Sunday, May 28, 2006, 02:56 AM
Saturday, May 20, 2006
By Keith Roberts
email@example.com -- 768-4922
Employees of Call Center HR, a Jackson collection agency that works with utilities, are trying to unionize.
Employees started a petition drive this week to seek representation from Truck Drivers Union Local 164, an affiliate of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Once enough signatures are collected, the employees can vote to form a union.
Alan Sprague, union president and organizer, said the employees want what most employees want -- better wages, benefits and working conditions -- but declined to discuss specifics.
"We're going to help them get a contract that will hold up in a court of law," Sprague said. "However long it takes, we'll be there for them."
Sprague said the employees are trying to unionize all eligible employees, which he estimates at 300 to 500.
He said most of the workers he has talked to make between $6.50 and $7 an hour and could pay more than $100 per paycheck for family health insurance.
Barbara Lawrence, human resources director for the company, 209 E. Washington Ave., declined to comment.
A memo to employees dated Wednesday said organizers "can make the union sound very good to the uninformed" but urged employees not to be taken in by the union and its "campaign promises."
"We sincerely believe that the best interests of all employees at CCHR are served by remaining union-free," the memo said. "If we have problems, we believe that the best alternative is to work them out face to face."
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