Puerto Rican Telephone Workers Vote to Affiliate with Office and Professional Employees International Union
Aug 20, 2013 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) --
The Office and Professional Employees International Union, AFL-CIO announced the affiliation of the Independent Union of Telephone Workers, an employee bargaining unit employed by Claro Puerto Rico telephone company.
According to a release, the new group will be known as OPEIU Local Union 1971.
"The ten to one vote to affiliate demonstrates real confidence in OPEIU and its ability to strengthen the voice of these workers in collective bargaining," said OPEIU International President Michael Goodwin. "This affiliation is based on UIET and OPEIU's common goal of improving the compensation and working conditions of members.
"UIET came to OPEIU following the company's imposition of terms and conditions that eliminated the union security and dues check-off provisions. OPEIU will now help UIET reach an agreement with the company that would include restoration of both provisions for all 2,000 employees."
UIET will continue to exist as an autonomous labor organization, administrating its own business, but will be assisted by OPEIU in building the organization through organizing, collective bargaining, and legislative and public relations support.
The new members will also be entitled to the OPEIU Membership Benefit Program, including scholarship eligibility and the AFL-CIO's Union Plus benefits.
"OPEIU has been a leader in the use of membership benefits to organize new members, and these benefits were a big part of what attracted UIET to affiliate," said Goodwin. "Many unions provide some membership benefits, but OPEIU initiated the idea of providing numerous benefits as a loyalty membership award and as a means to attract new members. It's proving to be an extremely valuable tool in these organizing efforts."
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