NLRB Issues Complaint Against Verizon’s Unfair Firings, Discipline
May 29, 2012
The IBEW and CWA filed charges at the National Labor Relations Board last year after Verizon fired and disciplined several IBEW and CWA members who participated in a two-week strike in August upon expiration of their contract.
On May 18, National Labor Relations Board Region 2 issued a complaint for 58 of the 63 cases brought by the Communications Workers of America following an investigation of Verizon’s actions. The complaint is the first step of the NLRB process. The board will be meeting with Verizon to discuss a settlement.
While some discipline cases related to the strike have been settled, NLRB charges filed by IBEW locals protesting firings and discipline of Verizon strikers in New England and New Jersey—covered by other NLRB regions—are still pending
Boston Local 2222 Legislative Director Paul Feeney says the firings, some of them taking place months after the strike, were an attempt to scare workers and impose a chilling effect on the unions.. He says:
John Colleran, an 18-year Verizon lineman, a longtime shop steward and executive board member of Boston Local 2222, was terminated three weeks before Christmas.The 53-year old father of two – along with 39 of his East Coast co-workers – received letters alleging misconduct during the strike. Colleran says that the company’s move is nothing but retribution for his union activism.
He was accused by the company of threatening bodily violence, an accusation he denies. He says:
Says Local 2222 Business Manager Myles Calvey:
The NLRB complaint against Verizon is “tremendous news for workers who have faced harsh discipline, even firing, from Verizon, that was completely unwarranted,” says Ron Collins, CWA’s chief of staff.
Jennifer Travis, a 15-year Verizon employee in Pittsburgh, a CWA member, was one of the workers fired last August. She had never been disciplined or written up for infractions. Says Travis: