A single telephone call from a former IAM member to District 947 Organizer Felix Osuna led to a series of meetings that culminated in 204 DirectTV installation technicians voting to join the IAM.
“Following the initial contact, I set up a meeting with three of the technicians,” said Osuna. “I explained the organizing process and asked each of them to bring another person with them the next week, when I repeated the process. Eventually, we had meetings with 50-60 DirecTV technicians attending.”
The new members, who are employed at the DirecTV facility in Rancho Dominguez, CA, expressed concerns about a wide array of employment issues, including unfair discipline, job security, simple dignity and respect and poor compensation. The campaign for representation was aided by a very strong local committee that met weekly with Osuna, and kept all employees involved and informed.
“This is a great win for the Western Territory,” said Western Territory GVP Gary Allen who congratulated Directing Business Representative Richard Sanchez and Organizer Osuna. “We’re very proud that a former member spoke highly of his IAM experience, and opened the way for 204 new members to enjoy the benefits of an IAM contract. This was a team effort, including staff from Districts 725 and 190, as well as the entire staff of District 947 and members of the Western Territory staff.”
The group is multi-ethnic, and includes Latino, African-American, Caucasian, and Asian-American workers. “This has been a difficult industry to organize, and I am pleased with the hard work that Felix put in to bring this victory to the IAM,” said DBR Sanchez. “We couldn’t have done it without help from the other Districts in the area, but it all began with a former member who was proud of what the IAM did for him.”
“We’re breaking into a new industry,” said GVP Allen. “The IAM has the right message, and the right experience to help these workers gain the fairness they deserve. Special appreciation is also extended to Calixto Tapia, Joe Young and Larry Olinger of District 725, as well as Al Lopez and Kevin Kucera of Local 1484 in District 190.”