Mar 31, 2016 - More ATT-DirecTV Workers Choose CWA | Communications Workers of America

Mar 31, 2016 - More ATT-DirecTV Workers Choose CWA

March 31, 2016

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Organizing Update

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DirecTV Workers Choose CWA

More than 100 DirecTV technicians, warehouse and administrative workers in two Maryland locations have signed up for CWA representation.

CWA Locals 2100 and 2106 joined forces to support workers in Denton and Hanover, MD. Local 2106 President Jim Cutter and Local 2100 Vice President Kimani Kilkenny led the campaign.

"The fact that DirecTV workers throughout the mid-Atlantic and across the country are choosing CWA representation proves what we've been saying all along, that when workers can sign up for a union without being harassed by their supervisors or threatened by management, they want a union. Locals 2106 and 2100 did great work in helping these DirecTV workers get their union, and that work is continuing across our district," said Ed Mooney, CWA Vice President, District 2-13.

AT&T acquired DirecTV in 2015.

ESL Teachers Vote for NewsGuild Representation

English-as- a-second-language (ESL) instructors at Kaplan International in Chicago voted 14 to 3 for representation by TNG-CWA Local 34071. This campaign continues the successful efforts of ESL instructors at Kaplan in New York to gain union representation.

Over two weeks, on an almost daily basis, employees were forced to endure one-on-one meetings with managers and several captive audience meetings. The anti-worker campaign was directed by well-known union-busters Jones Day.


NewsGuild organizer Cat Salonek, left, celebrates with Kaplan ESL teacher Sunny Rashad, who is signaling that there was an 82-percent "yes" vote for the Guild.


American Airlines Group Workers Get New Profit-Sharing Plan

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CWA and AFA-CWA leaders have signed off on a new profit-sharing plan, one that will provide CWA-represented agents and workers and AFA-CWA Flight Attendants a share in the profits they generate.

The program covers all non-management workers at American Airlines Group, including CWA-represented agents and workers at American, Piedmont and Envoy, and AFA-CWA-represented Flight Attendants at Piedmont, Envoy and PSA.

The profit sharing program calls for American Airlines to set aside 5 percent of annual pre-tax income to be shared among participants at American Airlines Group. The first payment will be made in early 2017, based on the company's 2016 annual earnings.

Vickey Hoots, president of CWA Local 3640 and a member of the American Airlines passenger service bargaining team, said the profit-sharing plan enables "management to show that it recognizes the value and contributions of our members to this airline. Our members deserve it," she said.

The contract ratified by CWA-represented agents at American in 2015 provided industry-leading wages. Now, with the restored profit-sharing plan, workers will more fully share in their airline's industry-leading financial gains.

Last November, nearly 5,000 Envoy Air agents voted overwhelmingly for CWA representation in a National Mediation Board election; negotiations for a first contract are underway.

In addition to the Envoy agents, CWA represents 15,000 agents at American Airlines and about 4,000 agents at Piedmont. AFA-CWA represents 1100 Flight Attendants at Envoy, 700 at PSA and 200 at Piedmont.


Bernie Sanders Roundup

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Coming off big victories in Washington, Hawaii and Alaska, CWAers are pushing forward with phone banks, labor walks and other events to support Bernie Sanders' campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination and build the political movement that working families need.

The next big primaries:
Wisconsin, April 5; New York, April 19; Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, April 26; Indiana, May 3.

 

Check out this analysis by Harold Meyerson of the grassroots political movement that Sanders and all of us are working to build.


Clockwise, from top left:

CWA Local 1103 members called Democratic local members to remind them of the April 19 New York State primary and CWA members' endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders.

AFA-CWA and CWA NextGen activists rally for Sanders in Seattle.

Activists from Local 1103 take a break from phone banking.

Indiana CWAers at the kick off of the Indiana Labor for Bernie campaign. From left: Local 4900 President Tim Strong, VP Tony Boles, former CWA President Larry Cohen, Indiana State LPAT Co-ordinator and Co-Chair Angie Schritter, Area Rep Dave Towne and VP Larry Robbins.

