The Tower Climbers Union/CWA Local 9424 is a union of tower hands building power in the tower industry to win much-needed improvements. We are a pre-majority union. That means that we are organizing for power, regardless of if the bosses recognize our union through a union election or if we have a union contract.
Our industry was designed to prevent tower hands from organizing for power and forming a union. Those with the most power — the wireless carriers and tower owners — call all of the shots, but take no responsibility for work done in their name. They blame all issues on the GC’s and subs that are our employers of record.
The way our industry is structured makes it difficult to organize what you may think of as a traditional union through a union election and then bargaining a union contract with an employer.
Because of this, we need an industry-wide approach to building power, instead of just organizing each shop one-by-one. We will win union contracts where we can, but the big picture strategy has to involve everyone working together to demand change.
We believe that we are stronger together and collective action is better than individual efforts to win change.
Pre-majority organizing is actually how all unions started out. Before there were laws protecting workers with a union, workers would join together anyway to demand improvements on the job and in their communities. In order to win basic rights such as the minimum wage, the 8-hour day, and the weekend, workers:
- Marched on their bosses
- Pressured employers in their communities
- Participated in political lobbying
- Went on strike
Today, other unions are also taking the pre-majority path to organize in their industries. Just two examples are The Texas Workers Alliance and the Alphabet Workers Union, who represent Google employees.
What we can do now to build power and make change:
- Taking direct action together. For example, we went to the Verizon and Crown Castle Shareholders Meetings to demand a meeting with the CEOs to discuss safety.
- Using social media and the press to call out bad behavior by the wireless carriers and tower owners
- Passing legislation to improve our industry and working with elected leaders to help in our fight
- Community building and making sure we have each others’ backs
- Bargaining strong union contracts where we can
All of this requires us to keep organizing more and more tower climbers to join the fight. There is power in numbers.
We need you to join us. Sign up here to become a member of CWA Local 9424, and join the struggle.