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Jul 6, 2017 - New York Times Employees Walk Out

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GOP Health Care Bill is Massive Tax Giveaway to the Wealthy

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CWAers including Local 4400 President Mary Wentz (left) protested in Cincinnati, Ohio, outside of Senator Rob Portman's office.

With Senators home for recess, CWAers have been working hard to oppose the Senate Republicans' health care bill.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the GOP's health care bill would raise premiums and out-of-pocket costs for working families and 15 million Americans would lose their health care over the next year – including 4 million who are on their employer's plan. About 22 million people would lose coverage by 2026. It allows insurance companies to charge older Americans five times the rate of other insured persons in what many are calling an "age tax."

Like the House bill, the Senate plan is a massive tax giveaway to the wealthy and corporations – households with incomes above $1 million a year would get annual tax cuts averaging more than $50,000 apiece, paid for by cutting health care for lower income families. Forty percent of the tax cuts go to the top 1 percent of earners. Billionaire Warren Buffett has said his tax bill would be about $680,000 lower if the bill becomes law.

Health care providers and experts have criticized this bill, from the American Medical Association, which says the bill violates doctors' principle of "first, do no harm," to health care associations that are warning of the devastation to services to all people living in rural areas.

The fight is only beginning. Please call 1-855-980-2280 or click here to tell your Senator to oppose this devastating attack on health care. It's not a healthcare bill; it's a $700 billion tax giveaway to the wealthy.

Hundreds of New York Times Employees Walk Out to Protest Copy Editor Layoffs

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Hundreds of New York Times employees, members CWA-NewsGuild of New York, walked off the job last Thursday to protest layoffs set to eliminate up to half of the newspaper's copy editors.

The copy editors sent a letter to Times management demanding that they reconsider the layoffs.

"Cutting us down to 50-55 editors from more than 100, and expecting the same level of quality, is dumbfoundingly unrealistic. Work with us on a new number," the letter reads.

New York Times reporters also sent a letter to Times management in solidarity with their colleagues in the editing department, asking that management reconsider its plan to "restructure" the newsroom by eliminating copy and photo editor positions.

The letter stresses that no past layoffs or buyouts in New York Times history "were as destructive to morale – nor, we fear, as destructive to The Times – as this one. It is something different in kind."

Read more here.

Hundreds of NY Times employees walked out to protest copy editor layoffs.

Local 6139 is CWA Strong

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CWA Local 6139 in Beaumont, Tex. has been focusing on internal organizing for the past five+ years. The local represents bargained-for employees of AT&T Core, AT&T Mobility, and Helena Laboratories.

At the two AT&T Mobility stores represented by the local, workers are 95% organized with only two non-members. Local President Marc LaRousse’s strategy at the Mobility stores includes pointing out to new employees key articles in their contract that make their work lives better than they would be in unorganized workplaces.

At Helena Labs, where 140 employees make and distribute medical supplies, the challenges are different. The turnover there is continual, so the local's best opportunity to sign up new members is at the new employee orientations occurring about once a month. Vice President Calvin Carter and District Steward Robert Millard talk with new employees for 15 minutes then ask them to join, and the vast majority say yes. This group has recently grown to 70% organized and now has six stewards.

LaRousse plays an important role, visiting both labs regularly, and talking with employees on their breaks. He says listening to them is the key to successful organizing.

Utah Ski Patrollers are CWA Strong

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Utah ski patrollers who ratified a first contract last December are showing how they are CWA Strong. When employer Vail Resorts forced a merger of two units, one CWA-represented and one non-union, CWAers fought hard to keep their bargaining rights. They won the follow-up election and have been relentless in educating and organizing their non-union colleagues. They are building their union and building solidarity every day.

Members of the Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association/CWA Local 7781, show their CWA solidarity in an Independence Day parade in Park City, Utah.

CWA Statement to New Jersey State Workers/Judiciary Members on Shutdown

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New Jersey CWAers are fighting for fair pay, a fair contract, pensions, and more.

CWA NJ State Director Hetty Rosenstein wrote a message to New Jersey CWA members on the state government shutdown over the weekend, and how CWA is fighting for workers to be paid for the days that they were locked out:

Dear CWA Members,

The Chris Christie Shutdown of 2017 is over, we are back to work, but as is almost always the case with Chris Christie, after everyone else has gone home, we are left to clean up the mess.

Read the full letter here.

Runaway Inequality

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CWAers, along with members of the American Postal Workers, Black Workers for Justice, NC League of Conservation Voters, Amalgamated Transit Union, United for a Fair Economy (UFE), and A Philip Randolph Institute, held a Runaway Inequality training in Raleigh, North Carolina, to learn how to fight for a better future for everyone – not just the top 1%.

CWAers Rally Against Texas "Show Me Your Papers" Law

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CWA Local 6143 Vice President Geronimo Guerra, to right of Texas AFL-CIO Sec.-Treas. Rick Levy, speaking, stood with leaders and activists from AFT, Unite Here, Texas Organizing Project, and MOVE, a community organization, plus elected officials, to rally against racial targeting and profiling in Texas.

In San Antonio, CWA Local 6143 organized and led a rally to stand up against the state legislature's and governor's attack on all residents and people of color. Elected leaders, including the mayors of San Antonio and Austin, and local city council leaders, joined CWAers, union members, and activists from San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Austin, and the lower valley areas to protest SB4, a flawed bill set to take effect in September.

A number of Texas law enforcement officials have raised concerns that the bill would allow state and federal government to control and bypass the authority of local police departments. It also would establish racial targeting and profiling of anyone that law enforcement officers or other citizens wanted to question. Similar legislation passed in Arizona was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012.