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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.
“[W]e have to understand where communications fell short, where recovery took too long, and what changes can be made to make our networks more resilient before the next unthinkable event occurs,” said FCC Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel.
“As the state moves forward with its aggressive and laudable plans to ensure all Californians have access and the means to use broadband and wireless services, we must also collaboratively discuss the quality of those services,” said Amy Yip-Kikugawa, Acting Director of the Public Advocates Office.
“The company would prefer to work with all contractors,” said Frontier technician Tom Gardella to the LA Times. “[But] the contractors aren’t as invested as the employees. We’re in it for the quality because we’re in this for the long term. They’re in it for the piece-work.”
A petition calls on Google to “immediately pay back all Temps, Vendors and Contractors (TVCs) who have been knowingly underpaid by Google” and to “create an immediate path to permanent employment for temporary workers and end its two-tiered perma-temp system.”
The strike authorization vote gives the union the ability to strike at any moment, if needed.
CWA entered into effects bargaining with AT&T as a result of the announced spin-off of its US video services into a stand-alone company co-owned by AT&T and TPG Capital, a private equity firm.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted 5-0 to proceed with an inquiry into Frontier’s investment plans in Minnesota and its impact on service quality.