Congressmen Blast Verizon Wireless Union Fight
Telecom Policy Report, May 4, 2005
Verizon Wireless has drawn fire for alleged union-busting practices recently from some 113 members of the House of Representatives who sent a joint letter to Verizon to protest what they believe are anti-union activities at the carrier’s mobile operations. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) led the group in expressing concern about workers’ complaints that the ILEC had led the charge at its wireless arm in a campaign to undermine employees’ right to organize.
“We are troubled by what appears to be a corporate-sponsored policy of union avoidance at Verizon Wireless,” stated the letter to Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg, who also chairs the Verizon Wireless board. “We understand that the company has been the subject of several national Labor Relations Board complaints over activities meant to thwart employee organizing efforts, with additional charges of unfair labor practices currently under investigation.”
The letter has been circulating around numerous press, political and union circles, with charges that Verizon management had mounted a top-echelon lobbying effort against Rep. Miller – the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce – and that they allegedly threatened House members with a loss of investment in their districts.
The issue also has been brought to the Capitol Hill press corps; news briefings on Verizon Wireless included AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, Communications Workers of America President Morton Bahr, and company workers who met with senators and representatives from their home states.