After repeated incidents and multiple grievance filings, the members walked off the job in protest. As a result of the strike, the supervisor has been temporarily suspended.
Dubbed “the most dangerous job in America,” tower climbing involves scaling towers to perform inspections and tests, handle repairs, and install equipment ranging from antennas, amplifiers, and fiber optic cable, to lighting systems. The major carriers who build and own the towers often farm out the maintenance work to contractors like Qualtek.
The report, “What Lies Beneath,” focuses on Google Fiber, a high-profile company that relies heavily on contractors, and offers a deep dive into contracted out work.
The town hall comes less than two weeks after an overwhelming majority of wireless tower climbers at QualTek in Henderson, NV, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for a union election.
“The BEAD requirements effectively address many of our concerns about the failure of past programs to bring reliable, high speed broadband and good, union jobs to rural and underserved communities,” said Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton.
A new video from More Perfect Union highlights the challenges that workers at Verizon Wireless stores in Everett and Lynnwood, WA, are facing in the workplace and why they are forming a union with CWA to address them.
The workers, members of the Tower Climbers Union/CWA, are the first group of tower climbers in the United States who have filed for formal union representation.
“We are forty-five minutes or so down the road from the fifth largest metropolitan area in the country and we have very poor broadband,” said Democratic Congressman Tom O'Halleran, speaking to the more than 30 attendees who were enthusiastic about the event and the prospects of broadband expansion in the state. He added, “People in rural America need to be part of the knowledge-based economy.”
Representatives from CWA and IBEW testified in support of the MNPUC’s continued monitoring of Frontier’s investment plans. Frontier recently announced that it would reduce the number of technicians who perform installation and repair functions for customers.
CWA’s comments offered an updated analysis of the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, which closed in April 2020, as an example of consolidation that allowed the combined company to degrade customer service while eliminating jobs.
Employed across two Verizon stores in Everett and Lynnwood, WA, these workers are going up against labor laws that favor employers and aggressive anti-union tactics by the company.