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Comcast techs lose bid for union through NLRB process

Comcast techs lose bid for union through NLRB process

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Published by Rand Wilson

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Published by: Rand Wilson on Dec 15, 2011
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05/21/2013

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Comcast Workers United
News from IBEW Local 2322 www.ibew2322.comDecember 15, 2011
Aggressive management interferencefrustrates techs bid for union through NLRBprocess
Fall River, MA -- Comcast technicians at the Fall River and Fairhaven Massachusetts garageshave been working together for over a year to win union recognition and the right to sit downwith management to discuss improving their wages and working conditions.Knowing how successful management has been across the country at destroying majority supportfor collective bargaining, the techs in Southeastern Mass. pursued an alternative route alsosanctioned by the National Labor Relations Act: voluntary recognition from management. (SeeSection 7 of the NLRA.)The workers signed up about 65 percent of their co-workers to form a union withIBEW Local2322. Congressman Stephen Lynch and Fall River Mayor William Flanagan counted the cards  to verify their majority.However after a year of fruitless attempts to meet with management, frustrated union supporterssought an NLRB supervised election. By winning a majority vote, federal labor law wouldcompel management to finally begin the long sought after negotiations.But Comcast management knows too well how to play theunion election game. As in mostother bids by workers to form unions, it used its near complete access to employees and its power over their work lives to chip away at their confidence in the strength of sticking together as a group and the benefits of collective bargaining.Once the union petition was filed on November 4, management used the intervening six weeks towear the techs down with misinformation about unions and pleas for a “second chance” to fix problems without a "third party."When the vote finally took place on Dec. 14, the Comcast workers lost their election 42 to 50.The final count was held at the Comcast office on Warren Street in Fall River."We just wanted to win one for the little guy,” said Christine Dexter, who has worked atComcast for nine years. “We want to achieve a little bit of security and the opportunity to sharein Comcast's success. While losing the vote was discouraging, you can't let it get you down. Weare going to keep educating our co-workers and fighting the good fight.""The techs from Fall River and Fairhaven were supported by other Comcast workers across thecountry," said IBEW organizer Steve Smith. "Script writers on Comcast-owned TV showsunited in theWriters Guild of America West wrote a strong letter of solidarity, as did Comcast techs from both IBEW and CWA locals in Pennsylvania. Comcast members fromIBEW Local

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