Have you ever thought Verizon Wireless violates your rights? CWA thought so too, and filed a complaint at the National Labor Relations Board against the company. Yesterday, the judge agreed, and said that much of Verizon and Verizon Wireless’ Code of Conduct had been violating YOUR rights. And so thanks to CWA, the company is now being ordered to restore our rights on the job!
The labor board has ruled that YOUR RIGHTS were violated. Among the findings: The company violated the law by having rules which reasonably could be interpreted as squelching workers’ rights to organize unions.
These illegal rules are found in the “Speak Up Do the Right Thing Because Its the Right Thing to Do” section of their Code of Conduct, and also in their “Solicitation and Fundraising Rule,” as well as their “Monitoring on the Job” rule, which had permitted management to monitor, record and inspect and/or search at any time without consent, worker’s personal property, including vehicles.
The judge also found that Verizon had illegal polices which prohibited “participation and activity in outside organizations or activities in outside organizations or associations” which the company thought conflicted with their interests. The judge also found that the company’s restriction on emails, instant messaging, the Intranet and Internet” violated your rights.
The judge is ordering Verizon and Verizon Wireless to post a notice within 14 days which says, in part, that Federal Law Gives You the Right to “Form, join, or assist unions,” and to “Act together with other employees for your benefit and protection.”
We are sure that management will appeal this ruling, because that is what they do when they lose. But its good to know that after an investigation and trial, the Federal Government has agreed with CWA that this company has been violating your rights and has ordered them to stop.
So now is the time to message us or call us at 347 979-2929 if you would like to work with your coworkers on winning a voice at work. All conversations will be kept in confidence.
CWAdminParts of Verizon Code Of Conduct Found To Be Illegal
Management has been spreading misinformation about what our rights are regarding your job. Read below to learn the TRUTH about what your rights are.
Call CWA’s hotline at 347-979-2929. Someone will pick up or you can leave a message and we will return your call.
Q: Why should I reach out to the union?
You may be surprised to learn that many of your co-workers at Verizon Wireless have reached out to CWA. You are not alone. We are creating a network of people across the country who are growing tired of the reduced commission checks, the increased pressure, the unfair scheduling changes, the layoffs, the favoritism, and the lack of respect by some managers. As this network grows so does our power to fight to address these issues. We will speak with you anonymously about what is happening in your area, and discuss how we can win improvements together!
Q: Do I have the right to speak with someone from the CWA union?
Yes. Federal law says you have the right to speak with a union rep about your working conditions without threat of retaliation from management.
Q: If the company wants to retaliate against me won’t they just say they are disciplining me for something else?
The Federal government knows how companies have tried to get around the law. Workers who support unions have to be treated the same as workers who do not. It is against the law for management to discipline a union supporter even if they do something wrong if they do not treat non union supporters the same way. The burden of proof lies on the employer to show that they did not retaliate against you because of your support for the union or engaging in union activities.
Q: What if I work in a Right to Work state? Do I have the right to organize?
Yes. All non supervisory employees in the private sector across the United States have the legal right to organize to improve working conditions and form a union.
Q: Will the company ever find out I am speaking with the union?
CWA will keep all conversations completely confidential. No one will ever know you are speaking with us unless you tell people yourself.
Q: Will my call center or retail store close if we are seen as supporting the union?
It is illegal to close a work locations in retaliation for the employees there supporting a union. Union or no, call centers are being closed and our jobs are being shipped overseas. Retail stores are being closed and replaced with authorized dealers. Without a union the company can close your location at any time and you have no recourse. With a union you have a voice to fight for your job and/or demand larger severance in any layoff situation.
Q: What happens if I am retaliated against for speaking with the union?
Federal law gives workers the right to organize and speak with unions about working conditions, pay, etc. It is illegal for Verizon (or any company) to punish workers for exercising their rights. It is extremely rare for Verizon to fire some for supporting a union, however if it happens, CWA has attorneys who will file complaints with the Federal Government (National Labor Relations Board) in the event anyone is illegally disciplined or terminated as a result of their union activity.
Q: Why is this company so against us forming a union?
When you form a union, you have power. This company wants to maintain decision-making power for themselves. The company knows what CWA members in wireline have successfully fought for and won over the years: higher wages, benefits, and working conditions. We don’t fight only for things that cost the company money; we also demand a voice on the job.
Q: What can I do now?
Be brave. Reach out and talk with the union and understand that your conversation will be kept in confidence.
Q: How do I call anonymously?
Call CWA’s hotline at 347-979-2929. Someone will pick up or you can leave a message and we will return your call.
BIG NEWS: Last week union retail Verizon Wireless workers in Brooklyn and Everett voted overwhelmingly in favor of their first contract. Our heroic struggle paid off with major improvements. Verizon has been spreading misinformation about our contract. The truth is we won more job security than any employee in all of Verizon Wireless. We won improvements in wages. We continue to enjoy the same SPIFFs, incentives, and competitions as everyone else, and have for the past two years. If the contract was not a major improvement, why would management fight so hard to stop other Verizon wireless employees from getting this same deal?
