Letter of Support from New York State Senator John Mannion
I am writing to express my strong support for the organizing rights of the Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) workers who are seeking to unionize and join the Communications Workers of America.
As the Chair of the State Senate Standing Committee on Disabilities, I often hear from disability advocates how necessary supportive services are in order to live a dignified and fulfilling life. These CSD Telecommunications Relay Service Operators provide an essential service for d/Deaf and hard of hearing individuals to communicate. Their work fulfills CSD’s mission to advance opportunities for d/Deaf and hard of hearing communities.
It is our understanding that the workers have formed a union—CWA-CSD Workers United, and are now asking for legal recognition to bargain with CSD management to institute binding structures that address existing and future workplace challenges. Workers are looking to collectively bargain for fair wages and raises, job security, and a voice at work.
Workers have the desire and the right to form a union with a free and fair union election process. I urge you to sign a neutrality agreement and recognize the union when an independent third party verifies that a majority have signed union authorization cards. Management should not create any unnecessary obstacles to these workers having a voice in their workplace.
John W. Mannion
50th Senate District