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On Monday, Kitsy Higgins, a striking CWA member at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, met with Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California, at his invitation, for a conversation on the importance and timeliness of passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. Higgins, who works in advertisements for the paper, shared that for the last 172 days she and her coworkers have been on strike because the newspaper's owner, Block Communications, refused to keep affordable healthcare for workers and instead made a proposal to replace it with a plan that would cost $16,000 more in deductibles.
“As a mother, who cares for two sons full-time, it felt like such an unreasonable ask from a company whose owners are multi-millionaires. For them, a $16,000 deductible is a drop in the bucket. But, for a working family like mine, one major health incident could cause a financial strain,” said Higgins. "The PRO Act would protect our right to strike so that we can stand up and defend our basic rights and ability to make a living,” she added.
Kitsy Higgins, a striking CWA member at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was joined by her kids in a meeting with Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California to discuss the importance of passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.
National Audubon Society
Workers at the National Audubon Society, members of The Bird Union (CWA Local 1180), held a rally outside the nonprofit’s headquarters on Wednesday to demand that Audubon bargain in good faith and stand by its renewed commitments towards creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace. Audubon workers, who have been bargaining for over a year to reach a first contract, were joined at the rally by activists and local elected officials, including NYC City Comptroller Brad Lander and Councilmembers Carmen De La Rose and Julie Menin.
The workers demanded an end to the nonprofit’s continued aggressive anti-worker behavior and stalling of contract negotiations. Since negotiations began in 2021, Audubon has only agreed to seven of the workers’ proposals, out of a total 29. In addition to failing to adequately address the workplace challenges that the workers have consistently been raising, Audubon’s leadership decided to unilaterally cut workers' healthcare benefits amid contract negotiations. In response, CWA filed three Unfair Labor Practice charges on behalf of the workers against the National Audubon Society with the National Labor Relations Board.
Despite that, Audubon management continues to push back on proposals put forth by the workers to build a more fair and inclusive workplace, including one that would ensure a staff person experiencing bias during a grievance process wouldn’t be overseen by the perceived perpetrator. The day of action was the workers’ latest effort to rebuke the organization’s racist legacy. Although Audubon’s board of directors voted to keep the name of John James Audubon, a notorious white supremacist and enslaver, Audubon workers officially changed their union name to “The Bird Union” earlier this month to demonstrate their commitment to antiracism. Read more here.
Workers at the National Audubon Society, members of The Bird Union/CWA Local 1180, and their supporters held a rally outside the nonprofit’s headquarters on Wednesday to demand that Audubon bargain in good faith and stand by its renewed commitments towards creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace.
CWA Local 4485 members at Windstream Communications in Ohio reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement last Friday. The new three-year contract includes raises to base wages, increased meal allowances and pay for employees assigned as trainers, and improved time-off language for construction technicians who are required to travel outside of exchanges covered by the contract. The bargaining team also successfully negotiated the removal of the lower pay Field Technician job title, which upgraded members to the higher wage Customer Service Technician title. In addition, the workers were able to keep their healthcare, retirement, and other benefits intact. Details of the tentative agreement have been shared with the members and a ratification vote will be held in the coming weeks.