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Sep 28, 2017 - Trump Tax Plan Winners and Losers

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CWA President Chris Shelton on the Trump Tax Plan

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"President Trump has promised that 'we will cut taxes tremendously for the middle class.' The truth is, this plan is a billionaire's dream masquerading as a tax cut for middle class families.

"Instead of funding programs that support working families, President Trump and Republican leaders are pushing steep cuts in tax rates that primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans and corporations.

"The idea that corporations will use these cuts to create jobs in the U.S. is laughable. Many U.S. corporations already pay taxes at a rate lower than that proposed by the Trump plan. Instead of investing in and creating good U.S. jobs, these corporations have slashed employment and are sending jobs overseas or to low-wage contractors. Any corporate tax cut will only further pad the bottom line of executives and top stockholders.

"For months, we've seen the White House and Republican leadership in Congress work furiously to try to cut Medicaid, health care, and other programs that working families depend on, to finance a big tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy.

"Unfortunately, if this tax plan becomes law, we will see those attacks intensify, as revenue declines and our government finds itself unable to pay for repairs to crumbling roads and bridges, for disaster relief and first responders, and for the public services that are critical to our lives.

"Rather than benefiting from 'the biggest tax cut ever,' working and middle class families will be shouldering the costs. That’s not a plan working people can support."

The Trump Tax Cuts By the Numbers

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The Republican leadership and Trump administration are working overtime to sell their tax plan as a big tax cut for middle class families.

Take a closer look at the numbers. That claim just doesn't add up.

  • A married couple with one child earning $24,850 a year or less and claiming the standard deduction would get no tax cut.
  • A married couple with one child earning $48,700 (that’s the median income in 2015 for a working family) and claiming the standard deduction would get a net tax cut of just $180 for the entire year.
  • A household in the top 1 percent (meaning an income of $700,000 a year and up) would get about $150,000 a year. This group would get half of the tax cuts.
  • The top one-tenth of 1 percent of households (meaning incomes above $3.8 million) would get about 30 percent of the tax cuts, or an average of about $800,000 a year per household.

Source: Committee on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Read more here and here.

Help CWA Members Devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria

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CWA President Chris Shelton is urging CWA locals and members to help CWA members and their families in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Florida, who have suffered devastating damage from recent hurricanes.

Especially hard hit is Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Maria left countless homes damaged or destroyed. Residents are expected to remain without water or power for weeks or months. Communications remain spotty as CWA members work around the clock to restore mobile phone services.

Puerto Rico is home to two CWA locals, Upagra (TNG-CWA 33225) and CWA Local 3010. Local President Luis Benítez reports the 3010 offices are ruined; officers are securing a temporary site to serve as a member assistance center.

There are two ways members can help.

  1. Click here to sign our petition to ask President Trump and Congress to focus their attention on getting critical supplies and support to Puerto Rico as soon as possible.
  2. Donate to the District 3 Disaster Relief Fund at Every dollar will go directly to assist CWA members in need of shelter, dry clothing, and basic medical supplies. Donations are not tax-deductible.

In addition to the District 3 Disaster Relief Fund, the national CWA Disaster Relief Fund is also helping our members hurt by Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey.

It will take many months for CWA families to recover from these hurricanes and their aftermath. We need everyone's help today to respond to this humanitarian crisis and assist our brothers and sisters.

Getting It Done in Jackson

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CWA members in Jackson, Miss., are celebrating the end of two years of harsh furloughs. To balance the budget at the end of 2015, the former mayor initiated a two-day per month furlough for city workers. For Jackson city workers, this was equivalent to a nearly 10% wage cut.

MASE/CWA Local 3570, in conjunction with the Public, Healthcare, and Education Workers department, launched a campaign to challenge the furlough. Monthly actions pressured City Hall, and the campaign inspired over 50 new members to join CWA.

In the spring of 2017, then Mayoral candidate Chokwe Lumumba announced his opposition to the furlough, and CWA activists worked hard for his election. CWAers attended a Political Activist Bootcamp for city workers, knocked on hundreds of doors, and staffed phone banks. CWA was the only union to endorse Lumumba prior to the all-important Democratic primary.

"We are excited to announce the elimination of the furlough effective October 1, 2017," said Mayor Lumumba. "We have a progressive vision for our city, one that includes treating city employees with the dignity and respect they deserve. Ending the furlough allows us to demonstrate our commitment to and appreciation of our hard-working city employees."

CWA Public, Healthcare, and Education Workers Vice President Brooks Sunkett said the end of the furlough will spur further and deeper organizing in Mississippi. "Ending the furlough is just the first step. We won't stop until all public sector workers in Mississippi have rights on the job. His decision to end the furlough shows that Chokwe Lumumba is leading a new era for workers’ rights in the South."

Jackson CWA members rally for fair pay.

Supreme Court to Hear Case Attacking Workers' Rights

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The U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear the Janus v. AFSCME case next year. Read President Shelton's statement:

Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the Janus v. AFSCME case continues the campaign by corporate interests and right wing groups to restrict the ability of working people to stand together. These groups have been plotting for decades to take away workers' freedom to join together and negotiate for fair wages and benefits, and to improve our workplaces.

