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Worker Wins Update: From Night Shifts to Nightclubs, Workers See Big Wins in June

WASHINGTON, DC– Workers across the country have stood up in the past month to fight for better wages and working conditions.

NYC Musicians Win Major Bargaining Agreement with Historic Venue: This month, members of the Associated Musicians of Greater New York Local 802 (American Federation of Musicians) signed a collective bargaining agreement with 54 Below, attached to the legendary Studio 54 nightclub.

Virgin America Pilots Flying High with New Union: Earlier this month, pilots for Virgin America overwhelmingly voted to join the Air Line Pilots Association, International. The vote was a result of a year-long campaign initiated by the pilots looking to achieve a stronger voice in the workplace.

California LabCorp Workers Continue Big Organizing Wins: Following the success of a May organizing campaign, 40 new workers at LabCorp in Southern California joined UFCW Local 1428. The new members will join contract negotiations in July.

Telecom Workers Win Big With T-Mobile Scheduling Changes: T-Mobile employees won significant scheduling changes last month that gave workers more power over their own schedules and time-off without the threat of a negative review.

Domestic Workers Secure New Benefits, Rights in Two States: Earlier this month, Connecticut and Oregon agreed to establish new protections and benefits to domestic workers. Oregon’s legislation includes time off and overtime pay, while Connecticut’s would include domestic workers in the state’s anti-discrimination and harassment statutes.

Interns Break New Ground, Form New Union: Interns at the American Federation of Teachers formed the nation’s first non-medical intern union earlier this month, earning a pay raise and a greater voice in their workplace.

Grocery Workers Bag Up New Rights with Union: Workers at Food Front Co-op stores in Portland, Oregon overwhelmingly voted to join UFCW Local 555 earlier this month. The workers will begin negotiations with store management in the coming weeks.

Government Workers Earn Significant Raising Wages Victories: Last month, federal government employees in 13 cities won pay increases thanks to work by AFGE to bring federal salaries in line with local market conditions.

Contact: Anthony DeAngelo (202) 637-5018

 

Worker Wins Update: From the Newsroom to the Nail Salon, Workers Earn Huge Wins

WASHINGTON, DC– Workers across the country have stood up in the past month to fight for better wages and working conditions.

Gawker Writers Vote to Form Union: Today, more than 100 employees of Gawker Media joined the Writers Guild of America. Writers cited wages and ensuring a stronger voice in the workplace as a reason to unionize.

Cities and States Make Raising Wages Gains: As the ‘raising wages’ agenda takes hold nationwide, Californiaand Delawareboth took steps to raise their minimum wage. Meanwhile, proposals have been put forward in Tacoma, WA, St. Louis, MO, and Kansas City, MO, to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Georgetown University Workers Vote to Join UNITE HERE!: Last month, Aramark food and beverage workers at Georgetown University voted to join UNITE HERE! Local 23. The local of over 200 employees is currently fighting for improved health insurance, a 40-hour work week, and immigrant worker protections.

California Phlebotomists Vote to Join Union: Last month, phlebotomists (blood work technicians) at LabCorp in Southern California voted to join UFCW Locals 1167 and 1428, citing a need for better wages, working conditions, and safety measures.

New York Healthcare Workers Win Organizing Fight: Support workers at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare have voted to join fellow healthcare workers as members of CWA Local 1126 late last month. The workers, including housekeepers and laundry staff, will join 12,000 healthcare workers represented by CWA in upstate New York.

Missouri Fire Fighters win Big with Union Vote: Last month, fire fighters and engineers in Branson, MO voted to have a voice in their workplace by joining IAFF Local 152. The first responders won in spite of an aggressive effort by local officials to prevent workers from organizing.

Michigan Workers Win New Contract, Wage Gains: Last month, slaughterhouse and meatpacking workers at UFCW Local 951 in Plainwell, MI ratified a new contact that includes significant wage gains, better access to healthcare, and greater overtime benefits.

NYC Manicurists Earn Critical Protections in Workplace: Last week, New York announced that nail salons are required to post a newly formed ‘manicurists’ bill of rights’, which describes wage information and other rights for workers. The announcement followed a recent report by the New York Times highlighting poor pay and working conditions in nail salons.

Oregon Hospital Workers Win Landmark Organizing Battle: Earlier this week, approximately 1,100 workers at Peacehealth’s Sacred Heart Medical Centers in Oregon voted to join a union. The staff, ranging from doctors and nurses to pharmacists and janitorial staff, cited working conditions and benefits as a reason to organize.

