Workers at controversial public safety app Citizen are forming a union.
Employees of Citizen’s central operations department — a group covering 69 people, including workers who send out public safety alerts based on 911 calls and user reports — filed with the National Labor Relations Board in September to hold a union election, according to NLRB records.
The workers are unionizing through the New York branch Communications Workers of America, which also represents employees of telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon.
A Citizen spokesperson told The Post that the company is against the union drive.
“We are best positioned to address challenges and grow together as a Citizen team without meddling from an outside union,” the spokesperson said. “We support our mission-driven high-performance team with above market compensation, full benefits, stock options, and career opportunities for all employees, and will continue to take steps to improve on any support offerings that may be needed.”
It’s unclear what exactly prompted the union drive and CWA spokesperson Beth Allen declined to comment, but former Citizen central operations employees have griped to The Post that their jobs involved working odd and grueling hours.
One ex-operations worker said they would sometimes be scheduled for 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. shifts one day, then 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next. Supervisors refused to give the worker steadier hours, taking a toll on their personal relationships, the former employee said.
Another ex-operations worker said they lost 12 pounds over a matter of months while working for Citizen due to stress associated with frequent overnight shifts.
“It was taking a toll on my physical and mental health,” the employee said.
Vice reported that interest in a union at Citizen gained steam after the company’s founder and CEO, Andrew Frame, put out a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a male arson suspect in Los Angeles, urging employees to “FIND THIS F—K” in internal messages — before finding out that the man with a bounty on his head was innocent.
The union drive only covers Citizen’s central operations department, according to NLRB records. That means that other workers — including Citizen’s “street team” members who are paid $25 an hour to run around the city live-streaming crime scenes — are excluded.
Published on: Article source