Highlights of the contract include…
Protection from unfair discipline.
Elected union representatives present for all disciplinary investigations.
Protection against favoritism in raises.
Massive improvements in job security.
Conversion of “at risk” CEI pay to guaranteed pay, which results in hundreds of dollars of additional pay.
Schedule swapping without needing to ask permission.
Guarantee to share in any improvements non union Verizon Wireless workers receive.
For more details of the contract see the bargaining report here.
These improvements only came about because the CWA members in these 7 retail stores stood together and fought for something better. You can do that too. If you are interested in bringing these improvements to your store please contact us.
When we stand united, WE WIN!
To learn more about the CWA and get the TRUTH about the contract please call 347 979-2929
CWAdminWhat We Won As Union Verizon Wireless Retail Workers
1. Job Security and “Just Cause”.
Verizon Wireless Retail Workers in Brooklyn now have much greater job security protection because the Company has agreed to a “just cause” standard for issuing discipline. . This means that workers at CWA-represented stores cannot be arbitrarily fired or disciplined. The “at-will” status no longer applies. The company must have a good reason—a clear violation of company procedures, chronic absence or lateness—in other words, “just cause”—in order to discipline anyone. The “just-cause” provision is also coupled with the grievance and arbitration procedure, listed below, to ensure fair treatment of workers.
2. Job Security and Limits on Contracting Out.
The new Verizon Wireless contract also protects workers’ job security by restricting the company’s use of contractors. The company may not use contractors in Brooklyn or Everett if they lead to layoffs, parttiming of jobs, or downgrading of jobs.
3. Grievance Procedure.
Workers are protected because all unfair actions of the company are subject to a two-step grievance procedure. This gives workers the right to file a formal charge against the company if the union and the worker believe management has violated the contract. So, in the event the union believes a worker has been disciplined or fired without “just cause,” a grievance can be filed. The first step of the grievance procedure will be a meeting between a supervisor and a union shop steward; the second step of the grievance procedure will be a meeting between a higher level manager and a representative from the Local Union.
In the event that an issue is not satisfactorily resolved during the grievance process, the Union can bring the issue before an independent judge, known as an arbitrator, who will conduct a hearing in which the worker has union staff or legal representation, to determine if the company acted in accordance with the contract. The arbitrator will make a binding decision to resolve the situation. Again, third-party arbitration limits the company’s arbitrary treatment of workers.
5. At Risk “Performance” Pay Converted To Guaranteed Pay.
At present, a part of workers earnings depend on the attainment of certain performance measurements. These measurements are often arbitrarily determined or tied to criteria outside of the workers control. Payment of these current “performance” earnings are delayed and paid on a quarterly or annual basis. `2 Under this agreement, $2,000 of “performance” pay in Brooklyn and Everett will no longer be at risk, but guaranteed. Solutions Specialists will have the CEI target moved to guaranteed base pay. Experience and Operations Specialists will have $2,000 of the 2017 STI immediately applied to guaranteed base pay. Unlike CEI & STI earnings, base pay earnings are enhanced by the compounding effect of overtime and differentials. This compounding results in hundreds of dollars of additional pay. Being reallocated to base pay also removes the uncertainty of the objective setting process.
6. Schedule Swaps.
Qualified workers in like titles will have the right to swap schedules. Written notice must be sent to store management at least twenty-four hours in advance and it cannot result in any cost to the Company. Probationary workers and those on written discipline are not allowed to participate.
7. Union Status Protection.
Workers are protected from being discriminated against due to their Union status. The Company cannot make any changes to the following items unless the same changes are applied to similarly situated employees in the entire North East Market: Health & Welfare Benefits, Retirement Benefits, Compensation Plans, Vacations, Holidays & Personal Days, Severance Plan, Job Performance Plan, and Policies, Practices & Procedures.
8. Union Representation.
At any meeting with management in which discipline is to be announced a Union Representative can be present
9. Admission To Premises.
Union Representatives will be allowed access to all of the store locations to meet with members and management. These Union Representatives include Verizon or Verizon Wireless employees as well as people from the Local and National Unions.
10. Collective Bargaining Participation.
During the bargaining process for the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, two workers will be released from work and paid by the Company to participate in the process.
11. Transfer Protection.
If the Company needs to transfer a worker outside of the Brooklyn or Everett bargaining unit, the worker will still be covered under the terms and conditions of this agreement. The Company is restricted as to how long a worker can be transferred. A temporary transfer will last no longer than thirty consecutive calendar days and an intermittent transfer will be no more than fifteen days in a thirty calendar day period.
12. Union Bulletin Boards.
All store locations will have a bulletin board set aside for the exclusive use of the Union. Only authorized representatives of the Union will be allowed to post materials.