Worker Wins Organizing Update: Organizing Efforts Pay Off in Big Spring for Workers

Workers have stood up in the face of low wages and unacceptable conditions to organize new workplaces. Below are some recent major organizing wins:

Philadelphia Charter School Teachers Organize with AFT: Teachers and other staff members at Olney Charter High School voted to organize a union earlier this week, becoming the largest charter school in Philadelphia to organize. The teachers and staff will be represented by the Alliance of Charter School Employees, which is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

UConn Graduate Teaching Assistants Win Big with First Contract: Last month, approximately 2,300 graduate teaching assistants reached a tentative agreement on a first contract with the University of Connecticut. The assistants, represented by the Graduate Employee Union, a branch of the United Auto Workers, ensured an increase in stipends, a break in university fees, and greater health benefits.
Big Easy Teachers Work Hard to Form Union: Last month, teachers belonging to the United Teachers of New Orleans, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, secured its first collective-bargaining contract in the past decade at Benjamin Franklin High School. The teachers began to organize in 2014, citing issues with pay inequality.

Sheet Metal Workers Hammer Out Major Victories Across the Country: Earlier this spring, transportation workers in South Florida voted overwhelmingly to join the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation (SMART) union. SMART workers have also organized in Buffalo, NY, and secured a major Project Labor Agreement in Long Beach, CA.

Aircraft Mechanics Flying High After Organizing Win: Over 100 aircraft mechanics and other technicians at the Beechcraft Service Center in Wichita, KS joined International Association of Machinists District 70 last month. IAM’s organizing efforts took off recently with several thousand workers organizing at Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft.

DoubleTree Workers Outsmart Harvard Union Opposition: Thanks to a major organizing win last month, approximately 130 workers at the Hilton DoubleTree Suites Hotel in Cambridge, MA will become members of UNITE HERE! Local 26.  The hard-fought, two-year campaign was opposed by Hilton and Harvard University. The workers, many of them immigrant housekeepers, cited unfair hours and unsafe conditions as reasons for voting to form a union.

Union Brothers and Sisters Win in ‘City of Brotherly Love’: Workers for the Philadelphia-based manufacturing company Chemson voted to join ICWUC/UFCW after uniting over issues with poor pay and unfair hours. Workers also pointed to lack of respect on the job and unsafe working conditions as reasons to form a union.

Worker Wins Update: Workers Score Victories In Pay and Organizing, Help Others in Community

WASHINGTON, DC– Workers across the country have stood up in the past month to fight for better wages and working conditions.

LA City Council Approves Wage Win: The Los Angeles City Council approved a measure this week that would raise the citywide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, a raise from the current $9 minimum wage. Once implemented, LA will join cities such as Seattle and San Francisco in raising the minimum wage to $15.

DoubleTree Workers Outsmart Harvard Union Opposition: Thanks to a major organizing win last month, approximately 130 workers at the Hilton DoubleTree Suites Hotel in Cambridge, MA will become members of UNITE HERE! Local 26.  The hard-fought, two-year campaign was opposed by Hilton and Harvard University. The workers, many of them immigrant housekeepers, cited unfair hours and unsafe conditions as reasons for voting to form a union.

Union Brothers and Sisters Win in ‘City of Brotherly Love’: Workers for the Philadelphia-based manufacturing company Chemson voted to join ICWUC/UFCW after uniting over issues with poor pay and unfair hours. Workers also pointed to lack of respect on the job and unsafe working conditions as reasons to form a union.

Facebook ‘Shares’ Wealth, Workers Give Move a ‘Like’: Facebook announced earlier this month that it will require U.S. contractors and vendors to pay their employees at least $15 an hour and offer paid-time-off for sick days and vacation. The tech giant will also mandate that contractors take steps to ensure paid parental leave.

Workers Reach Out to Help Aspiring Americans Apply for Citizenship: Earlier this month, members of the Pennsylvania-based UFCW Local 1776 held an immigration workshop where trained members assisted aspiring Americans in filling out their applications to apply for citizenship. The workshop, part of UFCW’s Union Citizenship Action Network program, helped workers at local JBS and Cargill plants, and is part of a nationwide effort to help those seeking citizenship.

Big Easy Teachers Work Hard to Form Union: Last month, teachers belonging to the United Teachers of New Orleans, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, secured its first collective-bargaining contract in the past decade at Benjamin Franklin High School. The teachers began to organize in 2014, citing issues with pay inequality.

