Embarq/CenturyLink Techs Join CWA in Florida

Embarq/CenturyLink technicians from Winter Park, Fla., won CWA Local 3176 representation, following a Jan. 27 decision by the National Labor Relations Board that their 60-59 election victory should stand.

Technicians voted on Nov. 9, but certification was held up pending an NLRB decision on whether a single challenged ballot should be opened and counted as legitimate. The Board backed CWA's claim that the ballot should not be counted because it was cast by an employee not listed on the company's list of eligible voters.

The company decided not to appeal last week and said it will recognize CWA as the workers' bargaining representative. All other Embarq/CenturyLink technicians in Florida are represented by CWA.

CWA District 3 Organizing Coordinator Liz Roberson credits the victory to the technicians' organizing committee and tremendous support from CWA members from Locals 3716 and 3108, Jobs with Justice activists, and 100 CWAers attending a nearby CWA Telecommunications & Technologies Conference in January. During the conference, CWAers demonstrated outside the Embarq/CenturyLink facility, a real boost to the techs.

Not surprising, management ratcheted up the pressure in the final days before the vote, conducting anti-union meetings and pleading with workers to give them "one more chance." The techs stood strong, thanks to terrific groundwork by the inside committee and lead technician Greg Douglas, who collected 65 membership cards prior to the election.

Bob Campbell, president of Local 3176, the local's executive board, members of Local 3108, and District 3 staff all supported the workers' campaign.