So I get a lot of e-mails from CREDO Mobile because I do some of their political action items. I appreciate most of their politics.
But I also get a lot of ads from them about switching to their wireless service. Last time I looked into it they didn't service my area, so I didn't switch.
But despite the politics of the people who control AT&T, its workers are unionized, which means a lot to me to know that those workers have a real say in the determining the conditions under which they work.
Almost as important to me is the fact that union workers are on the whole more class conscious and thus more politically active than non-union workers (mostly because non-union workers are too busy ducking and covering).
To me this means that while some of my money goes into the pockets of stockholders of AT&T who, on the whole disagree with me politically, my money also goes to unionized workers, their families, their communities, and their political activities.
Turns out CREDO isn't unionized. In fact, this is what they had to say about it in reply to my e-mail to them:
Thank you for your interest in CREDO Mobile’s stance on unionization. Our underlying provider for telecommunications service is Sprint. While some Sprint local service workers are represented by the CWA, the wireless division is not unionized at this point.So can anyone make sense of what "our underlying provider for telecommunications service is Sprint" means?
I am not aware of any current organizing efforts by the CWA aimed at Sprint workers, but in the past we have been very supportive of CWA's organizing campaigns at Sprint. We have written to Sprint's President in support of the right to organize. Should new campaigns develop, CREDO Mobile will keep the pressure on Sprint to promote fair labor practices.
CREDO Mobile is adamantly in favor of the right of workers to organize, and we wholeheartedly support the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Our philosophy is that all employees should be represented by a union of their choice, or none if they prefer. At this time our employees have not chosen to unionize. We have funded organizations that promote workers' rights -- Jobs with Justice, Nine to Five and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, to name a few. Additionally, in our funding for civic rebuilding in Iraq we included protections for trade unionism as key to democratization.
Through our activism, we have supported union efforts including the San Francisco hotel lockout (in conjunction with Unite HERE), the national struggle to protect overtime pay for workers (with the AFL-CIO), the Gallo Wine boycott (with the UFW), the post 9-11 fight to put the federal government in charge of security screeners (with SEIU), passing the EFCA, and of course raising the minimum wage.
This is what they had to say about AT&T and its unionized workforce:
AT&T is the only unionized wireless carrier in the US. About 20 years ago, we tried to partner with AT&T, but they didn’t like our politics. Today, we don’t like theirs. We would love to have a union partner in our wireless business – until we do, we’ll keep supporting pro-worker nonprofits and policies, while AT&T funds union-busting politicians like Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, who demonized public workers and stripped them of their rights.Now, from this comment it is clear to me that I don't like AT&T's politics either. But two nickels says that the people who control AT&T don't like the politics of the CWA and its members either.
Two more nickels says that the reason why the vast majority of Sprint – and therefore CREDO – workers aren't unionized has something to do with the fact that the people who control Sprint don't like CWA's politics either.
So you thoughts are welcome. To me it reveals some of the major contradictions of capitalism. In my mind, the best result is the one that brings the biggest number of politically organized working-class people together, which in this case happens to be in the unionized workplace at AT&T.