NYC Mayor de Blasio to Launch ‘Day-of-Action’ for Workers Following Report: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that his office will launch a ‘day-of-action’ to address reports that workers in the nail salon industry are facing ‘deplorable conditions’ including unsafe workspaces and pay less than minimum wage.

Worker Wins Update: Workers Fly High, Win Big Through Major Organizing Efforts

Union-yesWASHINGTON, DC– Workers across the country have stood up in the past month to fight for better wages and working conditions.

Philadelphia Charter School Teachers Organize with AFT: Teachers and other staff members at Olney Charter High School voted to organize a union earlier this week, becoming the largest charter school in Philadelphia to organize. The teachers and staff will be represented by the Alliance of Charter School Employees, which is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

Sheet Metal Workers Hammer Out Major Victories Across the Country: Earlier this spring, transportation workers in South Florida voted overwhelmingly to join the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation (SMART) union. SMART workers have also organized in Buffalo, NY, and secured a major Project Labor Agreement in Long Beach, CA.

Aircraft Mechanics Flying High After Organizing Win: Over 100 aircraft mechanics and other technicians at the Beechcraft Service Center in Wichita, KS joined International Association of Machinists District 70 last month. IAM’s organizing efforts took off recently with several thousand workers organizing at Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft.

Ohio Nurse Wins Justice, $2 Million After She’s Targeted by Hospital: After suffering through a campaign of intimidation and abuse, Ann Wayt, a Cleveland-area nurse won a $2 million award against Affinity Medical Center after their attempts to fire her and ruin her reputation in retaliation for Wayt’s efforts to organize workers.

UConn Graduate Teaching Assistants Win Big with First Contract: Approximately 2,300 graduate teaching assistants at the University of Connecticut represented by the Graduate Employee Union, a branch of the United Auto Workers, reached a tentative agreement on a first contract with the university, ensuring an increase in stipends, a break in university fees, and greater health benefits.

Major Health Insurer Ensures Healthy Relations with Workers by Raising Wages: In the wake of national calls by workers to raise wages, Fortune 100 health insurance company Aetna increased pay for their lowest paid workers to $16 an hour last month, raising wages for 5,700 employees. Aetna executives cited evidence that a higher-paid workforce provides better customer service and decreases turnover as reasons for the pay hike.

New York Workers Press Lawmakers to Pass Landmark Equal Pay Law: Workers in New York secured a major win last month as the New York State legislature passed a slate of equal pay protection laws, including legislation that prohibits employers from telling workers they cannot discuss pay at work, and strengthening prohibitions on paying women and men separately.

Senator Bernie Sanders Rallies The Crowd At The NH AFL-CIO Convention (VIDEO)

Senator Sanders North Conway NH

Here it is the video you have all been waiting for, Senator Bernie Sanders just after announcing he official campaign for President addresses the delegates and friends of the NH AFL-CIO 2015 Convention in North Conway, New Hampshire.

If you already know who Senator Bernie Sanders is, then watch this video and you will fall in love with him all over again.

If you do not know who Senator Bernie Sanders is, then watch this video and see what his vision is for America.

  • A vision where healthcare is a right and everyone has quality healthcare provided to them
  • A vision where our children get a good high quality education and can get a college education without being saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.
  • A vsion where a single mother does not need to get food stamps to feed her son even though she already works full time.  Where workers are paid a living wage of $15 an hour minimum.
  • A vision where the government listens to the scientific community and starts to reverse the effects of global warming and leaving our planet better for our children and grandchildren
  • A vision where corporations pay their fair share in taxes and are no longer allowed to hide their profits in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes.
  • A vision where a secretary does not have to pay a higher rate in her taxes than the CEO of the corporation she works for.
  • A vision where American workers are put first and corporate profits are put second.  Where Americans are buying American made goods.  Where American corporations are investing in the future of America by building new manufacturing facilities here in the USA.

Senator Sanders also spoke at length about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the disastrous effects that NAFTA and previous trade agreements have had on American workers.

The speech is a little over 30 minutes long, but I promise you will hardly notice once Bernie starts rolling!

(Video Link: https://youtu.be/BNejWoktsOs)

Olney Charter Teachers Vote Overwhelmingly to Join Teachers Union

AFT_Logo-2

Teachers Cite Need for a Voice to Advocate for Students and Their Profession at
Philadelphia High School that’s Part of National ASPIRA Charter Chain

PHILADELPHIA—Last night, teachers and support staff at Olney Charter High School in Philadelphia voted overwhelmingly to form a union. They voted by a near three-to-one margin to join with the Philadelphia Alliance of Charter School Employees to gain a voice in how classrooms are resourced and school decisions are made. They also sought greater input into teacher evaluations and professional development.

