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Hundreds of IBEW Yellow Pages Employees on Strike


May 25, 2012

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After enduring threats of arbitrary layoffs and outsourcing, hundreds of IBEW members in seven western states who sell advertising for the Yellow Pages went on strike May 5 to protest management’s unfair labor practices and failure to bargain in good faith for a new contract.

The members of San Francisco Local 1269 say that employer Dex One Corp. – which publishes Yellow Pages directories and runs the search engine Dex Knows – broke the law when they attempted to coerce workers into quitting the union and interfered with employees legal rights. Local leaders filed several charges with the National Labor Relations Board early this month.

Three hundred and fifty employees have formed picket lines outside Dex One company offices in Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

“We have attempted by every means possible to obtain a fair contract over the last six weeks,” said Local 1269 President/Assistant Business Manager Casey Lewis:

These dedicated workers deserve a fair and reasonable contract that gives them basic job security from outsourcing and layoffs, but the company has not bargained in good faith.  Under Dex One’s last offer, all of our jobs could be outsourced at the company’s whim.

As experienced sales professionals, our members take pride in what they do to competently service our customers. If our skilled sales force is outsourced and replaced, our livelihoods and service to the customer will suffer.

Members are also concerned with winning fair severance language in their contract  and assurances that work will continue to be assigned to members in a manner consistent with past practices.

Dex One responded to the strike with threats of hiring temporary or permanent replacement workers if the IBEW members refuse to come back to their jobs. Lewis said the company wants to send the IBEW members’ work to lower-paid third-party businesses and other vendors.

“We’ve moved a long way in the company’s direction, and all we’re asking in return is  to get a reasonable assurance that the company won’t outsource our jobs – but Dex One won’t do it,” Lewis said:

These sales reps work in local communities and have close-knit relationships with local businesses. We’re trying to tell the company that we don’t want them to send these jobs to people who don’t know our customers. We know our clients. We  live nearby, go to school together and go to church together

These workers aren’t asking for more money or  more benefits – they just want to maintain their relationships with their customers and continue providing good service.

Working family allies are encouraged to take action. Click here to send an email to Dex One CEO Alfred Mockett telling him to say no to laying off workers and outsourcing middle-class jobs.

For more information, visit www.ibew1269.org.


Photo used under a Creative Commons License from Flickr user Jamiesrabbits.