T-Mobile Workers Vote to Join CWA Despite Intimidation Campaign [telecom]

Workers at a Bay Area T-Mobile retail store in Pinole, Calif., have voted to join CWA. During the election campaign, T-Mobile engaged in unlawful intimidation of the workers, holding one-on-one interrogations about their union activity and threatening to fire them. The T-Mobile employees in Pinole persisted despite T-Mobile's threat of retaliation.

"All wireless workers deserve a voice on the job to address wages, benefits, and working conditions," said CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce. "This is just the first step. T-Mobile has already shown their disregard for laws that protect workers. We will be keeping a close eye on the company as these workers negotiate their first contract to make sure that the talks proceed smoothly and without delay."

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I know a number of CWA workers for various employers. In my opinion, CWA today is a weak union. Maybe better than nothing, but not very effective if the employer is determined to shove an anti-labor policy onto its employees.

In my opinion, today's economic climate requires much better protection for workers. Workers have lost a lot of fringe benefits they once enjoyed and wages have not kept up with inflation. I think there is a need for unions today. However, I think unions are stuck in the past or focused on the wrong issues (like social issues) and thus not very attractive to workers to join nor able to gain things for its members.

With more and more baby boomers retiring, pensions are a critical issue, but many employers have cut back on contracted pension benefits. It's really hard for a senior citizen.

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