T-Mobile Workers Open First National Field Office in Wichita

T-Mobile Workers United (TU) opened its first field office in Wichita, Kan., on July 25, 2016 to support the growing momentum and energy of the union's organizing campaign at T-Mobile US and MetroPCS. The new office will be a place where workers can learn more about TU and members can ramp up their efforts to improve call centers, retail stores, and other facilities.

Lothar Schröder, George Kohl and Angela Melvin cut the ribbon on the new field office.

"T-Mobile workers in Wichita are ready for a seat at the table, and the opening of this Local office is proof of the momentum of our campaign to come together as workers and collectively bargain with our employer," said Angela Melvin, a customer service representative at T-Mobile's call center in Wichita. "We have come such a long way in building our union at T-Mobile, and I know there is much work to be done. I cannot wait to see what the building of this union has in store for us!"

Germany's largest union, ver.di, represents workers at T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom. In a great show of support, ver.di leaders traveled to Kansas to join TU Chief Stewards from across the country, TU Local 6457 members, Wichita politicians, community leaders and CWA activists attending the ribbon cutting.

"Ver.di and CWA have been working in solidarity and friendship together for many years," said Lothar Schröder, a ver.di union leader and vice-chairman of the Deutsche Telekom Supervisory Board. "Forming TU in 2008, we made an important and unique step for the global labor movement in furthering our international union cooperation. Now with the opening of the TU field office in Wichita, we continue on this path. Ver.di and I are committed to do what it takes so that T-Mobile workers can freely decide whether they want to join a union to have a voice in the workplace."

Read more:

Fortune: T-Mobile Workers Press Unionization Drive in Kansas.

Wichita Business Journal: Union trying to organize T-Mobile opening first nationwide office in Wichita.

TU members and allies celebrate the grand opening in Wichita.

US MEMBERS OF CONGRESS SEND LETTER TO GERMAN GOVERNMENT REGARDING T-MOBILE

Lead by Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI), 14 members of Congress signed a letter to the petition committee of the German parliament, the so called Bundestag, as the committee is dealing with a petition about labor rights at T-Mobile.

The German government partially owns Deutsche Telekom, which in turn partially owns T-Mobile. Ver.di, the union that represents Deutsche Telekom workers in Germany, submitted a petition to the Bundestag, asking the government to ensure that T-Mobile respects labor and human rights.

The letter lays out the many issues with T-Mobile: how the company systematically and continuously breaks labor law, silences workers from speaking out about working conditions and also sexual harassment and other discrimination and what a devastating and chilling effect that has on workers, who are trying to organize. 

The letter concludes with making clear why the German government needs to care about T-Mobile's practices.

Read the letter here: http://bit.ly/1O3SnCJ

 

Give T-Mobile Workers Their Holidays Back!

T-Mobile has always prided itself on taking work-life balance seriously--but now the company is poised to force customer representatives in some locations to work on Christmas Day.

All T-Mobile workers want for Christmas is to be able to spend this special time with their families and loved ones, like most families across America.

But it's not too late to do something about it. Please stand with us by signing and sharing this petition asking CEO John Legere to make work on Christmas day voluntary everywhere.

Last year, T-Mobile had to change mandatory work to voluntary work everywhere after thousands of people signed our petition. This clearly shows that our actions make a difference! Please help us to change this family-unfriendly policy once again.

Click here to sign and share this petition to help us deliver a message: make work on Christmas Day voluntary everywhere, not mandatory anywhere!

Thank you and happy holidays!

T-Mobile: Silencing Workers about Sexual Harassment

When a T-Mobile employee complained to human resources that she was being sexually harassed by her supervisor, the company’s response was shocking. T-Mobile told her to just stick it out and threatened to fire her if she discussed the situation with her co-workers.

This is unacceptable. We are calling on T-Mobile to change its illegal corporate policies that abet this abysmal behavior and to protect its workers from sexual harassment. T-Mobile must make changes to ensure that something like this never happens again.

T-Mobile’s corporate policies prevent workers from talking to each other or outside parties about problems at work like sexual harassment. Other rules forbid T-Mobile workers from talking to each other, the news media and even government agencies about the terms and conditions of employment.

In March, an administrative law judge ruled that gag-order policies against workers at T-Mobile across the country are illegal.  The judge ordered T-Mobile to rescind these policies, notify workers that the policies were illegal and are rescinded, and inform workers of their rights to speak out about working conditions. To date, the order has not been followed.

The company claims that the ruling was “about a technical issue in the law that relates to policies that are common to companies across the country.” and that no worker was actually negatively affected or harmed by them.

Angela’s story shows that this not true.  These gag-order policies put workers at risk everyday.

Angela Agganis spent nearly eight years as a customer service representative at the T-Mobile call center in Oakland, Maine. When she complained to human resources that her new supervisor repeatedly touched her inappropriately, the company told her to stick it out until she could switch supervisors, forced her to sign a confidentiality agreement and warned her that she could face discipline up to and including termination if she talked about the harassment with any of her coworkers.

Angela did not agree with being silenced. She refused to give away her right to talk about working conditions or continue working for the supervisor that she feared. So she resigned.

In August 2015, another judge found that T-Mobile violated U.S. labor law when it forced Angela to sign that confidentiality agreement and threatened her with discipline if she spoke about the matter with her co-workers.  Unfortunately, the judge ordered T-Mobile to correct this policy and notify workers of their rights in only two locations.

T-Mobile should do the right thing - and let workers know in all its locations across the country that this policy is unlawful. The company should rescind this policy and let its employees know they have the freedom to speak out – to each other, to allies, and to the government – about sexual harassment and other conditions of employment.