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News:

Broadband Companies Had Millions of Fake Comments Sent to the FCC Supporting Elimination of Net Neutrality Rules  

Shortly after becoming President, Donald Trump appointed Ajit Pai to be the Chairman of the FCC.  One of Pai’s first priorities was to eliminate many of the Net Neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration.  Pai touted millions of public comments that were received by the FCC supporting the repeal of these Net Neutrality rules.  However, according to the New York Attorney General’s office, many of those comments were fabricated.  Several broadband companies had outside firms generate millions of fraudulent public comments to the FCC to make it appear that the proposal to repeal the Net Neutrality rules had significant public support.  Those companies are being fined and directed to take steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen in the future. 

9th Circuit Upholds NLRB's Ruling on Bad Faith Against Altura

 The 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling on bad faith bargaining and impasse in a case involving Altura Communications and IBEW Local 21.   Some of the findings from the original Board ruling include:

 -Collective bargaining is not simply formal meetings between the Parties to state their respective positions.  Both sides must come to the table with the “ ultimate goal” of reaching an agreement with the other. 

-Altura’s proposals that demanded significant control of nearly all terms and conditions of employment were clear evidence of bad faith.

-If the union had accepted Altura’s proposals, the union and the employees would have had less rights than if they had no contract at all.   

-Altura’s proposals included significant limitations on the union’s right to grieve and arbitrate violations of the agreement. 

-Altura improperly demanded that the union have its members vote on their “last, best, and final”.

-Altura improperly refused to respond to any union proposals after they made their “last, best, and final” offer.





 


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Telecommunications

Director: Robert J. Prunn

202 728-6160
Telecommunications@ibew.org


About The Telecommunications Department:

Since its invention in the 1870’s, the telephone has become essential to our everyday life. Over the last 150 years, technology has revolutionized how we communicate with the rest of the world. Beginning in 1897 with the first local union of telephone operators, the IBEW has always been committed to servicing and advancing the telecommunications industry.

IBEW members are involved in all aspects of the field from telephone, to cable and satellite television, to wireless systems. Employees erect telephones lines, run lines into buildings, lay cables, install, maintain, and repair equipment, and service the community. As new means of communications are developed, they will continue to grow with the industry.

Through negotiated collective bargaining agreements with communications companies across the United States and Canada, the IBEW Telecommunications Department ensures that the rights of its 50,000 members are protected and that their interests are represented.It also helps strengthen local unions through training, research, and organizing.



 



NLRB/FCC Updates

NLRB Rules Employer Must Supply Subcontractor Agreements to the Union

The NLRB has issued an award in the DirectSat v. IBEW 21 case ruling in the Union’s favor.  The award requires DirectSat to supply the Union will a “full, unredacted” copy of its contract with DirecTV (referred to as a “Home Service Provider” agreement).  The Board said that because DirectSat made a proposal which referenced this Home Service Provider agreement, the Union was clearly entitled to it.

NLRB Overturns Union Organizing Win for Minor Voting Delay

In the attached unpublished NLRB ruling (Bronx Lobster v. Machinists), the Board overturned the majority vote of employees of Bronx Lobster who voted 14 to 12 to unionize.  The rationale for setting aside the vote was that there was a 7 minute delay in opening the polls.  There were 4 employees in the unit who didn’t vote.  The Board ruled that even though there was absolutely no evidence that the delay caused any of these 4 not to vote, it still had the “potential” to “disenfranchise” these 4 employees.  The Board used this to justify ruling against the union since had those 4 employees voted against the union, the employer would have prevailed.  Interestingly, the Board Agent running the election was the one who caused the 7 minute delay. 

NLRB Rules Union Does Have a Right to “Overscale” Wage Contracts

The Denver Musicians’ Association has a contract with the Colorado Symphony that allows individual musicians to negotiate a wage rate above the rates in the CBA.  After an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a higher wage with the employer, one of the musicians filed a complaint with the Union because she believed the employer’s offer was unfair and was less than wages being paid to other male musicians.  The Union requested a copy of all “overscale” contracts from the employer.  The employer refused on the basis that the Union waived its right to information because it agreed to allow individual employees to negotiate their own wages.  The Board ruled that a waiver of any bargaining rights by the Union (which includes the right to information) must be “clear and unmistakable” and cannot be inferred because the Union waived its right to bargain “overscale” wages.