Business Manager Tony Sapienza
N.U. Call Center Workers Look to Join IBEW 1837
Customer Service Representatives at the Northeast Utilities Manchester Call Center are making a bid to join IBEW Local 1837, but Company representatives are pulling out the stops to try to thwart the campaign. More than 150 employees at the Center take customer calls for PSNH, Connecticut Light and Power and Western Massachusetts Electric, answering calls about billing and service for the electric utilities owned by N.U.
The Call Center workers have challenging jobs and work long hours, especially during storm restoration. They’ve cited a pattern of unfair, embarrassing and inconsistent treatment by managers for some employees while others get the benefit of obvious favoritism. They’re fed up with it. They want to join IBEW Local 1837 to make sure they get the respect and voice in the workplace they deserve.
N.U. has responded to the effort by calling in senior management from Connecticut and subjecting their employees to a series of anti-union meetings led by the Company’s lead attorney and Director of Customer Experience Operations while local managers look on.
Although the Company insisted that they wanted workers to have “all the facts,” they were not willing to provide workers with information or a presentation by the Union. One Customer Service Representative called it a “total intimidation technique.” N.U. has suggested that IBEW may lie to them and issue fines if they join the Union. Many workers left the meetings confused and upset after listening to nearly an hour of misleading statements, half-truths and distortions.
With anti-union meetings likely to continue, IBEW 1837 is urging union members to support and encourage these Call Center workers in any way that they can. If union members need to call PSNH with a billing or service question, they can their Customer Service Representative that they support their campaign to join IBEW. But these workers probably won't say much in return. All of their calls are recorded and may be listened to by N.U. management.
Click here to see the special section of our website is dedicated to news and information for the Call Center workers.