Olney Charter High School (located on West Duncannon Ave.) is one of five charters run by ASPIRA Inc. of Pennsylvania within the Philadelphia School District. It was carved out of the public system following the state takeover of public city schools in 2001, which handed control of public schools to private operators under a corporate education reform model.

ASPIRA Inc. of Pennsylvania is an affiliate of the national ASPIRA Association, a nonprofit organization focused on education for Latino and other underserved youth. ASPIRA Association operates in eight states and Puerto Rico.

As Olney teachers and staff began organizing, management hired a union-avoidance firm, National Consultants Associated, which has a history of questionable ties to organized crime and individuals charged with federal corruption and racketeering. In the days leading up to the union vote, National Consultants Associated held mandatory anti-union meetings, costing parents face time with teachers, students hours of instruction during annual exam prep, and untold dollars that could have been put to use in classrooms.

The victory for teachers and support staff at Olney is the latest in a string of successful organizing efforts. Teachers at charter schools across the country increasingly are uniting to challenge the conditions that lead to incredibly high turnover in their schools and to improve education for their students. Often, in spite of aggressive anti-union tactics from their employers, teachers vote to join together in a union when given the choice.

“Teachers at charter schools want what other teachers want: respect for the job they do and a real voice in their schools,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.6-million member American Federation of Teachers. “Increasingly, they see how joining a union of professionals is the vehicle to do that. That’s what today’s overwhelming vote was about.”

A total of 172 teachers and support staff are now represented by the union and will soon begin negotiating a first collective bargaining agreement. They also are calling for organizing and collective bargaining rights for teachers and staff at all ASPIRA Inc. schools. On May 12, teachers and staff at John B. Stetson Charter School, another ASPIRA school, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board requesting a union vote. The Board has yet to rule on the request.

“We look forward to forging a new relationship with ASPIRA of Pennsylvania,” said Ted Kirsch, president of AFT Pennsylvania and an AFT vice president. “By opening its planning and decision-making process to teachers, staff and parents, ASPIRA has an opportunity to make its schools a model for innovation and collaboration in K-12 charter schools.”

The AFT represents teachers and support staff in more than 120 public charter schools in 12 states.

Worker Wins Update: April Showers Bring Big Wins For Workers

WASHINGTON, DC– Workers across the country have stood up in the past month to fight for better wages and working conditions.

Harvard Hotel Workers Make Smart Choice to Organize: Following a two year campaign, workers at the Soldiers Field Road DoubleTree Hotel, located in a building owned by Harvard, voted to organize with UNITE HERE! Local 26. The workers will join Harvard dining hall workers as well as Boston-area hotel staff in the local union.

Next Stop for Double Decker Bus Tour Guides: A Union: Workers at a double decker bus tour company in New York City have voted to join Transport Workers Union Local 100, fighting back against poor working conditions and pay cuts. TWU Local 100 currently represents approximately 40,000 transit workers throughout New York City.

Casino Workers Go ‘All-In’ on Union: The cards at the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino will be dealt by union members after workers voted to join the National Gaming Workers Coalition, which includes UNITE HERE!, United Auto Workers, and Operating Engineers.

Toady’s Lesson at Detroit Charter Schools: Forming a Union: Teachers from three Detroit charter schools have come together to file petitions to be represented by the Michigan Alliance of Charter Teachers & Staff, a local union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers.

Gawker Writers Submit Stories and Union Cards: Workers at Gawker Media announced that they will be forming a union with the Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO in New York City. Gawker writers cited need for a fair salary and stated clearly that ‘every workplace could use a union’.

Alaska Nurses Find the Right Prescription, Affiliate with AFT: In a move to strengthen the voices of nurses in Alaska, the Alaska Nurses Association Labor Program agreed to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Nurses and Health Professionals. With this affiliation, AFT now represents 113,000 healthcare professionals across the country.

Rutgers Faculty Win Big in Classroom and at Bargaining Table: Nearly 4,700 full-time faculty and graduate teaching assistants signed a new contract protecting members from salary freezes, health care rate hikes, and promising a raise in wages throughout the life of the contract. The contract, fought for by members of the American Association of University Professors – American Federation of Teachers, will also provide protections for approximately 7,000 graduate teaching assistants.

Howard University Physicians On-Call for Better Pay, Benefits: Resident physicians at Howard University Hospital in Washington DC have asked hospital officials to negotiate a new contract with their newly formed union after the NLRB upheld the results of its January election last week.

