March 2010

Comcast Workers Choose IBEW Local 827
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After a difficult organizing campaign filled with management misrepresentations and attempted union busting, Comcast technicians in Fairfield, N.J., elected to be represented by the IBEW.

The NLRB-administered vote Feb. 25 and 26 signals a sea change in the way the company's installation repair technicians are standing up for their rights on the job, said East Windsor Local 827 Organizing Chair Jason D'Errico.

"The win is groundbreaking for these workers," D'Errico said. "This is their first step towards gaining a collective bargaining agreement. The Comcast workers have stood strong against this multibillion-dollar giant."

International President Edwin D. Hill said he looks forward to a solid working relationship with the company, anticipating that the upcoming telecom Code of Excellence training will help send the message that the 70-person unit is committed to displaying continued professionalism on the job.

"Hopefully this victory will open the door for a better understanding between the IBEW and Comcast and a new approach using the Code of Excellence as a format for a better working atmosphere for our current and future members," President Hill said.

Leaders say they hope this win will have a ripple effect, setting a precedent for future efforts. IBEW Telecommunications Director Martha Pultar said this it is a good sign for the prospects of more than a dozen other Comcast campaigns from New England to Washington and Oregon.

"It shows how much can be accomplished when workers stick together," Pultar said.

Local 827 represents more than 7,000 employees at various companies throughout New Jersey, including Verizon, AT&T, Avaya and others. The local also represents Comcast workers at Pleasantville and Toms River.

"This victory is another example of how the union movement ensures that more and more hardworking Americans maintain footing in this slippery economic climate," President Hill said. "The stronger our numbers, the better we can advocate for working men and women in this ever-changing industry."

IBEW leaders say the February election in New Jersey may serve as a harbinger for future relations between business and management.