Congratulations to Our New Brothers & Sisters
January 29, 2014
Today, forty-seven workers in Mokena, Illinois employed by DirectSat USA, a subcontractor for DIRECTV, voted to join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 21 (IBEW 21). Their quest for respect on the job and better working conditions began during some of the hottest summer days we experienced last year. It’s fitting that their victory today occurred during one of the coldest weather streaks we have ever experienced.
These workers were fed up with their employer’s unfair compensation system where one day they may take home enough to make ends meet while the next day they are lucky to earn minimum wage. They were tired of long hours away from their families, mistreatment by management and a CEO who only cares about his own bottom-line. They wanted to make a change. The only way they knew they could have a voice at work was by joining IBEW 21.
View more victory photos by clicking here!
Last fall, these brave workers filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to join our Union. Management responded by firing one of the leaders, who was vocal about the need for unionization. They thought the firing would silence the workers. Management was wrong. It fired them up! Without one of their most vocal leaders the workers turned up the heat.
Managers held many captive audience meetings where they told their employees they shouldn’t form a union because they wouldn’t be able to change things at DirectSat. The CEO flew to Chicago several times to stop the uprising. These Brothers and Sisters stood up, fought back and formed a Union.
We congratulate our new members. While today’s victory was a great achievement, the fight has just begun. All of us must stand together and assist our new members as they enter negotiations for their first contract; a contract their CEO said won’t make a difference in how they are treated. These workers have already proven nothing will stand in their way. It’s our solidarity that WILL make a difference!
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