Skip to main content

CWA Local 1168 Members Rally Around Fired Worker

On March 3rd, CWA Local 1168 members and allies braved a massive rainstorm to come out in force and tell the Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center (OPV) that CWA won’t stand for union-busting!

OPV workers voted last year to join CWA 1168 in order to fight for vital changes to their workplace. Workers have faced severe staffing shortages that have led to burnout and inability to adequately care for their animal patients, and have been working to bargain their first union contract ever since - but they’ve been faced with extreme union-busting from management as the employer tries to weaken the union and entice the workers into dropping CWA altogether.

The rally was sparked by the firing of Mary Nowicki, a Licensed Vet Tech who was at the forefront of the organizing efforts last year and has been an active union member ever since. Despite never receiving any disciplines or complaints, Nowicki was fired earlier this month, even after her quick thinking and hard work recently saved the life of a dog patient at the office.

"No disciplines the whole time she has worked here,” said CWA 1168 President Cori Gambini. “But as soon as she got involved with CWA, organizing and being an advocate for her coworkers and for the pets that they take care of, is when the discipline started.”

CWA has filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board, and several Western New York legislators have spoken up in support of Mary and the OPV workers, including NYS Senators Tim Kennedy, Sean Ryan, and Patrick Gallivan, NYS Assemblymember Karen McMahon, and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.