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Oct 19, 2017 - Cramming and Slamming

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CWAers Mobilize for Customer Service Week of Action

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CWA's Customer Service Week of Action is here. 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 put together an action program for CWAers that 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.

For the Week of Action, Verizon customer service worker David Tolbert, a steward for Local 2106, wrote about how CWAers took on Verizon in 2016 and won:

After 45 days of striking and even longer adversity, the strength of the union rose and we won. We came to an agreement with the company that preserved the centers and won back more than a thousand call center jobs. We have so many ways to let our voices be heard and taking action is one of the most effective ways to make change. Whether it's at the ballot box or marching in the street, it's important that we rise up, unite and take action.

This year's CWA Customer Service Week of Action is the perfect opportunity to do so. This week, CWA local unions across the country are participating in the week of action to speak out against the offshoring and outsourcing of good jobs.

Read the full piece here.

Bargaining Update

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Piedmont Airlines

Contract negotiations continue for 4,000 customer service workers at Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines Group. CWA's bargaining team met with the company's bargaining team October 10-12 to continue working towards a fair and equitable contract for all members.

Although both sides remain far apart on compensation and benefits, the CWA bargaining team believes it's had good, productive conversations that will facilitate moving closer to an agreement, and the team is calling on every member to get involved in order to put pressure on the company through mobilization to show the company that Piedmont employees deserve fair wages and benefits.

The bargaining team met in Pittsburgh this week to continue working on counter proposals for compensation, benefits, and other articles still left open, and will meet next with the company on November 6-9.

Piedmont Airlines workers in Charlotte, NC stood together on the ramp in unity as they mobilize for fair wages and benefits.


Help for CWA Families Affected by California Wildfires

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CWA President Chris Shelton is urging CWA locals and members to help CWA members and their families in Northern California dealing with devastation from wildfires:

Over 100,000 have been evacuated and 40,000 still are not able to return home. Entire communities have been wiped out. Families have lost everything only to be left with ash where their homes used to be. To compound the problem, there is a severe shortage of available temporary housing.

District 9 has set up a CWA Disaster Wildfire Relief 2017 fund to help CWA members impacted by the fires. Every dollar donated to the CWA District 9 Disaster Wildfire Relief 2017 fund will go directly to assist CWA members in need of shelter, clothing, and household basics.

The national CWA Disaster Relief Fund also will help our members hurt by the fires. It will take years for CWA families to recover and rebuild their lives. Please help our brothers and sisters by making a contribution.

You can donate to the wildfire fund here.

Checks may be made out to the CWA District 9 Disaster Wildfire Relief 2017 and mailed to:

CWA Local 9404
Attn: Ginny Raines
195 Glen Cove Marina Rd, Suite 101
Vallejo, CA 94591

Please note, contributions to the CWA District 9 Disaster Wildfire Relief 2017 fund are not tax-deductible.

Other resources for those affected can be found here.

CWA Activists Line Up Sponsors for Bill to Stop Offshoring of Call Center Jobs

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Members of CWA's Legislative Political Action Team in Alabama worked hard to convince Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) to co-sponsor H.R. 1300, the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation to stop the offshoring of call center jobs. Brooks joined 18 other co-sponsors; Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) was an original cosponsor and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) was the initial sponsor.

Ashley Loosier, Local 3905, Huntsville; Ken McKenzie, vice president, Local 3905, Huntsville; Rep. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-5th congressional district); Jason James,  Alabama LPAT Coordinator, Local 3907, Mobile; Tanner Teets, Local 3907, Huntsville, and Mustafa Hassan, Local 3905, Huntsville.


How to Keep Call Center Jobs in the U.S.

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An opinion piece by Charles Daniel, president of CWA Local 4123, was published this week by the Detroit News:

Working people are tired of politicians who talk and talk about creating good jobs, but don't do anything to make that happen.

We know that the rules are rigged against working families. That’s why some of the biggest and richest U.S. corporations can get away with sending good call center and technology jobs offshore. That’s been happening here in Michigan, and that’s why my union, the Communications Workers of America, and union members are fighting back.

CWA is urging Congress and Michigan elected officials to pass call center legislation to help keep good jobs in the U.S. and to stop rewarding companies for sending work overseas.

Read the full piece here.

Bill to Prevent Offshoring of University of California Jobs Signed into Law

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A California state bill to save thousands of information technology jobs at the University of California (UC) from being sent overseas was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown this week.

California Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D) introduced the legislation (AB 848), which requires the state's public universities to certify that any contracted work will be performed solely by workers within the United States. It’s squarely aimed at UC system, which has contracted Indian outsourcer HCL to manage IT infrastructure and networking-related services.

In February, nearly 100 IT workers at UC’s San Francisco campus lost their jobs to lower-paid workers from India. As a condition of their severance, they were required to train HCL staffers in India over videoconference and to train workers brought to campus on H-1B visas how to do their jobs. These replacements have since returned to India working for HCL, a multi-billion dollar company.

The bill, supported by UPTE-CWA, will stop the loss of thousands more UC jobs. San Francisco was only the first phase of this HCL contract, which applies to all 10 UC campuses across California.

"This bill is a big victory for UC workers, and a big step in our fight to stop the devastating trend of offshoring U.S. IT jobs," said Jelger Kalmijn, president of UPTE-CWA 9119. "It is heartening to see our legislators standing up against this dangerous race-to-the-bottom that harms workers everywhere. Employers like UC should be put on notice that they can no longer exploit loopholes to displace U.S. workers. We will continue to fight back against attempts to undermine good, family-supporting jobs."

Find Out How the Tax Plan Will Affect You

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It's clear that the tax plan proposed by the Trump Administration and the Republican Congressional Leadership is a windfall for the wealthiest Americans. But do you know how it will affect you and your family?

Join CWA President Chris Shelton for a town hall call on Thursday, October 26 at 8 pm ET for a discussion of the plan, how it will affect CWA members and retirees, and how you can get involved to make sure we have real tax reform that helps working people instead of a giveaway to the 1%. Sign up for the call at

CWA Calls on FCC to Investigate Harmful Corporate Sales Practices in Telecom Industry

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CWA called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to more fully investigate the causes of management unethical sales practices that result in cramming and slamming – a serious problem across the telecommunication industry. This is a critical step in developing effective consumer protections that apply to all voice communications providers, whether traditional landline, interconnected VoIP, or wireless.

CWA submitted comments in response to the FCC's proposed rulemaking on methods to protect consumers from unauthorized changes and charges, to empower consumers to take action against slammers and crammers, and to deter carriers from unethical sales practices.

It is critical that the FCC fully investigate the relationship between sales quotas, incentives, performance management systems, and unauthorized and fraudulent charges on bills. These unethical sales practices, including corporate sales policies and performance management systems, force frontline employees to meet unrealistically high sales quotas, and sales incentives or face the loss of compensation and their jobs, CWA said in the comments.

Read more here.

Union-Made Treats for Halloween: A Sweet Show of Solidarity

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Satisfy your sweet tooth and show solidarity this Halloween when you buy union-made! With over 50 union-made candies to choose from, you'll find a sweet treat for every chocolate, licorice, or taffy lover on your list.

Show solidarity when you shop for sweets this Halloween and buy union-made. Find a list of union-made candy here.