Congress Votes To Block New Rules Mandated By The NLRB

Yesterday, Congressional Republicans continued their all out assault on working families by passing a law that would limit workers rights to organize and block new rules from the National Labor Relations Board that would allow for faster union elections, slated to take effect in April.

The NLRB said in a December statement that the new rules would allow unions to use electronic means to file for an election and would allow unions to hold elections just 14 days after filing.

“I am heartened that the Board has chosen to enact amendments that will modernize the representation case process and fulfill the promise of the National Labor Relations Act. Simplifying and streamlining the process will result in improvements for all parties. With these changes, the Board strives to ensure that its representation process remains a model of fairness and efficiency for all,” said NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Peirce.

Congressman Frank Guinta receiving an award from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)

Congressman Frank Guinta receiving an award from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)

The bill passed 232-186, almost straight down party lines. The bill was opposed by all of the House Democrats (thank you Congresswoman Annie Kuster [NH-02]) and three lone Republicans. Congressman Frank Guinta, the Republican representing the first district in New Hampshire, was among the Republican majority who voted to pass the bill.

“Today’s vote by House Republicans against the NLRB’s common-sense modernization of its election rules is a direct attack on workers and their right to be heard in the workplace,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Working men and women want an agenda from their Congressional leaders that raises wages and grows our middle class. Instead, they have gotten Republican policies that roll back progress and silence workers while protecting their biggest donors.”

Listening to the debate on the House floor shows exactly how much the Republicans really care about workers and their rights.   These Republicans are putting corporations above working men and women.

“Today, Congress voted to stop an unelected board of bureaucrats from trampling on the rights of America’s workers and job creators,” said Congressman John Kline (R-MN) in a written statement after the vote. “The board’s ambush election rule will stifle employer free speech, cripple worker free choice, and jeopardize the privacy of workers and their families.

Rep. Kline’s statement is nearly identical to the statement released by the US Chamber of Commerce who has worked tirelessly to oppose unionizing efforts and push anti-worker legislation in dozens of states.

“The Chamber applauds Congress for passing legislation to stop the ‘ambush election’ rule issued by the NLRB,” stated U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits Randel K. Johnson. “This rule infringes upon an employer’s free speech right by virtually eliminating an employer’s opportunity to communicate his or her views regarding unionization with employees.

What they should have said was that this vote stifles a workers right to organize and gives more time for employers to hire union busting firms and lie to their employees about how unions operate.

President Obama has already said he will veto this totally partisan bill. This would be Obama’s fourth veto, and second in the last two months.

“President Obama is right in his commitment to vetoing this harmful legislation, and Congressional Republicans should focus their efforts on lifting workers up instead of shutting them out,” said Trumka.

Whether you support unions or not should not matter, that is why we hold elections. If workers freely choose to support a union, the union will win the election. If workers freely choose to reject the union, the union will lose. That is freedom and the choice that workers are guaranteed under the National Labor Relation Act.

Organizing and holding a union election is hard enough, and Republicans in Washington want to block workers from organizing. Working families need to understand that these Republicans are not looking out for them and are only looking out for the wealthy businesses and groups like the US Chamber of Commerce that fund their campaigns.

 

 

Click here for more information about the NLRB’s rule changes

 

BREAKING NEWS: Judge Finds T-Mobile US Guilty of Maintaining Illegal Corporate Policies Against Workers Across the Country 

Judge Orders Policies Rescinded; T-Mobile US Must Advise Employees that the Company Has Violated Federal Labor Law

Washington, D.C. — A judge at the National Labor Relations Board has found T-Mobile US guilty of engaging in nationwide labor law violations against workers. The unprecedented ruling comes following a rare move by the NLRB consolidating multiple complaints against T-Mobile US for illegal actions and policies in Albuquerque, N.M.; Wichita, Kans.; Charleston, S.C., and New York City.  

At issue were illegal corporate nationwide policies that block workers from organizing or even talking to each other about problems at work. Workers throughout the T-Mobile US system were subjected to and effectively silenced by these illegal policies; the judge’s order to rescind them covers 40,000 workers. 

Coming on the heels of repeated complaints issued by the NLRB against T-Mobile US and its labor practices, the ruling shines a light on how management’s efforts to suppress workers’ organizing activity has been supported by wide-ranging, unlawful corporate policies issued from the highest levels of the company.  Even while this trial was underway, additional complaints against the company have issued from the NLRB.  Another NLRB trial will begin in June in Charleston, South Carolina, to hear yet more cases of T-Mobile US’s unlawful suppression of workers’ rights, and other charges and complaints continue to pile up. 

