Do you know all the facts about your cable company?
That’s what local Comcast employees from the International Brotherhood of Eletrical Workers (IBEW), Union 21, are asking every Wednesday morning as they picket at Mason Square.
Jeff Ptack, who works out of the Oswego Comcast office, said the union has been working without a contract since April 30. He said the picket is about respect as much as anything else.
“This is our career choice,” he said, holding a sign one recent early Wednesday morning. “They want us to view it as just a job. It’s not.
“We’re at the bargaining table, but the pace is not moving,” he said.
In response to the picket, Comcast media spokeswoman Angelynne Amores said, “We continue to bargain in good faith and hope to come to a resolution soon.”
A business representative from IBEW, Jerry Rankins, said they are still yet to reach an agreement and “Comcast is short-changing us. Because we’re union, Comcast is penalizing us.”
“They are coercing our employees to transfer to nonunion shops,” said Rob DeLong, a line maintenance technician. “They are depleting the work force.”
The IBEW 21 spans Oswego, West Chicago and Wheaton areas. DeLong said the union is picketing at each location ever Wednesday morning until a contract is negotiated. The union marched in a Labor Day parade in Wheaton to distribute flyers about their plight.
“We’re not stopping work though,” said Oswego Comcast employee Lisa Hart, handing off her picket sign as she went to clock in to work at 7 a.m. “We just want everyone to know what is happening.”
DeLong said many of the nonunion technicians Comcast is employing aren’t fully trained and aren’t actually Comcast employees, but contracted workers.
“My main issue is just being treated fairly,” said Comcast employee Henry Mayzes.
Until that resolution is reached, Comcast employees will be picketing every Wednesday at the entrance to Mason Square.