CWA District 6 Begins Contract Negotiations with AT&T Mobility
Negotiations opened this week for the AT&T Southwest Mobility contract, covering approximately 8,000 CWA members spanning Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. The current contract, commonly referred to as “Purple Mobility,” is set to expire on February 24.
CWA members fill nearly every role in the company including Retail Sales Consultants, Call Center Representatives, Outside Technicians, and Work From Home employees.
Members are mobilizing across the district to support the bargaining team as they press for a strong contract that will improve wages, benefits, and working conditions. Another priority is securing a neutrality and card check agreement that covers workers at AT&T Mobility Authorized Retail stores. AT&T has continued to shift jobs from union-staffed corporate-owned stores to non-union authorized retailers, where workers receive lower base pay and less access to retirement benefits and paid sick leave.
Fourth quarter earnings for the company showed $32 billion in revenues with $22.4 billion driven by wireless and fiber connectivity. In his opening statement, CWA District 6 Area Director and Bargaining Chair Jason Vellmer stated, “AT&T Mobility is a critical part of the company’s success, and well-trained, experienced, union-represented employees have played an instrumental role in AT&T Mobility’s continued recognition as the nation’s fastest and best network.”
Members of the AT&T Mobility Southwest bargaining team show their solidarity as contract negotiations opened in Austin, Tex. Pictured (left to right): Premier Service Consultant from CWA Local 6222 Frank Gonzalez; CWA District 6 Staff Representative and Bargaining Co-Chair Cheryl Dawson; CWA District 6 Area Director and Bargaining Chair Jason Vellmer; Fraud Analyst from CWA Local 6215 Kendra Williams; CWA District 6 Vice President Derrick Osobase; Retail Sales Consultant from CWA Local 6300 Michelle Doty; and Customer Support Specialist from CWA Local 6016 Mike Gemelli.
CWA Optometrists Stage Two-Day Walkout in Response to Unfair Labor Practices
Approximately 100 UPTE-CWA Local 9119 optometrists who work at the University of California (UC) walked off the job this week in response to unfair labor practices by the university, which is refusing to fulfill its legal obligations at the bargaining table. The two-day strike took place February 6-7 with picket lines at the Davis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego UC health centers.
Despite their efforts to secure an agreement that will invest in the care they provide, optometrists report increasing patient loads, short-staffing, and below-market pay. This leads to recruitment and retention issues, which result in delayed care for patients. UC’s refusal to fulfill its legal obligations at the bargaining table has a significant effect on optometrist morale, recruitment, and retention. That translates to longer wait times and overburdened schedules, as well as an adverse impact on the quality of patient care.
UPTE-CWA Local 9119 member Roxana Khorrami said, “Despite our sincere efforts to negotiate, UC has hindered progress by bargaining in bad faith with unwarranted and unnecessary delays. We must continue our fight for a fair contract and to protect the optometry profession.”
UPTE-CWA members hold signs during two-day walkout calling for University of California to bargain in good faith.
Tribune Publishing Workers Go on 24-Hour Strike
Over 200 members of the NewsGuild-CWA, working for Tribune Publishing, staged a one-day walkout last week to protest the company’s refusal to pay journalists, designers and editors a fair wage and management’s threat to take away the 401(k) match benefit. Workers from the Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Virginian-Pilot, Morning Call, Suburban Chicago Tribune, Design and Production Studios, and Tribune Content Agency participated in the walkout—the single largest coordinated action journalists at the company have taken against Alden Global Capital since the hedge fund purchased Tribune Publishing in 2021.
Alden has been slammed for decimating the newsrooms it has acquired and strip-mining its media assets for profits. Papers owned by Alden have cut staff at twice the rate of their competitors, and circulation has fallen faster at their papers than at their peers. With its purchase, Tribune Publishing was saddled with $278 million in debt.
Above: NewsGuild-CWA workers at the Chicago Tribune on the picket line during a one-day walkout for better pay.
Below: NewsGuild-CWA workers at the Orlando Sentinel rallied for better pay from employer Tribune Publishing.
IUE-CWA Local 83799 Ready to Strike Over Hitachi Energy OSHA Violations
Members of IUE-CWA Local 83799 in Crystal Springs, Miss., are ready to strike, citing Hitachi Energy’s bad faith bargaining, delays, and refusal to engage with a federally appointed mediator. In January, during a freeze emergency in which the City of Crystal Springs requested residents and businesses conserve water, Hitachi Energy directed employees to use cleaning stations without hot water, in violation of OSHA regulations.
The IUE-CWA bargaining team has attempted to negotiate for, amongst other things, paid time off options for new hires, recognition of Juneteenth as a paid holiday, pay increases, and clear vacation language added to the attendance policy.
Workers are ready to strike to show Hitachi Energy that these tactics will not be tolerated.
Members of IUE-CWA Local 83799 display signs to show their readiness to go on strike.
Flight Attendants at American Eagle Carrier Air Wisconsin Vote to Authorize a Strike
AFA-CWA Flight Attendants at American Eagle carrier Air Wisconsin overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike last week, with 99% in support of authorizing the strike. Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants have been engaged in contract negotiations for a year-and-a-half. Negotiations stalled after management put forward offers with inadequate pay increases and refused to increase minimum guaranteed hours while demanding a complete scheduling system overhaul.
“The aviation industry’s two-tier employment system means regional Flight Attendants take home significantly less for the same job,” said AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson. “Management’s current proposals would exacerbate the problem. Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants want a fair deal, and if it takes a strike to get one, we’ve got their backs across the industry.”
Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants and allies will take the contract fight public on February 13, picketing in Chicago in solidarity with Flight Attendants across the industry fighting for new contracts at American, Alaska, United, and more.