NJ Public Workers, Indiana Telecom Workers Join CWA

Workers in Berlin Township, N.J., who work for the public works department, won union representation with CWA Local 1040 through majority sign up.

Fearing possible layoffs and cutbacks in health care, the unit of 19 workers contacted CWA after talking with union members in nearby Berlin Borough.

Despite widespread worker support, township management contested the workers' right to a union and tried to challenge the authenticity of the cards. Managers used threats to scare workers, warning them that layoffs would occur and a bonus would be rescinded if the union was voted in.

The state's Public Employee Relations Council rejected management's claims and recognized the bargaining unit.

In Indiana, telecom workers at Hancock Telecom and Central Indiana Telecom, two small companies with the same owner, voted for CWA representation in separate NLRB elections. The workers will be represented by CWA Local 4900. Three years ago, the owner divided the company to prevent workers from forming a union.