August 19, 2013
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), has announced the affiliation of the Independent Union of Telephone Workers (UIET), a 2,000 employee bargaining unit employed by Claro Puerto Rico telephone company. The new group will be known as OPEIU Local Union 1971.
"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 eliminated the union security and dues check-off provisions," Goodwin continued. "OPEIU will now help UIET reach an agreement with the company that would include restoration of both provisions for all 2,000 employees."
UIET will continue as an autonomous labor organization, administrating its own operation. OPEIU will assist in their organizing of new members. OPEIU will also provide collective bargaining, legislative, public relations support. In addition, new members will be entitled to the OPEIU Membership Benefit Program, scholarship eligibility and the AFL-CIO's Union Plus benefits.