Director: Martha Pultar
About The Telecommunications Department:
When Alexander Graham Bell received the first ever telephone patent in 1876 he probably did not recognize the dynamic industry he was helping to create. In fact, the telecommunications industry has proven to be one of the most challenging and evolutionary industries in the United States and the IBEW is proud to say that we have played a vital role in helping to make this industry a success since as early as 1897.
The Telecommunications Department oversees contracts covering 100,000 highly skilled and sought after IBEW workers employed by the nation’s telecommunications industry. Our members have helped implement the ever-changing technology that is currently deployed by the telephone companies, cable television industry and wireless enterprises. They install, maintain and repair the switches, multiplexors, transmission equipment and associated emergency generating equipment required to keep the communications network viable. The new age of communications and entertainment is having a profound affect on every aspect of our lives, and only with the expertise of IBEW members can the technology thrive. The IBEW represents thousands of customer service representatives and operator services employees throughout the industry. These IBEW members experience a great sense of accomplishment working with the sophisticated equipment that links these various communication formats, while enjoying the protection and advantages contained in several hundred collective bargaining agreements.
The IBEW Telecommunications Department also provides local unions assistance with national negotiations, local union negotiations, legislation, health care initiatives, training, research and organizing.
IBEW members can be confident that as this industry continues to evolve, the brotherhood will be there in force to ensure that our members are there meeting the challenges of the future.
AT&T/DIRECTV Organizing and Negotiations
In July of 2015, AT&T completed its purchase of DIRECTV. The IBEW System Council Telephone-3 (SCT-3) has a card check agreement which allows employees of a newly purchased entity to organize through a card check and neutrality procedure. The IBEW engaged in an aggressive, nationwide effort to organize these workers and by May of this year, we had organized over 3,000 workers. These workers included technicians, call center employees, warehouse workers, and clerical employees. In June of this year, the SCT-3 with assistance from the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Department entered into negotiations with AT&T to bargain a first contract for these workers. By mid-July, a tentative agreement was reached which included significant improvements to benefits, pensions for all employees (including new hires), and job security protections. In mid-August the tentative agreement was overwhelmingly ratified by these workers.