After 11 months of mobilization, tough bargaining and a three-day strike, CWA's Mobility bargaining team reached a groundbreaking tentative agreement with AT&T Mobility (Orange contract) that sets new standards for pay and job security for wireless retail, call center, and tech workers.
The proposed settlement covers 21,000 CWA members in 36 states and the District of Columbia; members will hold a ratification vote to be completed by Jan. 12.
The four-year proposed agreement provides a 10.1% pay increase over the four-year contract term, and shifts $2,500 from commission to base pay for retail workers. Under the new agreement, AT&T Mobility retail workers will earn an average hourly wage of $19.20, about 74% more than the national average pay for retail workers.
In a major breakthrough to keep good jobs in the U.S., the settlement includes a guaranteed 80% increase in the volume of customer service calls handled exclusively by AT&T Mobility CWA members. The agreement also requires AT&T to find new jobs for workers when retail stores or call centers are closed.
"After joining together and going on strike, AT&T Mobility workers have won a historic contract that sets a bold precedent for workers in the telecom industry. The solidarity and persistence of our members pushed the company to agree to crucial protections like stronger job security for retail workers and greater fairness in evaluation and discipline procedures that put our members and their families on a path towards greater economic security," said Dennis Trainor, CWA District 1 Vice President. "Let this be a sign to all companies that put profits above workers: when we stand together, we win," he said.
CWA President Chris Shelton said the settlement "affirms the power of working people everywhere to join together and establish new standards for America’s retail and telecom jobs."
More highlights from the new agreement:
First-ever job security language that guarantees a job for workers whose store or call center is closed or whose job title is eliminated;
$2,500 shifted from commission to base pay for 14,000 retail workers, making pay more stable;
Greater ability to use sick days without risk of discipline;
Limits on the types of monitoring and surveillance of retail and call center workers so that evaluation is fair and equitable;
Flat health insurance cost-sharing to ensure workers and their families do not pay more out of their own pockets;
CWA Statement on Doug Jones' Special Election Victory in Alabama
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CWA issued this statement on the U.S. Senate special election victory of Doug Jones in Alabama:
Doug Jones' victory is not only an enormous win for working people in Alabama, but it's also a victory for all Americans who are ready to stand up to the current congressional leadership's politics and policies.
"CWA members in Alabama know that Doug Jones has spent his career fighting for workers' rights and civil rights," said Richard Honeycutt, Vice President of CWA District 3 which includes Alabama. "I'm confident that Senator Jones will push for policies that protect working families and keep good jobs in Alabama."
CWA endorsed Jones and played a significant role in the race, reaching out to members through the mail and volunteer phone banks to inform them about Jones' record of support for Alabama's working families.
Doug Jones' victory, and the defeat of Roy Moore, should send a shockwave to those elected officials who have had a single-minded focus on advancing their agenda of destroying programs that help working families in order to finance tax breaks for corporations and the 1%. Just as we saw in the elections earlier this year in Virginia, the voters are demanding that political leaders be held accountable for their broken promises to working people.
Envoy Passenger Service Agents Rally for a Fair Contract
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Envoy (American Eagle) passenger service agents, members of CWA, held press conferences and informational pickets at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), and Miami International Airport (MIA) this week.
The 3,800 Envoy agents are negotiating a first contract; they voted for CWA representation in November 2015. Agents work at 96 airports across the U.S., and include 440 agents at DFW, 300 at ORD, and 250 at MIA.
Envoy agents are calling on management to negotiate a fair contract, including wages that reflect the work they do in supporting passengers and flights for parent company American Airlines.
More than half of the agents make less than $11 an hour. Many qualify for food stamps and other forms of public assistance. Employees often work more than 60 hours per week.
"Our goal with the informational picketing was to shed light on our situation to passengers who fly on American Airlines," said James McKnight, Envoy Agent in Miami and Member of the CWA bargaining team. "When you look at us standing next to an American Airlines employee, wearing the same uniform as us, you would never know that the pay discrepancy is what it is. We're fighting for a fair contract that provides a living wage. At a time when the airline is making money hand over fist, we hope that management will come to the table and negotiate a fair contract, not just for some employees but for all of them. The passengers we spoke to were very supportive."
Envoy agents held informational picketing at MIA, DFW, and ORD this week. The agents are calling on management to negotiate a fair contract, including wages that reflect the work they do in supporting passengers and flights for parent company American Airlines.
