August 23, 2002

Workers Rally to Protest Genesis Communications in Otay Mesa

Genesis Communications International, a leading provider of local and long distance telecommunications services to the Hispanic market; who employ more than 200 people that specializes in delivering competitive telecommunications services, announced record first quarter earnings with an eight-fold increase in EBITDA over the same period last year. In addition, Genesis experienced continued revenue growth in 2001 with gross revenue expanding to nearly $29 million.”

Yet, despite the continue growth and claim that they not only invest heavily in their technology but their people as well, a group of 17 employees address their concerns pertaining to working conditions with Genesis’s management at the telemarketing center located in the Otay Mesa area in July 2001.

The issues they raised included: The company provided only one bathroom facility for each gender; The employees had to provide their own toilet paper, soap and towels to dry their hands; The employees took turns cleaning the bathroom facility; The work positions were infested with ants, fleas and cockroaches, yet the cleaning personnel would only clean the managers’ offices.

According to Linda Sexton, vice president of the Communications Workers of America, what happened next was an injustice to the workers: “They were called into the office the next day and all 17 employees were suspended for three days. When the 17 employees returned to work on the fourth day, they were all fired. After 6 months of trying to find justice for what happened, they were directed to the Employee Rights Center in San Diego. The Employee Rights Center accepted their case and filed NLRB charges against Genesis for illegally terminating the 17 employees. In May 2002, Genesis agreed to have the 17 employees return to work and are still in the process of negotiating the employees’ back pay with the Employee Rights Center and the NLRB.

“Upon returning to work on June 10th 2002, wages had been reduced from roughly $11 per hour to minimum wage of $6.75 per hour and commissions were harder to obtain. A few weeks later, Genesis informed the employees that they were shutting down the Call Center and moving the center to Tijuana because the cost of labor was too high. However, the managers at the Otay location told all the employees that the company was closing the facility because the 17 employees had made waves, embarrassed the company and had an organizing drive under way at the plant.”

“Workers have the right, in the State of California, to address unsafe and unhealthy working conditions at their work place without fear of retaliation from their employer”, stated Ms Sexton, “for Genesis to claim that they respect the Hispanic customers and their community, but yet disrespect their own Hispanic workers and treat them as if they are in a third world country, is just another example of ‘Corporate Greed at its finest’. We wish to expose Genesis Communications for what it really is. We want Genesis not only to explain their justification for the plant closure to their customers, the media, elected and appointed officials in San Diego, but to all workers in San Diego.”

Toward this end there will be a “JUSTICE FOR WORKER’S RALLY, Monday, August 26 2002, 1:30 to 3:30 at the Otay Mesa Faculity..Paseo Del Las Americas, 805 South to 905 East (6 Miles), Left on Siempre View Rd. right on Paseo Del Las Americas (Commerce Bank Bldg).

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