Neutrality Agreement Between Verizon Wireless and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) 

Spotlight on 'Card Check' and 'Neutrality Agreements'

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Neutrality Agreement Between Verizon Wireless and the Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Frustrated that workers are not voluntarily choosing to join or be represented by unions, Big Labor has turned to organizing employers, and imposing unionization on employees from the top down, often without the knowledge or consent of the effected workers.

As part of this nationwide effort, the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO (CWA) has signed a "neutrality agreement" with Verizon Wireless. Under the neutrality agreement, Verizon Wireless employees may find themselves handed over to the CWA, since such neutrality agreements purposefully make it "easier" for the CWA to gain representation rights.

The exact provisions of this agreement are a closely guarded secret. However, based on prior experience with neutrality agreements, provisions are believed to include:

  • No Secret Ballot Election: Workers are denied the ability to vote on CWA representation through a secret ballot election. Rather, union operatives are allowed to sign up workers under a "card check" authorization scheme. Once CWA officials sign up a majority of the workers, the company will automatically declare the CWA the exclusive representative of all the workers, even those who did not sign a card. In "card check" unionization drives, workers are often misled, harassed, or threatened into signing union authorization cards.

  • Access to Information: Verizon Wireless must provide CWA operatives with access to company facilities and to personal information about non-union employees, including their home addresses. Armed with a company-provided list of the names and addresses of each employee, CWA organizers can conduct home visits to pressure employees to sign union authorization cards. Workers often report that they are harassed and misled by union operatives during such home visits.

  • Gag Rule: Verizon Wireless, including its managers and supervisors, is forbidden from saying anything negative about the CWA or unionization during an organizing drive. Employees are only permitted to hear one side of the story: the version CWA officials want employees to hear.

If CWA can successfully cause a majority of Verizon Wireless employees in a facility to sign union authorization cards, the CWA automatically becomes the "exclusive bargaining representative" of all employees, even those who did not sign a card and do not desire such "representation."

Employees' rights of free choice are sacrificed and lost under such coercive neutrality agreements. Instead of being able to freely choose for themselves whether they desire union representation through a secret ballot election, Magna employees are having unionization imposed on them from the top down by the joint efforts of union officials and management.

Unless the facility is in a Right to Work state (click here for a list of Right to Work states), all employees will undoubtedly be forced to pay hundred of dollars in dues and fees to CWA each year or be fired from their jobs. The union cannot be removed (decertified) for at least one year or during most of the three-year life of a collective bargaining agreement.

Employees' rights of free choice are sacrificed and lost under such coercive neutrality agreements. Instead of being able to freely choose for themselves whether they desire union representation through a secret ballot election, Verizon Wireless employees are having unionization imposed on them from the top down.

The Foundation has established a Neutrality Task Force to help employees who find themselves forced (or potentially forced) into unwanted union representation as a result of these devices. The Foundation stands ready, willing and able to help employees who are victims or potential victims of these schemes. The Foundation wants workers to know that they cannot be forced or pressured or harassed into signing union cards. Workers who wish to request legal assistance may write us, call us toll-free at 800-336-3600, or send an e-mail message to legal@nrtw.org. Address your request for assistance to Legal Department.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in more than 300 cases nationwide.


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