The industry is just not working. In particular, it’s not working for tower hands, who are struggling to make a living, as we risk our lives to make sure the country stays connected. Tower Climbers, as well as Subcontractors, are getting squeezed by the Carriers, Turf Vendors and Tower Owners. We do the work, but the money stays up at the top. Those at the top have all the power to determine how and when jobs get done, and for how much. Under the current system, the large corporations get their product and avoid any accountability. Subcontractors take on all the legal responsibility, and take the heaviest financial risk. This whole system puts a downward pressure on wages and profits.
This current system was created by Carriers and Tower Owners, and it benefits them. This can change; but only if we do something to make that change. It can only change if we organize.
Building an organized voice, a Union voice, for tower technicians. Only through unified, collective action, can we take on the fight to change the industry. One or two of us alone cannot change the industry. But thousands of us, working with the country’s major telecommunications union, the Communications Workers of America, can make a difference.
CWA represents hundreds of thousands of workers, mostly in the telecommunications industry. CWA negotiates with AT&T, Verizon, and other big telecommunications companies already. To learn more about CWA, visit here.
For the Benefit of Tower Climbers
CWA has chartered a new, national Local with jurisdiction for all workers employed in all tiers of the telecommunications tower industry. All unions are collective efforts, and there is strength in numbers. When workers join CWA Local 9424, they are building power by increasing the number of tower hands in the fight to improve the industry. Additionally, Local 9424 members receive membership benefits, including free and discounted training opportunities, discounted services in numerous areas, and financial and wellness benefits.
For the Benefit of Sub Contractors
CWA, in partnership with tower subcontractors and state and federal officials, are in the process of creating a union apprenticeship program for the industry. CWA has set aside funds to assist in the program's design and implementation. If you are a subcontractor interested in participating in a joint committee for a Tower Technician Apprenticeship program, contact us using the form below.
An Independent, Worker Voice
Currently, any political or regulatory lobbying that is done is for the benefit of the corporations at the top of the industry: Carriers, Tower Companies and large Turf Vendors. Tower Climbers lack our own truly independent organization that can lobby for the needs of those at the bottom of the food chain. As more Subcontractors and Tower Climbers join CWA, we will build a worker-led powerful coalition that can advocate for a real safety apprenticeship program, can lobby for Department of Labor funds for training, and can have a free and independent voice calling for much-needed changes to this very profitable and important industry.
The National Labor Relations Act guarantees your legal right to join or form a union without interference, restraint or coercion from your employer. The relevant sections of National Labor Relations Act are summarized as follows on the website of the National Labor Relations Board:
- Employees have the right to unionize, to join together to advance their interests as employees, and to refrain from such activity. It is unlawful for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights. For example, employers may not respond to a union organizing drive by threatening, interrogating, or spying on pro-union employees, or by promising benefits if they forget about the union.
- Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) guarantees employees “the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection,” as well as the right “to refrain from any or all such activities.
Workplace Rights and Protections
Have you been injured on the job? Or been stiffed on your hours? As a worker, you have certain rights and protections. Read more to learn about them.
Become a Member of TCU/CWA
In twenty years, people will look back at the founding of the Tower Climbers Union/CWA as an important historical event. Members of TCU/CWA will get to say that we were there on the ground floor, at the very beginning of the movement.
- A TCU/CWA Member lapel pin with our logo
- A TCU/CWA Member sticker
- A Membership certificate signed by CWA President Claude Cummings Jr.
- A TCU/CWA Member t-shirt
- Free legal information on wage theft
- Free information on health and safety issues in telecom
- Invitations to Member meetings to help plan the direction of the union
Interested in learning more information about a Tower Climbers Union with CWA?
Have you been injured on the job, or stiffed on hours, and want to learn more about your workplace rights?