On Friday, August 7, PG&E Computer Client Field Analysts (CCFAs) overwhelming voted to join IBEW 1245. Turnout was a record high. Of the 53 eligible voters, 52 cast ballots in the NLRB sponsored election, with 47 voting yes (90%) and 5 voting no. There were no challenged or voided votes.
The vote culminated a five-month organizing drive that began when Braden Warrender, a PG&E CCFA working in San Ramon, reached out to IBEW 1245 organizer Jennifer Gray. “Originally, it started when I read about SoCal Edison outsourcing its entire I.T. Department,” said Warrender, who has worked for PG&E for two years.
Warrender helped develop and lead the Volunteer Organizing Committee (VOC) which was comprised of eight co-workers from across the PG&E territory. He and the VOC worked closely with Gray, IBEW Local 1245 Organizer Jammi Juarez and IBEW International Organizer Rick Thompson. IBEW 1245 Senior Assistant Business Manager Joe Osterlund was instrumental in answering an array of questions as would-be members evaluated the prospect of joining IBEW 1245.
The VOC educated their co-workers and turned out the unprecedented vote, taking seriously the advice from Juarez and Thompson that “It’s up to you.”
“It was inspiring to see workers from numerous areas, with different issues and various tenure, come together and decide to take charge of their work lives,” said Thompson.
Warrender and co-worker and VOC member Alfreda Smith observed the vote count, which took place at the NLRB Region 32 Offices in downtown Oakland.
“I feel relieved,” said Warrender after the votes were counted. “We put in a lot of work.”
Alfreda Smith, a 36-year employee at PG&E’s General Offices in San Francisco, said “I feel great! I’m really happy for the CCFAs.”
“I’m retiring soon,” Smith added, “but after I leave, CCFAs will have a voice in what happens. This is a victory for the workers who will be here in the future.”
Shortly after the results were announced, IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell spoke to Warrender and Smith by phone, welcoming them to IBEW 1245 and congratulating them and the VOC for “taking control of your lives.”
“We respect PG&E’s decision to provide IBEW 1245 the opportunity to present information and letting its employees decide what is best for them,” Dalzell added.
–Eileen Purcell, IBEW 1245 Staff Organizer