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CWAers Speak Out Against Alabama Anti-Union Bill

Nearly two dozen CWA members filed into a state house committee room to testify against an anti-union Alabama Senate bill that would strip employers of state or local economic development incentives for voluntarily recognizing a union. SB 231 is a blanket attack on employer and worker autonomy, forcing employers to engage in divisive, often expensive secret ballot elections, even when a clear majority of workers support union representation.

The bill was created by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a far-right, anti-union “bill mill” that creates legislative templates to be proposed all over the country. Nearly identical legislation has recently passed in Tennessee and is awaiting the Governor’s signature in Georgia.

In the hearing, only three proponents and three opponents were allowed to speak. Amongst those opposed to the bill was CWA Local 3905 President Mustafa Hassan, whose DirecTV call center won recognition for their union once a majority of workers signed union cards.

“AT&T purchased DirecTV back in 2016,” said Hassan. “And it gave us an option to do the card check process. My personal experience is there were no hiccups. It was a smooth situation.” He went on to say, “Prior to us being unionized, people would literally be fired almost every day. We had no rights. We had no say in our metrics and things of that sort. Since then, we've been able to bargain our own contract. We have a say in what we get, we have certain job protections. One of them is we get a certain amount of calls that are guaranteed to come into our center. And that protects jobs for us. Without that, I don't even think our center would be open. Those calls would be going overseas somewhere. So I urge all of you to vote no on SB 231.”

Senator Merika Coleman (D) and Senator Vivian Davis Figures (D), who both serve on the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee, also voiced opposition to the bill prior to it passing out of committee. CWA is also joined by strong allies including the Alabama AFL-CIO, Alabama Arise, and Jobs to Move America.


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