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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.
"Verizon's acquisition of TracFone as it stands today could harm millions of low-income families during a pandemic," said CWA Senior Researcher Brian Thorn. "The FCC has a responsibility to step in and ask what Verizon will do to protect consumers from further consolidation of the wireless industry."
The FCC will reimburse eligible carriers $50 per month ($75 per month on Tribal lands) to provide discounted broadband service and $100 per eligible household reimbursement for a connected device.
To win regulatory approval, T-Mobile promised that the merged company would be job positive "from day one."
"We love our jobs, we love working at Glitch, which is why we wanted to ensure we have a lasting voice at this company and lasting protections. This contract does that, and I hope tech workers across the industry can see that unions and start-ups are not incompatible," said Katie Lundsgaard, a software engineer at Glitch.
"Ensuring that all Americans have access to utility services during this pandemic is too important to be left to the discretion of individual utility companies," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "Essential workers have been on the job throughout the COVID-19 crisis making sure that households and businesses stay connected to energy, water, and communications services. We need a national moratorium on utility shutoffs so that service providers hold up their end of the bargain."
AT&T and Frontier fought for nearly two years to prevent the public release of the report finding that they allowed their copper networks to deteriorate over the last decade.
The Connect America Fund Phase II auction awarded $505.7 million to CenturyLink to deploy broadband to 1.17 million homes and $283.4 million to Frontier to deploy broadband to 659,587 homes by December 31, 2020.
The fees cover Frontier’s general network expenses but are not included in advertised rates when a customer signs up for service.