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CWA on Strike

Caution Regarding Mobilization Effort at Verizon Wireless Stores

August 12, 2011

From International President Edwin D. Hill

As you may be aware, the AFL-CIO is planning a mobilization effort over the weekend (Aug. 13-14) that will involve leafleting and/or picketing at Verizon Wireless stores across the US. CWA represents a unit of Verizon Wireless employees in New York who are on strike. IBEW Local Unions currently are on strike against Verizon Communications and not against Verizon Wireless. Because the IBEW is not on strike against Verizon Wireless, any activity by IBEW members at Verizon Wireless locations that is deemed to be picketing or is deemed to be coercive or threatening (because of large numbers of demonstrators or words that may be said or excessive noise) could be the basis for a lawsuit against the IBEW and/or IBEW Local Unions for engaging in unlawful secondary activity. While the IBEW supports CWA in its strike against Verizon Wireless, any participation by IBEW members in mobilization efforts at Verizon Wireless locations would subject the IBEW and its Local Unions to great financial risk. A resulting lawsuit for unlawful secondary activity could result in a costly award of Section 303 damages. As a result, I am directing IBEW Local Unions and members focus their efforts at locations where the IBEW is on strike and not engage in any activity at Verizon Wireless stores.