Sonji-Ann Roseborough, a member of CWA Local 1106 in Queens, N.Y., on the phone for Bernie Sanders.

CWA Local 1106 members are turning out the April 19 vote for Bernie Sanders.

Sam Cocozza and Rob Wetzler, members of CWA Local 1102 in Staten Island, N.Y., call downstate Democratic CWAers.

Deb Duke, a member of CWA Local 1123, walks neighborhoods in Syracuse, N.Y., for the Sanders campaign.


Election 2016

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CWA locals in Washington State and District 7 have endorsed Marcus Courtney for representative in the state legislature's 43rd district.

Courtney was president and founder of the Washington Alliance of Technical Workers-CWA from 1998-2008. Currently he is an AFL-CIO senior field representative in Seattle. Read more here.


Friedrichs Ruling Safeguard Public Workers' Bargaining Rights, For Now

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The U.S. Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case, keeping in place a lower court ruling that upheld the right of public workers to engage in meaningful collective bargaining.

Labor law requires that a union must represent all workers in the bargaining unit. Under the fair share system, workers who choose not to join the union that the majority has approved still benefit from the union representation. These workers are required to pay their fair share of the costs of that representation from which they benefit. The plaintiffs in the Friedrichs case were looking to outlaw the fair share system for public workers, making union representation more difficult to sustain.

The case had been financed by anti-worker and corporate education supporters who have been working for years to stifle the voices of teachers and other public workers and weaken their collective bargaining rights. It clearly shows how extreme the right-wing assault on workers and their right to bargain, whether public or private sector, has become.


Just Two Weeks to Go for Democracy Awakening

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More than 300 CWA members and leaders are coming to Washington, D.C., for three days of "Democracy Awakening."

Busloads of CWAers from Virginia, North Carolina and New Jersey, and NextGen activists will join thousands of other participants from more than 250 groups. The April 16-18 events will include teach-ins and workshops, a rally and prayer vigil and a day of mass civil disobedience on April 18 to save our democracy. CWA President Shelton and other CWA leaders will engage in civil disobedience. Learn more at www.democracyawakening.org/cwa.

Participants also will lobby their Senators and Representatives, calling for:

  • A hearing on restoring the Voting Rights Act.
  • A hearing on President Obama's nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland.
  • Hearings on legislation to repair our politics and democracy, including the Government by the People Act and Fair Elections Now that would establish fair election financing.


Taking on Wall Street and the Big Banks

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The next "train the trainer" session for CWA activists fighting for financial reform will be held in Texas in April for CWAers from Texas, Missouri, Kentucky, Michigan and Minnesota. At trainings just completed in New York, participants wrote letters to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) on why financial reform matters to working families.

CWA is working with Americans for Financial Reform, the AFL-CIO, digital, environmental and consumer groups and others, with these goals:

1. End "Too Big to Fail."
We must stop bankers from using ordinary, commercial deposits for risky investment banking schemes.

2. Pass the Wall Street Speculation Tax.
A very small tax on the hundreds of thousands of trades of derivatives, stocks and other investment vehicles big investors engage in every day. This destructive, high frequency trading makes money for big Wall Street interests but creates market instability that hurts ordinary Americans.

3. Get Big Money out of Politics.
Billionaires and wealthy corporations are calling the shots in our democracy, making mega-contributions and weakening the voice of everyday Americans.

4. Make Hedge Fund Managers Pay Their Fair Share.
By ending the carried interest tax loophole, hedge fund managers and others will finally start paying their fair share of taxes.

Learn how you can take on Wall Street here.

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Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has outlined a path forward to take on Wall Street and the Big Banks, and restore an economy that works for working people, the core of CWA's "financialization" campaign.

Stiglitz outlined an agenda that ends "too big to fail," reduces the risks in "shadow banking," increases financial market transparency, makes a more efficient payments mechanism by limiting credit and debit card fees and enhancing competition, enforces rules with stricter penalties, and reforms Federal Reserve governance.

Read more here.