Labor law requires that a union, chosen by the majority, represent every worker in a bargaining unit. While no worker is required to join a union, workers can be required to pay their fair share for the cost of the representation – the cost of bargaining higher wages and benefits and the cost of representing a worker through the grievance system. The right-wing attack on fair share is all about weakening unions, with the hope of giving corporations even more power and accelerating the assault on achievements like Social Security, civil rights, wage and hour and safety laws, Medicare, and public education that unions fight every day to preserve.

We hope that the Supreme Court sees through this latest attack on the freedoms and rights of working people and deals with the issues in the Janus case fairly.


No matter how the Court decides, CWA members will meet the challenge and do everything possible to strengthen our union and withstand the attacks on our very right to exist. CWA locals are bringing more members into our union to strengthen our voice at the bargaining table and at every level of the political process. That's what CWA STRONG is all about.

Health Care Repeal Fails Again - For Now

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It appears that the Republican leadership has failed in their latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act – for now.

Republicans have been campaigning on "repeal and replace" for seven years, but they have never come up with an actual plan to replace the ACA that improves access to health care. The new bill, called Graham-Cassidy, was the most shameful proposal yet.

Their latest health care repeal bill would have raised costs, gotten rid of protections for people with pre-existing conditions, drastically changed how our entire health care system works, and eliminated coverage for millions of Americans. It would have put an 'age tax' in place, requiring older Americans to pay thousands of dollars more, it would have made health care bargaining much more difficult, and it would have slashed Medicaid.

The latest GOP failure shows that mobilization works. CWA members have been e-mailing, calling, and showing up in legislators' offices for months to let them know that these changes are unacceptable. It's only because of the loud public outcry that millions of people won’t be thrown off their health care plans.

But the fight isn’t over. We've seen the Republicans get within one vote of repealing the ACA, and with the Republicans in control of both houses of Congress, we know they will try again. CWAers fought hard to kill this attempt to repeal the ACA, and they'll be on the front lines if and when the GOP tries again to strip health care access from millions.

CWA LPAT Activists Help Elect State Senator in Florida

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Activists and members of CWA Local 3122 were the critical force in electing Annette Taddeo (D) to the Florida State Senate. The special election was Sept. 26.

A longtime supporter of CWA and working family issues, Taddeo backs legislation to keep good call center jobs in the U.S., ensure affordable health care for all, and fully fund public schools.

CWA Legislative and Political Team activists staffed phone banks and contacted every member in the Miami-Dade district twice, leafleted worksites, met one-on-one with their coworkers, and held two labor walks to build support and turnout for Taddeo.

Taddeo's opponent, a former contestant on the television show "The Apprentice" and a supporter of President Trump, outspent her by more than $1 million. But worker-to-worker contact made all the difference, and Taddeo was elected in a historically Republican district by a 51-47 percent margin.

The Senate special election was held following the resignation of Frank Artiles (R-40). Artiles had made racist comments but was refusing to resign. CWA joined community and faith leaders in protesting Artiles and demanding his resignation.

CWA LPAT activists celebrate with their new Florida State Senator Annette Taddeo (second from left).

Organizing Update

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M&R Strategic Services

Workers at M&R Strategic Services voted overwhelmingly to join the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA Local 32035. There are 82 unit members at the online advocacy company with offices in New York and Washington.

Workers fought back against an intense employer anti-union campaign, including an unsuccessful effort to label 19 workers as supervisors to exclude them from the bargaining unit.


District 3 Organizing Retreat

Thirteen organizers from District 3 locals met in Atlanta to brainstorm about internal and external organizing throughout the District. CWA District 3 VP Richard Honeycutt said, "As the CWA STRONG initiative spreads, there is a new spirit of organizing in District 3. With the team of organizers we have in our district, there is no doubt that we will meet and even exceed our goals in the Southeast. Our organizers are excited, I’m excited, and together we will grow and strengthen our union."

The MLI's in Town

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This year's class of Minority Leadership Institute participants met for the first of two weeks of intensive sessions this week at CWA headquarters. The program, organized and conducted by the CWA Human Rights Department, included workshops and instruction to support activists and leaders as they organize, mobilize, and challenge members to make our union CWA STRONG.

This year's participants are: Mary Robinson, Local 1040; Kisha Haynesworth, Local 2205; Mustafa Abdullahi Hassan, Local 3905; Kwami Barnes, Local 4603; Cheryl Lee, Local 6132; Art Clemens, Local 7800; Jim Vang, Local 9408; Natalie Thomas, AFA-CWA Local 23080; Jay Jackson, Local 3507; Amber Brooks, IUE-CWA Local 81380; Sheila Lindsay, TNG-CWA Local 32390, and Raza Siddiqui, NABET-CWA Local 51041.

Mark Your Calendar for Customer Service Week of Action

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CWA's Customer Service Week of Action starts October 15. The theme is "End CEO Hocus Pocus: Stop Offshoring and Outsourcing Good Jobs." CWA D7 Vice President Brenda Roberts and the Customer Service Advocacy Committee have put together an action program for CWAers which includes a petition drive to support AT&T Mobility workers in negotiations for a fair contract and a letters to the editor campaign to raise awareness about the offshoring and outsourcing of good jobs in our communities.

Stay connected here.