The dreaded ‘shoulder tap’. The tech and telecom industry are constantly changing. When companies invest in their workforce, workers adapt to those changes and grow with the company. Unfortunately, it is more common at Lumen to lay off existing workers and replace them with lower paid new workers. Mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies characterize the telecom and tech industries, adding to job insecurity. Lumen itself has dozens of predecessor companies. What can we do about it?
By standing together as workers, we can fight for and win real job security by taking action at work and with local, state and federal government.
Wages, Healthcare Costs, and Working Conditions
We are essential. Treat us like it. Our health care costs keep going up. Workload is often unmanageable. We face micromanagement, poor leadership or unfair discipline for failing to meet unreasonable standards. For some, starting pay is too low or wages stagnate. Safety, always an issue in the field, is a bigger issue for technicians and others during the pandemic. Yet Lumen quarterly profits reported in November 2020 were up over $50 million over the previous year’s quarter. During the pandemic, the company is making bigger profits from the hard work of Lumen workers.
Unity and A Voice at Work
Power in numbers at work. There are over 40,000 Lumen workers in the US. Around 10,000 of us are members of the Communications Workers of America. We helped build this company and we want to be a part of its future. Yet Lumen is engaged in anti-union activity which seeks to weaken workers’ collective voice. These efforts lower standards for all workers. We ask Lumen to stop union busting and instead to commit to working cooperatively with us to improve conditions for all at Lumen.
Support for unions among Americans is at an all-time high. We see tech workers organizing in an industry where executives have long resisted worker unionization. See the union formed in January 2020 by workers at Google. And the Campaign to Organize Digital Workers (CODE/CWA). We know that a voice at work is needed and together we can build it at Lumen.