Oct 26, 2017 - Big Win for CWA Public Workers | Communications Workers of America

Oct 26, 2017 - Big Win for CWA Public Workers

October 26, 2017

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CWA STRONG Update: Iowa Public Workers Fight Back

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CWA public worker members in Iowa are taking on the Republican-controlled governor and state legislature that have been working overtime to strip public workers of their right to negotiate fair contracts.
 
This onerous state law took effect in February. One section requires that workers "recertify" that they want union representation prior to every contract negotiation. Units that aren't "recertified" are disbanded for at least two years.  
 
In the latest round of votes, members of CWA Locals 7103 and 7173 at units in Calhoun County, Central Rivers, and Council Bluffs voted nearly unanimously for continued CWA representation. In one unit, the vote was 264 yes and 1 no; the other vote was 69 yes, 0 no.
 
Among all public workers, some 88% of bargaining unit members voted in the most recent recertification votes, with overwhelming support for continued union representation.
 
Read more here.

CWA Local 7103 President Corey David credited the CWA STRONG program with getting members mobilized and determined to fight back.


Join CWA President Shelton and Rep. Pocan to Learn How Trump's Plan Affects You

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The Trump Administration and Republican Congressional Leaders have released their tax plan. It's good news – if you make over $700,000 year. If not, you may see a big hike in your tax bill followed by cuts in programs working families depend on like Social Security and Medicare.

Join CWA President Chris Shelton and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) for a town hall call TODAY – Thursday, October 26 at 8:00 pm ET to learn how the plan will affect CWA members, and what we can do to fight back.

The tax plan puts corporations and the wealthiest Americans first. The CEOs cheerleading for the plan claim that if they get big tax cuts they will invest that money here in the United States and give workers huge wage increases. These are the same CEOs who have been relentlessly cutting jobs and moving work from country to country in search of the lowest possible wages in order to send profits, and their own bonuses, sky high.

Listen to the call at cwaunion.org/cwa-listen.


Bargaining Update

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AT&T Mobility

If you couldn't join this week's AT&T Mobility bargaining Q&A town hall call, click here to listen to the recording.


AT&T Mobility workers from across the country met earlier this month in Denver for an Organizing Brigade Training.


CWA Makes Our Voice Heard at AFL-CIO Convention

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The AFL-CIO Convention this week focused on how working people can "join together, fight together, and win together." In resolutions, workshops, and actions, delegates looked at how unions are standing up to Wall Street and powerful corporate interests, building new partnerships, standing up to hate, and much more.

CWA President Chris Shelton outlined our union's successful strike and fight at Verizon that resulted in real gains for working people. AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka introduced Shelton as a "hardcore trade unionist who knows how to take risks and knows how to win."


CWA President Chris Shelton gives a powerful presentation about our successful Verizon strike. Below, Shelton talks about how labor and allies beat back the TPP. Photo credit: Kaveh Sardari.

In separate remarks, Shelton highlighted the work by CWA, the AFL-CIO, and other unions and a broad coalition that stopped the Trans-Pacific Partnership; talked about our fight to Take on Wall Street, and spoke about the need to expand labor's work in the global economy.

CWA’s delegation included Shelton; CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens; AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson; CWA D6 Vice President Claude Cummings; CWA Senior Director Yvette Herrera, and AFA-CWA Government Affairs Director Steve Schembs.

Shelton and Nelson were re-elected to the Executive Council. Delegates also re-elected the top officers: President Rich Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre.

CWA delegates spoke on several critical issues.

Steffens spoke about the need for work and family balance; Nelson addressed the need for tax and budget policies that put the needs of working people first, and Cummings called on labor's political program to hold all candidates and officials, regardless of party, accountable for supporting a pro-worker agenda. Cummings represented CWA at a diversity summit and also joined the Texas delegation in thanking union members for their support to workers devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

Read all the actions taken by the AFL-CIO Convention.


At the AFL-CIO Convention, clockwise from top left: AFA-CWA Intl. President Sara Nelson speaks from the floor on fair trade; CWA Sec.-Treas. Sara Steffens addresses delegates on work and family balance; President Shelton talks about holding Wall Street accountable; Houston delegation with CWA VP Claude Cummings thanks AFL-CIO for helping those hurt by Hurricane Harvey; Fox Business News gets ready to go live; Cummings calls for building our political power. Photo credit: Kaveh Sardari.


