Puerto Rican Telephone workers affiliate with OPEIU

The UIET set up camp in front of Claro's Guaynabo headquarters as drawn-out collective bargaining agreement continue. ( The UIET has set up camp in front of Claro’s Guaynabo headquarters as drawn-out collective bargaining agreement continue. (Credit:

The Independent Telephone Workers Union, a 2,000 employee bargaining unit employed by Claro Puerto Rico known as the UIET, has voted to affiliate itself with the Office and Professional Employees International Union.  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 said. “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 to exist as an autonomous labor organization, administrating its own business, but will be assisted by OPEIU in building the organization through organizing, collective bargaining, and legislative and public relations support.

The new members will also be entitled to the OPEIU membership benefit program, including scholarship eligibility and the AFL-CIO’s Union Plus benefits.

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