AT&T Mobility workers, members of CWA from California, D.C., Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Virginia, traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with Members of Congress to speak about how AT&T’s offshoring and its third party dealer structure are harming workers and communities. AT&T Mobility workers are currently fighting for a fair contract at AT&T.
The AT&T Mobility workers met with Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and with Reps. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Bobby Scott (D-VA), as well as staff from other congressional offices.
As part of the lobby day, CWA President Chris Shelton spoke at a congressional briefing on workers' rights hosted by Reps. Pocan, DeSaulnier, Dingell, and Norcross.
"AT&T recently claimed that for every $1 billion in earnings it would recover from proposed reductions in the corporate tax rate, the company could create 7,000 new jobs," said Shelton. "What they failed to mention is that those jobs will most likely be located in Mexico or the Philippines, or pay $8 an hour in a U.S. authorized dealer retail store. For the record, AT&T's effective federal tax rate was a mere 8% between 2008 and 2015, and during that time it actually reduced its workforce by 80,000."
"Our members are the human reality behind those numbers. And let's be clear: it's not the forces of innovation and automation that are devastating good AT&T jobs in America. AT&T Mobility is deliberately outsourcing and offshoring a huge percentage of its customer service, retail sales, and network operations."
AT&T Mobility workers met with Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and with Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Donald Norcross, Mark Pocan, Jan Schakowsky, and Bobby Scott. They also met with staff members of Senators Cory Booker, Dick Durbin, Al Franken, Tim Kaine, Bob Menendez, and Patty Murray; and with staff members of Reps. Don Beyer, Rodney Davis, Keith Ellison, Morgan Griffith, Frank Lobiondo, Frank Pallone, and Adam Schiff.
CWA Families Suffering in Texas
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CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings said residents of Houston were still reeling from Hurricane Harvey and new flooding.
"Many CWA members have lost everything. Some AFA-CWA Flight Attendants are homeless, the house of a CWA local president is completely underwater, retirees are affected. CWA is offering supplies, help, and services." Cummings said.
Cummings; Lisa Bolton, Vice President, Telecommunications and Technologies; and other officers have been pressing AT&T, CenturyLink, and other employers to do everything possible to help.
CWA President Chris Shelton is urging locals and members to donate to the CWA Hurricane Harvey Solidarity Fund. All donations will go to CWA members affected by the hurricane. You can donate to the solidarity fund here.
Online donations are preferred, but you can also send a check payable to CWA Hurricane Harvey Solidarity Fund to the CWA District 6 office at this address:
CWA Harvey Hurricane Solidarity Fund c/o Judy Graves The Parkway, Building One 4801 Southwest Parkway, Suite 115 Austin, Texas 78735
Donations are not tax deductible.
CWA's Disaster Relief Fund also will be used to help CWA members hurt by Hurricane Harvey.
CWA on the Opinion Page
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In a Labor Day opinion piece picked up by several newspapers, CWA President Chris Shelton made it clear that organized labor isn’t going away. Read it here, from the Wisconsin State Journal.
In addition, these opinion pieces and letters to the editor by CWA leaders and activists were published recently in daily newspapers:
Op-ed by District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney in the Bucks County Intelligencer (PA): Working people are waiting for politicians to keep their promises
Working people are tired of politicians, including the president of the United States, who talk and talk and talk about creating good jobs, but don’t do anything to make that happen.
Keeping good jobs in the U.S. and providing the quality service that customers pay for month after month should be standard operating procedure. Instead, too many companies are putting their corporate greed ahead of being responsible to workers, customers, and communities.
CWA has been working for several years for call center legislation, to help keep good jobs in the U.S. and stop rewarding companies for sending work overseas. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is the principal sponsor of this legislation. He's a strong voice for working families and for keeping good jobs here in the U.S. In the U.S. House of Representatives, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is also pushing to make this law a reality; Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, R-8, is a co-sponsor.
Op-ed by District 2-13 staff representative Elaine A. Harris in the Charleston Gazette-Mail (WV): Lawmakers should fix ACA, not hurt West Virginians
In recent months, lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate have proposed several versions of healthcare legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. While the specifics vary slightly, each of the proposals to replace the ACA would have ended up increasing individuals’ health costs and decreasing the number of Americans with health coverage.
