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Nov 22, 2017 - If Corporations Get a Tax Cut, We Want a Raise

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If Corporations Get a Tax Cut, We Want a Raise

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CWA members know that you can't rely on a boss's promises. If you want to make sure something sticks, you need to negotiate and get it in writing.

That's why CWA President Chris Shelton sent letters to the CEOs of some of CWA's largest employers this week asking them to guarantee that if the corporate tax cuts proposed in the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" go into effect, CWA members will receive the $4,000 wage increase that President Trump and his economic advisers have promised and ensure that their companies won't take advantage of loopholes in the bill to send more jobs overseas.

Many economists are skeptical that corporate tax cuts will result in wage increases, increased investment or an end to offshoring. Instead, they predict that corporations will use the money to buy back stock or issue dividends. In fact, last week during a panel discussion with Gary Cohn, the head of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, a room full of CEOs refused to raise their hands when asked if they would use their tax cut to increase investment.


President Shelton's letters went to the CEOs of Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications, American Airlines, General Electric, NBC Universal and ABC Entertainment. He has given them until December 1 to respond. Click here for links to the letters.

Piedmont Airlines Passenger Service Agents Fight for a Fair Contract

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Frustrated that contract negotiations have been dragging on for the past year, CWA passenger service agents at Piedmont Airlines held informational picketing at Philadelphia International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, AZ. The agents are calling for the airline to get serious about negotiating a fair contract.

CWA represents 4,600 Piedmont agents nationwide, as well as 3,800 agents at Envoy and 14,000 passenger service agents at American Airlines.

Agents and allies are demonstrating their determination to get a fair contract and end the pay gap between regional airlines and mainline carriers. Despite extensive job responsibilities and long hours, Piedmont agents’ pay is less than half of the pay of mainline agents’.

Forbes reported on the picketing:

“We want a livable wage,” said Anthony Barden, a 14-year ramp agent at Piedmont Airlines in Charlotte, NC who is president of  Local 3645 of the Communications Workers of America. “We start at $9.70 an hour, and we top out at $15.60.”

Workers doing the same job at American Airlines, Piedmont’s parent company, make twice as much and “keep getting raises,” Barden said.

Read the full piece here:

Piedmont Airlines Passenger Service Agents at Charlotte Douglas International Airport are calling for the airline to get serious about negotiating a fair contract

Fighting for a Union at the Los Angeles Times

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The Columbia Journalism Review featured a piece about LA Times employees’ fight to gain union representation with NewsGuild-CWA despite facing an anti-union campaign from the publication’s parent company, Tronc:

Dozens of newsroom employees went public as the face of the union drive in late October. They are calling for fairness in wages, job protections, the first across-the-board raises in seven years—and they’re openly critical of a persistently white and male masthead. For young women, people of color, and other diverse newsroom members, it’s difficult to see a rosy future, not only for themselves, but the Times itself as a critical source of news in a city as diverse as Los Angeles.

For all the demands for newsroom cuts, members of Tronc management are giving themselves huge raises. Executive pay ballooned by 80 percent from 2015 to 2016, to more than $19 million, according to data from Morningstar.

Every Times staffer CJR spoke with was pleased with what the Times has been able to produce despite cuts and chaos—many pointed to the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news during the San Bernardino mass-shooting.They want leaders who believe in journalism. They want to see support for strong reporting that serves a broad readership and the communities in Southern California.

Read the full piece here:

CWAer Named to Murphy Transition Team

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CWA members in New Jersey canvassed door-to-door and mobilized a massive get-out-the-vote effort to elect Phil Murphy governor. In the wake of his victory, Murphy has named his gubernatorial transition team, including Hetty Rosenstein, CWA New Jersey State Director.

As co-chair of labor committee, Rosenstein will work on labor and workforce development, and CWA will have representation on the budget committee.

In addition, CWA New Jersey locals are preparing a comprehensive transition report for the new governor that will cover all departments and will provide in-depth policy recommendations and input to the governor “that he can only get from the people who do this work everyday,” Rosenstein said.

The report will include such areas as children and families, environmental protection, transportation, healthcare, legal issues, labor relations, staffing and more, she said.

What I’m Thankful For: My CWA Contract

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Lori Manuel, Executive Vice President of Local 3640 in Winston-Salem, NC, wrote about being thankful for the benefits of being represented by CWA:

This is the month that we get together with our family and close friends and celebrate what we are thankful for! I want to share with all of you what I am MOST thankful for: my contract.

My contract is between The Passenger Services Group with American Airlines, Inc., and CWA-IBT. It's like the blanket that I use when I'm cold at night. Seriously, I remember the days prior to our first contract. Management would treat agents however they saw fit. If they liked you, you got a good review, if they didn't care for you, your reviews were not favorable.

Throughout the years, we struggled to get a majority vote for the US Airways group. The third vote was the charm, with the passage of our CWA contract in 1999.

Since passing our initial contract we’ve gone back and forth with management; taking concessions to save jobs and coming back later to win better pay, benefits and standards for our members. We amended our contract in 2005 when we agreed to take major concessions to save US Airways. By giving concessions, we saved hundreds of jobs and saved our company from having to file bankruptcy. The concessions included a considerable pay decrease, losing one week of vacation, two holidays, partial pay for sick time, double time, and shift differentials.

By the end of 2012, we won all of our concessions back, with the exception of double overtime. And the most important event took place in October 2011, when all of our "offshore" offices were closed and the work was returned to the U.S. from Central America. Our workers gladly gave the concessions to help out, AND at the same time realized how important it was to have "contract" protection. The work was brought back because my union, the Communications Workers of America, negotiated with US Airways to bring back quality jobs.

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