Greater Boston Labor Council.