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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.
CWA members have been ramping up their mobilization efforts to strengthen their power at the bargaining table and improve their working conditions. During Valentine’s Day, hundreds of members signed virtual “Valentine” cards calling on AT&T to “show the love for a fair contract.”
“The infrastructure bill’s multi-billion dollar broadband investment provides enormous potential for the deployment of reliable networks and the creation of sustainable jobs for US workers,” said Shane Larson, Senior Director of Government Affairs and Policy at CWA. “When determining how to most effectively allocate this funding, the NTIA needs to consider the existing structure of the broadband labor sector, especially the issue of subcontracting.”
A supermajority of customer service workers at BDS Connected Solutions, a contractor for Google Fiber, signed union cards to join the Alphabet Workers Union and filed with the National Labor Relations Board for a representation election.
“We formed the Game Workers Alliance (CWA) because my colleagues and I want to have our voices heard and we want to see changes that reflect the wants and needs of both the gaming community and the workers who create these incredible products. It’s extremely important that workers have a real seat at the table to positively shape the company going forward,” said Brent Reel, QA Lead at Raven.
The TIWG was established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to develop recommendations to address the workforce needs of the telecommunications industry as part of the Act’s historic investments in broadband.
The extended agreements include annual wage and pension increases, keep healthcare cost share percentages at their current levels, and protect employment security.
There is currently a vacant seat on the FCC, and without a full commission it will be difficult to advance the policies necessary to expand affordable broadband service to the millions of American families left on the wrong side of the digital divide.
This is the first time management has attempted to cancel Christmas break for the workers who are organizing to build power and join their AT&T IHX colleagues in other areas in forming a union with CWA.