Unforgettable Experiences at the MLI Program

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Participants from CWA's Minorities-Leadership Institute (MLI) gathered this week in Washington, DC, for the second week of the 2017 training program. The program, organized and conducted by the CWA Human Rights Department, includes workshops and instruction to support activists and leaders as they organize, mobilize, and challenge members to make our union CWA STRONG.

The MLI program is dedicated to increasing the involvement of minorities at all levels of the union. The training topics include organizing, writing and speaking skills, social media usage, and much more.

What participants are saying:

The 12 participants from this year’s training said that the experience has been unforgettable.

Cheryl Lee, CWA Local 6132, said, "This training is like no other training. It's a completely new way of thinking on how to run the local and engage the members. To be able to approach being in the union from a different angle helps us to be able to have real conversations with people. It'll help us be able to win and organize better."

Raza Siddiqui, NABET-CWA Local 54041, said he was enjoying the collaboration between the MLI participants from different sectors. "To sit down with people, including municipal workers and flight attendants, and see what issues they're facing in their locals, and being able to discuss what we face gives us a sounding board on what's going on in the union as a whole."

Sheila Lindsay, TNG-CWA Local 32035: "My highlight has been getting to know this wonderful group. We've meshed from Day 1. We're a family now. The organizing training was great. I'm going to be taking back some of that information to help build our human rights and equities committees."

Mary Robinson, CWA Local 1040: "I'm looking forward to bringing these skills back to my members. It's going to help me immensely."

Natalie Thomas, AFA-CWA Local 23080: "The highlight for me has been meeting the other members from different job descriptions and understanding that we all face the same issues in engaging our members. We're all going through the same thing together."

Jim Vang, CWA Local 9408: "The highlight for me was learning new social media skills. Being part of a huge telecom company [AT&T], taking that back and being able to use that information to reach out to our members and to keep them involved and educated is really useful."

Mustafa Hassan, CWA Local 3905: "I thoroughly enjoyed learning new organizing skills."

Kwami Barnes, CWA Local 4603: "I particularly loved learning how legislation and politics affect us on a local level as a union member and as a member of my community. One of the main things I want to bring back to my local is being able to have an authentic conversation with the membership as a whole about diversity."

Jay Jackson, CWA Local 3570: "The highlight for me has been learning how to think outside the box with writing, and to use social media to tell and show our members what we're doing on a broader spectrum."

Kisha Haynesworth, CWA Local 2205: "I have formed bonds I've never experienced in my entire life."


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 3570; Amber Brooks, IUE-CWA Local 81380; Sheila Lindsay, TNG-CWA Local 32035, and Raza Siddiqui, NABET-CWA Local 51041.


CWA: A Sprint-T-Mobile Merger Would Kill 20,000 Jobs and Harm Consumers

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With reports that T-Mobile and Sprint are close to sealing a deal, CWA is raising concerns that the potential merger will result in the loss of at least 20,000 U.S. jobs and will harm consumers by reducing competition and rewarding two companies that illegally have "crammed and slammed" millions of customers.

CWA President Chris Shelton called for intense scrutiny by Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice regulators and said the union and allies will fight back against this deal.

"Allowing Sprint and T-Mobile to merge guarantees the loss of tens of thousands of U.S. jobs that would result from store closures and the consolidation of administrative work. Corporations and Wall Street applaud this 'synergy,' but employees and their families would bear all the costs of this merger," Shelton said.

"One of the FCC's responsibilities is to ensure that mergers and other corporate actions are in the public interest. The massive job loss that this merger would cause is not in the public interest. The Sprint-T-Mobile merger would enrich a few corporate owners and investors at the expense of workers and consumers," he said.

Read the full statement here.

Our comments were picked up by many news media outlets. Read more here and here.


CWAers Mobilize to Elect Phil Murphy for New Jersey Governor

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CWA members knocked on doors in Camden to talk to their union brothers and sisters about how important it is to elect Phil Murphy for New Jersey governor. Election Day is November 7.

Learn how you can join CWA's NJ labor walks here.



Customer Service Week of Action

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CWAers held events last week for the Customer Service Week of Action. The theme was "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 including 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.


CWAers at Local 2106 in Salisbury, Md., participated in the Customer Service Week of Action.