390 Cingular Workers Go Union in Memphis

On August 11, 390 Cingular Wireless call center workers in Memphis, Tenn., gained CWA representation following a card check. More than 74 percent of the former AT&T Wireless workers signed cards supporting union representation. They will be represented by CWA Local 3806, whose president and vice president, Mike Bennard and Robert Santucci respectively, assisted the employees along with District 3 Organizing Coordinator Huge Wolfe.

CWA members working as warehouse employees at Cingular's national distribution center in Memphis played an important role in the victory, meeting with the employees and explaining the benefits of union representation. Two dozen workers made up the employees' inside organizing committee at the call center. Major concerns of the workers are respect and changes in their benefits and working conditions. In January 2006, benefits for all of the former AT&T Wireless employees will be transferred into Cingular's benefits programs for unrepresented employees.

This is the second call center where former AT&T Wireless employees have gained union representation with CWA since earlier this year, when CWA began helping assist the former AT&T Wireless employees get a union. Earlier this spring, call center workers at a Cingular call center in Jackson, Miss. gained representation with CWA. More than 22,000 of Cingular Wireless employees belong to CWA, and the company's merger with AT&T Wireless brought an additional 20,000 unrepresented workers into the company.