After two years of talks, ADT workers running out of patience
TACOMA (Jan. 22, 2019) — More than 80 low-voltage electricians who work for ADT Security Services, installing and servicing security systems throughout Western Washington, have been in negotiations for a new contract for nearly two years. Their union, Electrical Workers (IBEW) Locals 46 and 76, remains in mediated negotiations with ADT management to replace the ADT contract that expired in June 2017.
All they are asking for is a fair wage increase and to maintain their benefits.
“We have bills to pay and families just like everybody else, and we just want to do our jobs and get fair compensation that values the work we do,” said Jeremiah “J.D.” Dunn, an ADT electrician and shop steward. “I’m passionate about this, not just because it affects me, but because all of us deserve fair treatment.”
The union members are frustrated because the negotiator for ADT has proposed nothing but takeaways.
“It just feels like the company doesn’t want to bargain in good faith,” said ADT electrician and shop steward Ken Ellison. “Negotiations are supposed to be about give and take. But for nearly two years, they haven’t wanted to give. They just take.”
For example, ADT’s negotiator reportedly tried to use Washington state’s new paid sick leave standard, which requires all employers to allow workers to earn sick leave, as an excuse to reduce sick days from ADT’s expired contract to the new state minimum. Although ADT has since backed off that demand, it was representative of takeaways that the company continues to propose in other areas.
“I enjoy my work and I like the people I work with. We all want to help each other,” said Ellison, who will celebrate 20 years of service with ADT this month. “It’s not the company that’s bad. It just feels like it’s one person sitting on their side of the bargaining table who’s trying to flex his muscles.”
James Wilson echoed that sentiment, saying he has loved working for ADT and they have always treated him well — until recently.
“Back in 2005, I got deployed and ADT paid me like I was working 40 hours a week for a year. They didn’t have to do that but they did. And I made sure our customers knew that was the kind of company they were hiring,” Wilson said. “But now, we feel like we’re stuck with this one guy (ADT’s negotiator) who seems intent on busting the union. It’s frustrating.”
The union is continuing to work with ADT to get a fair contract. The next mediation is scheduled for Feb. 6. But as negotiations continue to drag on, frustration is growing among the company’s hard-working electricians.