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Union Myths & Facts

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VZW management has been spreading myths about the union. Here are some of the myths debunked.  
the union is US!

Cartoon by Carol Simpson

MYTH – The union will make lots of promises about job security, pay raises, scheduling, etc. that they cannot live up to. FACT – “The union never made any promises except that we would have a voice on the job. That promise has proven true. We are now sitting across from the table negotiating over improvements in job security, scheduling, and compensations.”-  Pito Ramos, Solutions Specialist, Verizon Wireless Everett MA MYTH – CWA is a for profit business, that just wants your dues money. FACT – CWA is a 501(c)5 which is a nonprofit classification. No member pays dues until they vote yes for a first contract. MYTH – Shop stewards make $80,000 a year and are provided a car. FACT – Shop stewards are not paid anything by the union, nor are they provided a car. Shop stewards are our coworkers.They continue working for the company while carrying out their duties as stewards. MYTH – Brooklyn and Everett workers feel they have made a mistake voting for the union. FACT – CWA members  in  Brooklyn and Everett Verizon Wireless still love their union. See below, Brooklyn, Verizon Wireless CWA members at a union bowling night last month and Everett, Verizon Wireless CWA members at a union dinner. Also watch this great video, of Brooklyn VZW workers expressing their support for their union. Bowling night MYTH – The CWA is only bargaining for things that help the union like a union bulletin board and not things that help the members like raises. FACT – We have proposed a comprehensive compensation plan at the bargaining table that would increase wages, raises, and commissions. All bargaining proposals have been created by VZW workers. See article above. MYTH – The union just wants your dues. FACT – CWA is a membership organization run by and for the members. We only pay dues once we vote to approve a first contracts (neither Brooklyn nor Everett have paid any dues to date). Once we have a contract that improves our compensation and working conditions, our dues money goes towards negotiation of contracts, enforcing contracts, helping organize unrepresented workers, and programs to provide safe and healthy workplaces. MYTH – If you join a union you could lose important benefits or privileges you currently have. FACT – When workers join a union it is illegal for the company to make any negative changes to your conditions of employment while you are bargaining your contract. Every single first contract CWA members have negotiated in the history of the union has resulted in improved working conditions for the members. This is just a scare tactic. MYTH – When you join a union you will be forced into a new “lifestyle” that invloves spending hours on picket lines and constantly fighting. You will also be forced to go on strike. FACT – Joining a union will not force you to change your life style. Most of the time you will work like normal (although you will likely have more job security and better pay!) Having a union does give you the tools to make improvements at work. It is true that when we negotiate contracts we sometimes rally and picket. It is exactly for that reason that the CWA members in Verizon Wireline make much more money and receive better benefits than we do on the wireless side. No union can ever force anyone to strike.    
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