"This has been a long time coming," said Tatiana Hill, who has worked for Verizon Wireless for three years. "Most of us feel like we've been a real asset to this company and we all really value our jobs, but we want to be appreciated as well. That's what this is all about. Everyone is really fed up with the current working situation and conditions."
Hill said that employees want a voice in the company because an executive in an office on the 50th floor just doesn't understand the day-to-day retail environment and customers like they do.
"Everyone is really strong and happy," said Hill. "It's frightening at times, but there's so much passion. That's a big motivator in why we're fighting so hard." Workers in all seven stores have been wearing red CWA wristbands to work every day in a show of solidarity.
But Verizon Wireless is pushing back. Though workers filed for an election two weeks ago, management has delayed it twice. The company has also hired two separate union-busting law firms - Jones Day and Kauff McGuire & Margolis, the very firm Cablevision used in its attempt to stop the NLRB's prosecution of unfair labor practices.
Now both sides are headed towards a pre-conference hearing on March 31. CWA Local 1109 also is working on the campaign. CWA currently represents 80 Verizon Wireless technicians in the metropolitan New York area.