Union Tells Picket-Crossing Worker to Pay Up

The Communications Workers of America says the strike by its Local 1400 occurred at the only unionized Verizon Wireless store in Massachusetts.

BRENTWOOD, N.H. (CN) – A year after winning raises for Verizon workers in a nationwide strike, the Communications Workers union has brought a court complaint against one of its own who crossed the picket line.

Nearly 40,000 workers walked off the job in mid-April 2016 after Verizon failed to reach a labor agreement with the two unions representing its landline and cable workers – the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communications Workers of America — eight months after their contract expired. 

CWA’s Local 1400 spent the six-week standoff outside a Verizon store in Lowell, Massachusetts, but filed suit last week against one woman who ignored the order to strike.

The May 3 complaint says Barbara Tucker, of Merrimack, New Hampshire, joined its ranks in 2012 and apologized to her union brothers as she crossed the April 14 picket line.

“Tucker continued to work throughout the strike and earned considerable compensation including regular time compensation, overtime compensation, incentive compensation and health care and other benefits,” the complaint states.

Verizon meanwhile canceled the health coverage of striking employees in late April. To cover the cost of its members’ medical care until the strike ended, the Communications’ Workers union and the IBEW had to dip into a relief fund.

The union says it held a trial on Tucker in September, and its randomly selected trial body of Local 1400 members imposed a fine against Tucker of more than $24,000.

Saying she has refused to pay the amount due, the union wants a judge to intervene.

Citing its offices in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the union filed its case against Tucker in Rockingham County Superior Court.

Tucker’s old union is represented by Peter Perroni of Nolan Perroni in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Perroni forwarded a request for comment directly to the union, which did not respond by deadline.

The court docket does not include contact details for Barbara Tucker or her counsel.