Verizon Wireless retail workers in Everett and Lynnwood voted in favor of forming a union with the Communication Workers of America on Friday, CWA announced.
The decision comes in response to years of what the employees claimed was “retaliation by senior management and poor working conditions, including understaffing and unlivable wages,” according to a news release.
The workers plan to bargain for a wage more consistent with rising costs of housing, as well as fair scheduling and improved work-life balance.
“We showed Verizon that their scare tactics won’t work,” said Austin Hitch, a specialist at Verizon. “We know our worth, and it’s time we have a seat at the table and have our voices heard. We hope that our success shows our fellow Verizon Wireless workers across the country that their voice matters, and when you stand united you can do great things.”
The first union with CWA for Verizon workers was formed in 2014 in Brooklyn, New York City, when corporate executives with Verizon launched an aggressive anti-union campaign at retail stores.
The local Verizon workers say that they felt encouraged by the organizing efforts of workers at companies like Starbucks. Last month, a Starbucks in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood became the first on the West Coast to unionize.
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