T-Mobile: We Want Justice, Not Marketing

Pride at Work applauds T-Mobile for putting funds in support of the marriage equality fight in Washington state.  They should.  But if T-Mobile really supported full legal equality, they wouldn’t be fighting tooth and nail against their own workers efforts to form a union and have a voice on the job.

If T-Mobile really supported full equality, they would stop union-busting tactics and let the workers choose if they want a voice at work.  Union contracts are a crucial vehicle for LGBT workers to win vital benefits such as employment nondiscrimination and fully inclusive health benefits that let them support their families with dignity and respect.

We’ve seen this tactic from other companies before: it tells us that T-Mobile is more about marketing than true justice for LGBT people.

T-Mobile should be ashamed for trying to drive union supporters into the closet.  Workers at T-Mobile are so in fear of the company’s illegal tactics, they can’t even safely say the word “union” out loud.   That should not be happening in 2012 in America – or anywhere.

The National Labor Relations Board has found that T-Mobile violated workers legal right to organize.  On behalf of LGBT working people, we call on T-Mobile to put an end to their violations of workers’ rights.  (Click here to learn even more about T-Mobile’s labor practices.)

Pride at Work National Executive Board member Shane Larson (CWA), reports:

“T-Mobile has been reprimanded by the NLRB for its aggressive questioning of call center workers and telling the employees that they could in no way discuss organizing while on company time,

Call Center managers have gone so far as to write down the license plate numbers of employee cars leaving the employee parking lot who have been witnessed taking flyers from union organizers for work performance evaluations the next day.

T-Mobile technicians based in Connecticut, Long Island and Upstate New York seeking to vote on unionization have had their jobs and benefits threatened, been verbally assaulted by managers and further have been forced to sit through anti-union lectures on company time. Managers have also tried to force highly paid T-Mobile engineers into proposed bargaining units in an attempt to dilute the vote of lowered paid workers.

According to the complaint, managers have also told workers they themselves could be fired if there is a positive vote for union representation, as well as telling them anyone not wanting to be in a union would be fired if there were a positive vote for representation. One manager is quoted in the complaint as telling workers; “If the union gets in, I will have to fire anyone who does not want to work in a union. I will have to walk them out the door the same day the union gets in here.” U.S. law clearly states union representation is the choice of the individual worker.

T-Mobile USA management, supported by the German parent company, have engaged specialized anti-union lawyers to block employee’s attempts to get representation from the Communication Workers of America. The website of one of the firms openly advertises “union avoidance” as one of its specialties, listing T-Mobile as a “client it represents on a regular basis”.”

At the same that T-Mobile is putting in some money for marriage equality, they are eliminating jobs and violating workers’ rights.  If T-Mobile was truly about justice for LGBT workers, they would not have shipped over 3,000 jobs overseas at a time when regular working people in the LGBT community are struggling to make ends meet.

On behalf of LGBT workers and our allies, we urge T-Mobile to take action for true justice for LGBT people — put an end to outsourcing workers’ jobs and respect workers’ right to a voice at work.