Employees at Missoula’s DirecTV call center are expected to become unionized this week. Resolution Specialist Ben Dawson has been a DirecTV employee in town for nine years, and says AT&T representatives have already given a date when they expect workers at the facility to join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

"April 21st will be the day that AT&T's HR team said will be the day that we would be recognized as a bargaining unit," Dawson said. "But the work is not done, because then you transition from working to collect support cards... you do gain a lot of rights on day 1 that your unit is recognized, but you have to go into negotiation."

At the forefront of the employees push for unionization is more flexibility when it comes to work hours under the new management rules brought by AT&T last July. Dawson says that work schedules and pay will be discussed during the bargaining process.

"After looking at the surveys that we've been doing, scheduling is definitely at the top of people's concerns. I see a lot of support from almost everyone of our coworkers about having a quarterly bidding process as opposed to a bi-weekly process. [As to pay], there have been questions about what a Missoula agent makes as opposed to an agent in Denver or in Tulsa, Oklahoma."

To become a union, the 653 employees at DirecTV in Missoula needed to get 327 support card signatures. Dawson says the final tally was 338.