13. Transition Issues.
Soon after the ratification of this agreement, workers will transition to programs that were implemented for other employees in the North East Market while negotiations were on going. Included in this transition is a new Performance Plan that no longer considers balanced score card results. Workers in Brooklyn will convert to a new Attendance Plan. This plan has an Emergency Short Notice process. This process allows workers to use up to sixteen accrued vacation and personal hours without prior scheduling or approval. The worker is not required to provide—and should not be asked for—a reason for the unscheduled absence. These hours can be used in four hour increments.
14. Duration of Contract.
The terms of the contract will become effective upon ratification and remain in effect until 11:59 PM on August 3, 2019. This expiration date is the same for all Union Represented Verizon Wireless workers as well as those in the Verizon landline side of the business.
CWAdminSummary of Tentative Agreement CWA and Verizon Wireless Retail
BIG NEWS: The Union and Verizon have reached an agreement at both Verizon Wireless and Verizon landline. Its not too late to join us. When we fight, We Win!
Stay tuned for more details on what these workers have won through their courageous struggle.facebook.com/vzwrising
To learn more about the CWA please call 347 979-2929
CWAdminBIG NEWS: The Union and Verizon have reached an agreement in principle
In December of last year, CWA members across the country voted to endorse Bernie Sanders for President. We made this decision for the same reason we fight for our union. Bernie’s campaign is about everyday working people uniting to fight for a better life. It stands against big corporations squeezing all they can out of us to increase their profits. With the pledged delegate count at 405 for Bernie Sanders and 595 for Hilary Clinton (3/10/2016), and with the majority of states still to vote this is still a very close race. We need a union and a voice on the job at Verizon Wireless. We need a voice in the white house to stand up against big corporations throughout the country.
Bernie Sanders addressed hundreds of CWA members at Verizon and Verizon Wireless outside the company’s HQ and Times Square retail store.
LIVING WAGE – At Verizon Wireless we are demanding a raise. Bernie Sanders is demanding a raise for the whole country by supporting a $15 minimum wage.
PAID SICK TIME – At Verizon Wireless we are fighting for more paid sick time. Bernie Sanders supports making 7 days paid sick time a federal law.
RIGHT TO A UNION – At Verizon Wireless we are fighting for a UNION! Bernie Sanders supports the Employee Free Choice Act which would make it easier for all workers in the US to form a union.
Employees in Brooklyn, NY and Everett, MA are still at the table with Verizon Wireless to bargain a first contract. The employees and the union have worked together to draft proposals dealing with topics ranging from scheduling to dress code. While the company has acted tough in the face of our demands, our proposals have led to improvements company wide.
Last year, we made a proposal while we were bargaining with management asking to wear jeans to accompany our smart attire. The rep for Verizon Wireless insisted that he this was a ridiculous request and we moved on to other issues. Then a couple months later VZW announced they would allow the employees to wear jeans through the holiday season. In January, they claimed they wanted everyone to be comfortable so they had decided that wearing jeans would be allowed permanently.
Another proposal we passed to suggested that increasing compensation for renewals would help to stimulate overall productivity and help reduce churn. Shortly after rejecting our proposal, they implemented a contest in the northeast where your renewals helped accelerate you to a multiplier which was exactly how we proposed it.
Union Stores Have Options
Verizon Wireless recently introduced a new commissions plan nationwide that gives the appearance of increased comp for renewals but doesn’t quite satisfy our request. They admitted they would be increasing sales dollar goals to reflect the fact that you retire a higher percentage off of renewals. Brooklyn and Everett have not accepted this commission plan and continues to bargain with the company on what their comp plan will look like.
Message us on Facebook with your thoughts on the new comp plan
CWA just saved another job at Verizon Wireless, this time in Brooklyn. In Brooklyn and Everett Verizon Wireless retail stores we are fighting for our first union contract. While that is still in process we are already enjoying the job security that comes with being a union member.
Most recently VZW management attempted to fire Victory Eshareturi, a Solutions Specialist at the Bay Ridge store in Brooklyn, after a conflict with a manager left her feeling unsafe in her store. While at first the company held their ground that Victory was to blame, the union was able to win her job back.
“I was unsure about the union at first.” Victory said, “But earlier this year the company attempted to fire me because I felt uncomfortable with my manager at work. Because I had a union, not only did I have a representative with me at every step of the investigation process but the union also worked diligently for months to stop the company from wrongfully terminating me.”
She continued, “As a result, I am back to work and a proud Union supporter. I’ve truly learned the meaning of solidarity.”
This victory (for Victory!) comes on the heels of a National Labor Relations Board brokered settlement won by the union in Everett which wiped clean unfair lateness and absence records for all workers in the store. This settlement saved at least three jobs including Heidi’s and Darwin’s (pictured below).
Darwin DeLeon, Solutions Specialist Everett, MA (left), “This is a great win. I like that the union has my back!”
Heidi Thomson, Solutions Specialist Everett, MA (right), “CWA does it again for Everett!”