CWA Leaders and Federal Call Center Workers Arrested While Demanding Good Jobs
CWA President Claude Cummings Jr. and Secretary-Treasurer Ameenah Salaam were arrested alongside federal call center workers on Tuesday as they demanded that the Biden Administration back up its commitment to good jobs with concrete action.
The workers, who handle Medicare and Affordable Care Act calls for Maximus, the federal government’s largest call center contractor, traveled from across the country to distribute leaflets outside of the White House and to rally and protest at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Representatives Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), and Greg Casar (D-Tex.) and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry joined workers in calling on HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and the Biden Administration to require livable wages of $25 per hour on federal call center contracts, ensure workers have access to affordable health care, and to investigate Maximus’s low-road employment practices.
“What do these call center workers want?” President Cummings asked the crowd. “Affordable health care. Think about it. These workers have to get a second job just to pay for their own healthcare while helping other Americans who are calling in about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.”
“It’s unacceptable that we work for a federal contractor making billions of dollars from government contracts, but we don’t even get a living wage and affordable health care,” said Katherine Charles, a Maximus call center representative from Riverview, Fla.
Maximus federal call center workers rallied with supporters outside of the Department of Health and Human Services. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for Communications Workers of America)
Maximus workers raised awareness and distributed leaflets outside of the White House. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for Communications Workers of America)
CWA President Claude Cummings Jr. and Secretary-Treasurer Ameenah Salaam were arrested during the protest.