Movement for collective bargaining at Comcast grows as second Massachusetts garage seeks vote to unite in IBEW

By Rand Wilson* Customer Communication Technicians who work out of Comcast's Fall River and Fairhaven offices will have their second union representation election on April 24. The vote will be supervised by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The technicians narrowly lost an election in December 2011 nearly a year after they first requested Comcast to voluntarily recognize their union. They sought voluntary recognition because of management's history of aggressive -- and sometimes illegal -- interference in workers' freedom to choose a voice at work. The techs waited patiently for the one year period barring another election to pass and then began building support for their union again. They filed a petition with the NLRB showing strong majority support for union recognition on March 15. If a majority of the techs vote for the union on April 24 it will finally compel management to begin talks with employees for long overdue improvements in their wages and working conditions. The techs have enlisted broad support from Massachusetts elected officials, other Comcast workers' unions and community groups to pressure Comcast to respect their rights. IBEW Local 2322, a telecom union based in Middleboro, MA is supporting the union drive. For updates about the Comcast workers union, visit the Comcast Union Bulletin Board at: or call IBEW Organizer Steve Smith at (978) 302-3690. * Rand Wilson has organized for workers' rights in the telecom industry for many years and has worked closely with the Comcast group in Massachusetts. He is currently with SEIU Local 888.

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