Comcast workers' campaign for union recognition and a voice at work

Organizing Roundtable, May 13, 2013 Overview of Comcast: Number of employees (US and Mass) Number of facilities (US and Mass) Why organizing at Comcast is strategically important for all telecom workers History of organizing (and collective bargaining) at Comcast Overview of the Massachusetts campaign  before 2008  after 2008 Organizing at Fall River and Fairhaven  Building majority support (signing folks up)  Deciding to by-pass board election (majority card check & recognition campaign)  First election campaign (December 2011  Second election campaign (April 2013)  Campaigns at other locations (Beverly, etc.) Bargaining strategies to win first contract  Inside pressure from employees at Fall River and Fairhaven garages  Pressure from other unionized Comcast groups  Continuing to build support from workers at other Comcast garages statewide Handouts Comcast Overview "Drive to unionize Comcast: IBEW begins statewide campaign" Boston Herald 8 companies that most owe workers a raise (USA Today) Southeastern Mass. techs win union and collective bargaining rights at Comcast!

Overview Comcast is the largest cable provider in the United States. Comcast has more than 24 million subscribers and provides television, Internet, and digital phone services in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Comcast has about 107,000 employees nationwide. Comcast has a significant market share and serves approximately 24 percent of multichannel video customers nationwide. In the areas in which Comcast operates, 46 percent of homes passed subscribe to Comcast's video services, 31.4 percent subscribe to Comcast's internet services, and 15.7 percent subscribe to its phone services. Growth of both Comcast's Internet and telephone has been significant; in 2005, it had just 8.1 million Internet customers and 1.2 million phone customers. By 2009, it had 15.9 million Internet and 7.6 million phone customers. In addition to content distribution, Comcast is also heavily involved in the media and programming business. In 2011, Comcast took control of NBC Universal. The total value of the new venture is approximately $30 billion. Comcast's recent financial reports show persistent revenue growth—although at lower rates— solid operating income, good cash flow from operations, and growing profit margins. Although the company has poor liquidity, overall, it has good debt management. Comcast's stock price growth has exceeded that of the S&P 500. Financial measures show good potential for future stock value growth. Source: Comcast Corporation Bargaining Brief, IBEW Research Dept. July, 2010 Comcast – Union buster According to "No Bargain: Comcast and the Future of Workers' Rights in Telecommunications:"  In the greater Chicago area, Comcast managers moved 195 jobs from a union-represented facility to non-union locations. In Dallas, Comcast management moved 100 jobs. A total of 125 jobs were moved in Detroit.  In Pittsburgh, the NLRB issued a complaint against Comcast for illegal behavior that allegedly occurred the month before decertification elections at several worksites.  In Salt Lake City, Comcast gave a market increase in pay to all employees except those who were in union-represented bargaining units. The union filed Unfair Labor Practice charges, and the NLRB issued a complaint against Comcast.  In the metropolitan Washington, DC area, the NLRB received six Unfair Labor Practice charges against Comcast for terminating five employees and discriminating against one for union activity.
Source: http://www.americanrightsatwork.org/dmdocuments/ARAWReports/NoBargain.pdf

Comcast – Mass. Garage Locations and Approximate # of Technicians Needham 12 Westford 100 Taunton 100 South Boston 100 Fairhaven 50 Northampton 30 Weymouth 18 Fall River 50 Westfield 100 Winchester 100 Norwell 100 Hudson 20 Beverly 100 Plymouth 100 Leominster 80 Lawrence 100 Pocasset 25 Natick 10 North Reading 100 So. Yarmouth 60 Total 1,445

Comcast Workers United
News from IBEW Local 2322 www.ibew2322.com April 26, 2013

Southeastern Mass. techs win union and collective bargaining rights at Comcast!
Fall River, MA -- Comcast technicians at the Fall River and Fairhaven Massachusetts garages have been working together for over two years to win union recognition and the right to sit down with management to discuss improving their wages and working conditions. The techs lost their first NLRB union election in December 2011. With one election behind them, the techs in Southeastern Mass. knew what to expect the second time around. Comcast's use of contractors and changes in technology gave them the determination to stay the course. The techs waited more than a year after their first vote to regroup and rebuild their strength. Then they quickly signed up their co-workers for a second election. Management was stunned when they got notification from the NLRB. And management was even more shocked when a second garage in Beverly, Mass. also petitioned the NLRB for an election! As in the first union election, Comcast management tried to use its near complete access to employees and its power over their work lives to chip away at their confidence. But this time the group stuck together and they were not swayed by the misinformation about unions and pleas for a "second chance" to fix problems without a "third party." When the vote finally took place on April 24, the Comcast workers won their election 49 to 42. It is the first union victory for Comcast workers in Massachusetts. The pending election in Beverly is scheduled for May 8. "The techs from Fall River and Fairhaven have shown that they have the right stuff," said IBEW organizer Steve Smith. "They learned from their previous experience and this time they knew what it would take to win. Now the important part begins: winning a first contract. We are counting on the support from all Comcast union members and the communities in Southeastern Mass. where these workers live to build the support we need to win a good agreement." For updates about the Comcast workers union, visit the Comcast Union Bulletin Board at: http://comcastunion.blogspot.com or call (978) 302-3690.

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