after our sickout, an expression of collective discontent and a protest
of our working conditions, CapTel admin have announced that we will be
given 15 extra minutes of aux time per shift. For an 8-hour shift this
means that ~91% adherence is needed to avoid discipline. CapTel Workers
Union has had a stated demand for a 90%-adherence requirement in our
five-point platform from day one.
Let’s keep pushing forward for
$15/hour, our other demands, and workplace democracy. Let’s remember
that this break from the normal austerity that governs our workdays can
be ended by the whim of admin at any time. The boss’s promises are just
words; a union contract is set in stone.
Today, March 18, 2020, IWW members at CapTel engaged in a sickout at both the Madison and Milwaukee offices.
CapTel workers at Milwaukee are demanding a living wage – defined as $15 an hour – as part of their five-point platform which they have been advocating for since 2014, which includes: 90 percent adherence policy, better equipment and maintenance, transportation compensation of $10 per week, and a voice in how the company is run with union representatives given access to mediate conflicts.
Similarly, CapTel workers in Madison are demanding $15 an hour and a defined, compensated sick leave plan.
At the moment, CapTel workers in Madison are now able to call off sick without receiving any penalty, but are uncompensated. One worker stated that, “We’re afraid that we are essentially being forced to go into work during the coronavirus spread, when others aren’t. If we are quarantined and can’t go to work, we’ll be late on rent. We don’t want to be treated like we don’t matter.”
CapTel workers are
classified as Telecommunications Service Priority Level 3, the same
level given to that of state and local police and fire departments, but
are paid at much lower rates than other emergency workers.
volumes throughout shifts have increased as a result of COVID-19,
increasing process times for emergency responses. Without a pay
increase, turnover rates could continue to rise, affecting both the
workers and consumers. We call upon CapTel to meet these workers’
demands and support their workforce during these troubling economic
On Valentine’s Day some members of the union distributed cookies frosted to say $15.
One of the union members was approached by HR and told he could not do this because it was solicitation. He said “no, it’s organizing” and was left alone.
FOS Nate was seen
ripping up one of the placemats we made. Our placemats featured a
picture of Helen Keller, a famous labor rights activist and member of
the IWW. There can be no better illustration of the disgusting greed and
hypocrisy that CapTel embodies than a member of admin shredding a photo
of the deaf and blind woman they namedrop constantly while trying to
garner positive PR.
The fact that CapTel could be so threatened
by Valentine’s Day sugar cookies simply shows how scared they are of the
union. They are right to be scared. Their lies, repression, and
propaganda cannot keep the workers down.
We are going to win and they know it.