NLRB alleges Verizon violated law in Washington, as retail workers in Illinois vote to form a union with CWA
Adding to the nationwide worker momentum at US retail stores, Verizon Wireless retail workers in Oswego, IL voted to form a union with CWA in an official National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election. With a seat at the table, Verizon workers in Oswego are looking to secure better working conditions, including respect on the job, fair compensation and good benefits, adequate staffing levels, and a safe work environment. The six Oswego workers, who successfully pushed back against the telecom giant’s aggressive union-busting tactics and retaliation, add to the national wave of union organizing at Verizon Wireless retail stores. They will join thousands of telecommunications and customer service workers as members of CWA, including Verizon Wireless retail workers in the Seattle area who won a union election with CWA in April 2022 and Verizon Express workers in the Portland area who joined CWA in August 2022.
Oswego workers' decisive win in the face of Verizon’s aggressive union-busting comes after the NLRB issued a formal complaint in November alleging Verizon violated the law by illegally firing Jesse Mason, a former Specialist at Verizon Wireless’ Seattle Northgate and Aurora Village retail store locations, for engaging in union activity earlier this year. The NLRB is seeking a remedy by asking the company to reinstate Mason, provide him with compensation for lost wages and consequential damages, and issue a letter of apology for terminating his employment in an act of retaliation. The complaint also finds evidence that management at Mason's retail location misled and intimidated workers in an effort to discourage them from organizing, including threatening to withhold benefits from employees if they voted for a union.
In total, CWA has filed five ULP charges with the NLRB against Verizon Wireless on behalf of retail workers in or near Seattle, as well as additional charges on behalf of Verizon Wireless workers at two stores in Portland, Ore. In addition to the charge related to Mason’s illegal termination in Seattle, charges include issuing unfair dress code violations, disciplining workers for speaking out on low staffing levels, and other instances of retaliation and efforts to undermine union membership.
CWA urges the FTC and the DOJ to take into account in merger review guidelines the role of collective bargaining in counterbalancing employer market power