February 11, 2015
By Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council
As a member of the Nation’s largest regional Labor federation, and a card-carrying union member, I know first-hand about the benefits of ensuring that workers have a voice in the workplace. That is why I proudly support the proposed agreement between AT&T and DIRECTV to join forces and welcome the workers of both companies under the union umbrella.
For years, AT&T has respected their employees’ right to make their own choice regarding union representation. AT&T’s proposed merger with DIRECTV would extend the same respect to thousands more employees, allowing them the bargaining rights and benefits afforded to our brothers and sisters in the Communications Workers of America. It is perhaps for this very reason that labor groups across the country, including the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, support this potential merger.
Consider that on average, union members’ wages are 27 percent higher, and benefit from better working conditions than their non-union counterparts. Union labor built this country, and we need to expand the right to representation to as many American workers as possible.
The expansion would also bring much needed relief in the form of cost savings for customers. By combining resources, these two companies would create healthy competition among cable and Internet providers, which could apply downward pressure on the cost of cable, broadband Internet, and voice services.
Another bonus for users: service and reliability would be held to a higher standard across the board, forcing all providers to improve their services. From all economic angles, this just makes sense.
Who wouldn’t like to relax at home after a long day’s work, and stream an episode of their favorite show from Netflix or Hulu right from their laptop or television? And, who wouldn’t like to enjoy high-speed broadband Internet without breaking the bank? Now more than ever, Internet access is a necessity, and it is imperative that more New Yorkers have access to this valuable resources.
Through this deal, AT&T and DIRECTV would be able to offer real work benefits, less expensive options and improved Internet for its current users and many new ones. This merger would be good for workers and businesses. Let’s make it happen!