The decision by Judge Christine Dibble focused on T-Mobile US’s illegal employment policies and restrictions that prohibited workers from discussing wages with each other or criticizing working conditions or seeking out assistance to blow the whistle on unlawful behavior.   

Over and over again, the decision finds that the corporate policies “would chill employees in the exercise of their…rights” or would be construed “as restricting [an employee’s] rights to engage in protected concerted activities, including unionizing efforts.”  Judge Dibble found that T-Mobile US’s Wage and Hour Complaint Procedure, for example, “tends to inhibit employees from banding together.”  She writes that the corporate procedure’s requirement that an employee notify management of a wage issue first, “in combination with the threat of discipline for failing to adhere to the rule, would ‘reasonably tend to inhibit employees from bringing wage-related complaints to, and seeking redress from, entities other than the Respondent, and restrains the employees’ …rights to engage in concerted activities for collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.”  

According to the ruling, T-Mobile US’s email policy and various confidentiality policies violate the law by restricting employees’ ability to disclose or discuss basic workplace issues, such as their wages.  Similarly, Judge Dibble has ruled that the company’s policy restricting employees’ communications with the media is illegal, as it prohibits employees from speaking out on inquiries about wages or other conditions of employment.  In all, Judge Dibble found that 11 of the 13 corporate policies or provisions at issue in the case are illegal.

CWA President Larry Cohen said, “This decision exposes the deliberate campaign by T-Mobile US management to break the law systematically and on a nationwide scale, blocking workers from exercising their right to organize and bargain collectively. This behavior can only be changed by a nationwide remedy to restore workers’ rights.   Deutsche Telekom, the principal owner of T-Mobile US, has claimed that its U.S. subsidiary follows the law. Now we have the official word: T-Mobile US is a lawbreaker. Bonn, the headquarters of DT, no longer can hide behind the false statements made by T-Mobile US executives. These behaviors would be almost unimaginable in Germany or any other democracy in the world.”

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), a union member, small business owner and a champion of working families, said, “T-Mobile employees have come to Capitol Hill to share their stories of fear and intimidation and efforts to block workers from organizing. These workers have had to put up with an outright hostile environment in violation of their basic constitutional rights. Today’s decision is a huge win for every hardworking American who is fighting for their right to organize and demand better wages and more job security.”

The ruling was preceded by years of federal complaints against T-Mobile US for unlawful labor practices around the country.  Those complaints, which have covered all manner of violations, from firing union supporters to illegally restricting employees’ ability to communicate with one another, were often brought to the cusp of trial and then settled by T-Mobile US, which has paid tens of thousands of dollars to avoid a judge’s guilty finding.   Today’s merit finding marks a turning point in efforts to effectively enforce US labor law at T-Mobile US.  

Judge Dibble’s decision addresses written policies that T-Mobile US disseminated to employees and managers nationwide – policies that invariably reinforced a management culture, reflected in complaint after complaint, of shutting down workers who attempted to speak out for fairness on the job.

“We are happy and relieved,” said Carolina Figueroa, T-Mobile US call center worker from Albuquerque. “We are finally being heard. My coworkers and I at T-Mobile US will have the right to speak out against unfair treatment and should not be muzzled or retaliated against – and with today’s decision, the company has to declare this to all of its employees nationwide.”

Adrian Dominguez works at the Metro PCS-T-Mobile US retail store in New York City. “Now that we have a union we aren’t scared to talk about our working conditions at work. I am hopeful that my colleagues across the country will realize that the law protects their rights to discuss the benefits of joining together into a union, now that the judge has found T-Mobile US guilty of preventing workers from talking about their working conditions.”

Josh Coleman was a top-achieving customer service representative in Wichita when he was fired by T-Mobile US for mobilizing his co-workers for union representation.  “Through repeated team meetings and written policy, T-Mobile US unlawfully silenced employees and created a culture of fear to stifle communication. I hope that now thousands of my T-Mobile US co-workers will know they can come out of the shadows and build the union that so many of us want.”  

T-Mobile US workers and their colleagues at T-Mobile in Germany together have built TU, an organization that represents them. Thousands of German workers, members of the 2 million member union ver.di, have formed city-to-city partnerships with T-Mobile US workers, and together are pushing Deutsche Telekom to ensure that U.S. workers can bargain collectively, just as telecom workers in Germany do.

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