Tower Climbers Union/CWA

The Problem

Tower Climbers and Subcontractors are both getting squeezed by the Carriers and Turf Vendors. We do the work, but the money stays up at the top. Our jobs are dangerous, low paid, and difficult. The Carriers and Turf Vendors have all the power to determine how and when jobs get done, and for how much. Under the current system, Subcontractors take on all the legal responsibility, and take the heaviest financial risk. This whole system puts a downward pressure on wages and profits. 

This current system was created by Carriers, and it benefits the Carriers. This can change; but only if we do something to make that change. It can only change if we organize.

The Solution

Subcontractors and Tower Climbers, Partnering with the CWA Union.

CWA represents hundreds of thousands of workers, mostly in the telecommunications industry. CWA negotiates with AT&T, Verizon, and other big telecommunications companies already. To learn more about CWA, visit here.

CWA, working closely with Subcontractors and Tower Climbers, has created a new program that will improve the industry and benefit both Subcontractors and Tower Climbers.

For the Benefit of Subcontractors

Union-represented Subcontractors get access to funds to offset the high cost of safety trainings. Any unionized Subcontractor will receive a $4,000-per-employee credit to use for safety training at Tower Safety. CWA-represented Subcontractors will also receive a 20% discount on all trainings at Tower Safety on top of the $4,000 subsidy. 

For the Benefit of Tower Climbers

When Tower Climbers organize and Subcontractors sign a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), Tower Climbers get the protections of a union contract. This will include regular wage increases, a dispute mechanism, increased job security, a grievance procedure, and a real voice in safety.

A Real Voice in the Industry

Currently, any political lobbying that is done is for the benefit of the Carriers or Turf Vendors. Neither Subcontractors nor Tower Climbers have their own truly independent organization that can lobby for the needs of those at the bottom of the food chain. As more Subcontractors and Tower Climbers join CWA, we will build a worker-led powerful coalition that can advocate for a real safety apprenticeship program, can lobby for Department of Labor funds for training, and can have a free and independent voice in this very profitable and important industry.

Your Right to Form a Union

The National Labor Relations Act guarantees your legal right to join or form a union without interference, restraint or coercion from your employer. The relevant sections of National Labor Relations Act are summarized as follows on the website of the National Labor Relations Board:

  • Employees have the right to unionize, to join together to advance their interests as employees, and to refrain from such activity. It is unlawful for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights. For example, employers may not respond to a union organizing drive by threatening, interrogating, or spying on pro-union employees, or by promising benefits if they forget about the union.
  • Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) guarantees employees “the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection,” as well as the right “to refrain from any or all such activities.

Workplace Rights and Protections

Have you been injured on the job? Or been stiffed on your hours? As a worker, you have certain rights and protections. Read more to learn about them.

Bienvenido a The Tailgate (el Portón) el boletín quincenal de Tower Climbers Union/CWA (El Sindicato de los Caladores de Torres).

Welcome to The Tailgate, the Bi-Weekly Newsletter of the Tower Climbers Union/CWA.
Edition 1 // June 18, 2022

Last month, 11 employees of QualTek’s Nevada location filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRF) for a union election for admittance to the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union, the first-ever company to ask for representation.
A growing push to unionize across the US is now stretching into the cell tower business.
Approximately 12 QualTek tower technicians are the first group of tower climbers in the United States who have filed for union representation in Henderson, NV. If they’re successful in their efforts, it’s likely they will try to unionize the Pennsylvania-based company’s other construction offices throughout the country.
Tower Climbers at QualTek filed a petition late last week with the National Labor Relations Board for a union election in Henderson, NV. The filing is for admittance into the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union. Inside Towers was sent an internally-circulated letter from the desk of Yonah Diamond, CWA’s Organizing Coordinator.
Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton has been named by Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh as the labor organization representative on the 12-person Telecommunications Interagency Working Group (TIWG). The TIWG was established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to develop recommendations to address the workforce needs of the telecommunications industry as part of the Act’s historic investments in broadband.
“For far too long cell phone tower climbers have been taken advantage of by the big telecom companies who avoid responsibility by subcontracting the work. Workers are often provided with outdated equipment to perform highly dangerous duties without adequate training and very little pay and benefits. We are looking forward to working with Tower Safety and other partners in the industry to ensure tower climbers have a voice on the job.”

Become a Member of TCU/CWA

In twenty years, people will look back at the founding of the Tower Climbers Union/CWA as an important historical event. Members of TCU/CWA will get to say that we were there on the ground floor, at the very beginning of the movement. 

  • A TCU/CWA Member lapel pin with our logo
  • A TCU/CWA Member sticker
  • A Membership certificate signed by CWA President Chris Shelton
  • A TCU/CWA Member t-shirt
  • Free legal information on wage theft
  • Free information on health and safety issues in telecom
  • Invitations to Member meetings to help plan the direction of the union
Become a member today! Visit here to learn more.

Contact Us

Interested in learning more information about a Tower Climbers Union with CWA? 
Have you been injured on the job, or stiffed on hours, and want to learn more about your workplace rights?

Yonah Camacho Diamond
(510) 325-2170
[email protected]

Learn how a union with CWA could benefit both Tower Climbers and Subcontractors