By Tyler Book, Ex Sales Rep, Verizon Wireless, Bloomington, IlliniosMy name is Tyler Book. Until recently I was a Sales Rep for Verizon Wireless in Bloomington, Illinois. (I quit recently moving to a better job) Two years ago my co-workers and I got sick of the mistreatment from the company. We decided to try to unionize our store. The company was trying to force sales reps to perform customer service jobs and customer service reps to perform sales jobs. It isn’t fair for customer service reps with no sales experience or training to be held to the same quotas as sales reps, and it also isn’t fair for sales reps to perform all of these additional duties without any quota relief. Not surprisingly we were met with serious resistance from managers and executives. Even though we started our campaign with a strong majority, in the end we lost the vote for a union. I want to pass on some of the lessons I learned from this experience. During our campaign, the company brought in HR reps to listen to all of our issues. They promised us improvement on all of the things that were bothering us. They even made some immediate changes. However as soon as the union was voted out it was back to business as usual. One particularly effective trick they used was giving two people new (non-managerial) titles and promising them it would lead to a promotion if they voted no. They took the positions and of course voted against the union. The problem was that shortly after the union was voted down, these two “floating supervisors” were demoted to sales reps, and their job titles were eliminated. My advice is to not believe what the company tells you. They want to have total control over your job, your pay, and your expected duties and they will do anything in their power to make sure that you side with them. If you stand strong with your co-workers as a union, you can win a contract that will secure your job, your title and your benefits in writing. The executives with Verizon all have a contract. As a front-line worker, call center workers, and techs, you deserve the exact same. Remember, forming a union is our legally protected right.