STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — October 18, 2014. On Saturday, the newest members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1102 – the EZ Pass Call Center workers – rallied on Staten Island in support of their union’s upcoming contract talks with Xerox.
The newest members of CWA Local 1102 work at the EZ Pass call center for New York State, located on Staten Island. The call center provides customer support for EZ Pass subscribers.
Six years ago the workers voted for union representation, which improved their working conditions, but the situation at the call center rapidly deteriorated after Xerox implemented a piecework scheme called “achievement based compensation.” Customer Service Representatives are paid approximately 87 cents per call. This, combined with frequent computer breakdowns – resulting in slowdowns, means workers struggle to earn $15 an hour.
The union enjoys significant political support. Politicians at the rally included New York State Senator Diane Savino, the Assemblyman representing Staten Island, Michael Cusick, representatives from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office, and representatives from the Working Families Party.
Commenting on a recent decertification election, which failed to unseat the union, State Senator Diane Savino told the workers, “It’s never about your hourly pay, but the stripping of your rights. They want you to say, this union’s doing nothing for me. Never allow them to convince you that you can do better on your own.”
“Achievement based compensation benefits the company but not the workers,” said shop steward Daniel Quinones. “If you have one bad call 30 percent of your pay is docked…We need an hourly pay rate.”
View Photos From The Rally
Roy Murphy and Thomas Altfather Good are members of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981