New York, NY (August 14, 2013) – The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO announces the affiliation of the Independent Union of Telephone Workers (UIET), a 2,000 employee bargaining unit employed by Claro Puerto Rico telephone company.
“The 10 to 1 vote to affiliate demonstrates real confidence in OPEIU and its ability to strengthen the voice of these workers in collective bargaining,” said OPEIU International President Michael Goodwin. “This affiliation is based on UIET and OPEIU’s common goal of improving the compensation and working conditions of members.
“UIET came to OPEIU following the company’s imposition of terms and conditions that reduced healthcare coverage,” Goodwin continued. “OPEIU will now help UIET reach an agreement with the company improving conditions for all 2,000 employees.”
UIET will continue to exist as an autonomous labor organization, administrating its own operations, but will be assisted by OPEIU in building the organization through organizing, collective bargaining, and legislative and public relations support.
The UIET members will also be entitled to the OPEIU Membership Benefit Program, including scholarship eligibility and the AFL-CIO’s Union Plus benefits.
“OPEIU has been a leader in the use of membership benefits, which are all available to UIET members,” said Goodwin. “Many unions provide some membership benefits, but OPEIU initiated the idea of providing numerous benefits as a loyalty membership award.”