While these replacement bills don’t appear to have a path forward at the moment, some are now proposing that we let the ACA implode or that we repeal the law without a replacement plan lined up at all. Either approach would be a disaster for health care and health coverage in West Virginia and beyond.
CWA's push to pass legislation to protect U.S. call center jobs has gained momentum in the recent weeks with several states moving forward on passing legislation similar to the bipartisan U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act, which would crack down on U.S. companies that offshore their call center jobs.
At an event with CWA members from AT&T, State Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, announced that he will introduce legislation to protect Michigan call center workers.
Charles Daniels is the president of Communications Workers of America Local 4123, a labor union which represents call center workers in Kalamazoo and Michigan. He said Wednesday that elected officials need to be held accountable to keep jobs in America.
"We all know the rules and regulations do not favor the working class," Daniels said. "That's why for years now some of the biggest, richest U.S. corporations can get away with sending good jobs offshore."
The CWA Alabama Legislative Political Action Team (LPAT), Local 3907 President David Betz, Local 3907 Vice President Ken McKenzie, and Alabama state representative Phil Williams (R-Huntsville) took a tour of an AT&T call center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Rep. Williams sponsored H.B. 553 this past session of the Alabama Legislature. The bill focused on companies that receive state government incentives such as tax credits, loans and abatements and then relocate jobs out of the state. Following the visit to the Huntsville call center, Rep. Williams has decided the new version will place an emphasis on call center jobs.
The Alabama Legislative Political Action Team, Local 3907 President David Betz, Local 3907 Vice President Ken McKenzie, and Alabama Rep. Phil Williams (R-Huntsville) took a tour of an AT&T call center in Huntsville, Alabama. The LPAT team is led by state coordinator Jason James (Local 3907, Mobile), lead local coordinator Ashley Loosier, and data coordinator Mustafa Hassan (both of Local 3907, Huntsville).
Pickup Tour Rolls On in Ohio, Pennsylvania
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On Labor Day weekend, CWAers and other activists on the Midwest Pickup Tour rallied for good jobs in Youngstown and Lorain, Ohio, and Erie, Pennsylvania.
On Sept. 3 in Lorain, at the annual Labor Day picnic, CWAers presented a boxing glove signed by CWA call center members to staff of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D), thanking the Senator for being a fighter for good U.S. jobs and for moving federal call center legislation forward. They also presented hundreds of petitions from CWA call center members supporting the measure.
In Youngstown, the previous day, state elected leaders, CWAers, and allies came together to push for state and federal legislation to keep good jobs in the U.S. Several members of the Ohio State Senate joined the rally and pledged support for the Consumer Call Center Protection Act. "It just holds companies responsible for offshoring jobs, especially if they have received state loans or grants," said State Senator Lepore-Hagan.
CWA District 4 Representative Ron Gay and Nina Turner, president of Our Revolution, the organization formed following the 2016 presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, were among the speakers.
The Midwest Pickup Tour was organized by CWA and Good Jobs Nation to hold President Trump and elected officials accountable for the promises they've made to bring back good jobs to the U.S.
CWA: Trump's Move on Dreamers is Cruel and Mean-Spirited
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Statement by the Communications Workers of America on the Trump administration's decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program:
The Trump administration's policy to subject 800,000 young immigrants to deportation from the only country they've ever known is cruel and mean-spirited.
These young people were brought here by their parents at a very young age. They know no other home than the United States, and have made productive, successful lives here, contributing to their communities and looking to be full participants in our nation. The United States is their home country.
Democrats and Republicans, including the Republican leadership, have urged the President not to eliminate DACA.
It's now up to Congress to focus on passing legislation to protect these innocent young people. DACA should not be eliminated until Congress passes a replacement.
CWAers and allies rally around a "statue" of Attorney General Jeff Sessions outside the U.S. Justice Department to protest Trump's decision to end DACA and betray 800,000 young immigrants.