Speakers at the Chicago rally included Marie Gage, Envoy ORD Lead Agent and CWA Steward; Shane Spillman, Pres., AFA-CWA Local Council 24051; Jeff Heisey, Sec-Treas., AFA-CWA United Master Executive Council; Trevor Chalcraft, Sec.-Treas., TWU Local 512; Qushaun Nagle, VP, CWA Local 4201; and Illinois State Rep. Will Guzzardi.
Speakers at the Dallas rally included Claude Cummings, VP, CWA District 6; Takisha Gower, DFW Envoy Agent and CWA Steward; Robert Helmstetler, DFW Envoy Agent and CWA Steward; Donna Bryant, VP, CWA Local 6001 and American Airlines Reservations Agent; Julie Lusk, AFA-CWA; and Greg Cosey, Vice President, TWU 513 (American Airlines Fleet Services).
Speakers at the Miami rally included James McKnight, Envoy Agent and Member of the CWA bargaining team; Florida State Senator Annette Taddeo; State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez; and State Rep. Robert Asencio.
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New York Times
On Dec. 6, 2017, employees of the New York Times, members of NewsGuild of New York, TNG-CWA Local 31003, ratified a four-year contract that provides wage increases and other benefit improvements.
The agreement, which covers much of the Times' newsroom and business staff, is in effect until March 30, 2021. Members will receive a 2.5% signing bonus and 2% raises on Jan. 1 and March 31, 2018. They will get additional 2% increases in 2019 and 2020.
For the first time, the Guild secured guaranteed medical coverage for up to one year for any member who is laid off. Additionally, the Guild's bargaining committee successfully negotiated that the Times will provide short- and long-term disability plans for members who need to take medical leave, as well as improvements in vacations and holidays.
"The negotiating committee worked incredibly hard," said Grant Glickson, president of the NewsGuild. "It was a tough fight. But I commend our committee and our membership for hanging in there and securing a contract during a time when union protections for media professionals across the nation are crucial for those working in this industry."
New York Times employees working in the video and audio departments also gained union representation.
"These past two years at the table have proven that union representation in the New York Times is necessary for our newsroom and for all of our staff," said Bill Baker, Guild member and Times unit chair. "Though we've negotiated and ratified our contract, our work doesn’t stop here."
It's Not Over: Keep Calling Your Members of Congress!
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As key Senate and House votes approach next week, CWAers continue to fight against the GOP's awful tax bill.
Republicans are trying to ram through the largest transfer of wealth from working families to big corporations, millionaires, and billionaires in our lifetimes. They want to raise taxes on working families to pay for permanent tax cuts for big corporations and their wealthy donors.
Click here or call 1-888-848-4824 to tell your Senators to oppose any tax plan that raises taxes for working people to give big corporations a tax break.
CWA activists from Local 1103 held phone banks to mobilize voters in upstate New York to tell their Members of Congress to vote against the GOP tax plan.
CWA: FCC Vote Will Damage Free and Open Internet
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CWA condemned the Federal Communications Commission's vote to abolish rules that have helped maintain a free and open Internet for all Americans.
By repealing the bright-line rules first introduced in 2005 and codified by subsequent Commission votes, the FCC eliminated essential safeguards that ensure Fair Internet access to all users.
A new survey by the University of Maryland showed that 83 percent of Americans – including 75 percent of Republican respondents – rejects the FCC plan on net neutrality that will allow some companies to speed up some websites, and slow down or block others.
The Republican majority’s plan seems to rely on a "trust me" approach that will be ineffective and meaningless.
The FCC is turning enforcement of Internet freedom over to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Because the FTC lacks authority over broadband providers that are also common carriers, pending the outcome of a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, there is no agency at this time with authority to protect an open Internet from abusive practices by cable or telecom companies.
The FCC's action also eliminates its jurisdiction over mobile broadband, an increasingly important way that people, particularly low-income consumers, access the Internet, and preempts critical state authority over broadband networks.
The three bright-line, common sense rules of no blocking, no throttling, and no favorable treatment to some websites and applications over others have worked to protect a free and open Internet. It is unfortunate that Chairman Pai and the Republican majority have chosen to move in the wrong direction, jeopardizing the technology that millions of Americans rely on.
It's Time to Make Sure NAFTA Works for Workers
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CWA members and retirees know that NAFTA has meant lost jobs, closed factories and call centers, and lower wages. Unemployed workers have struggled to find good jobs that provide similar pay and benefits.
That's why CWAers joined activists from labor, environmental, faith, consumer and other community groups for a national Replace NAFTA Day of Action. CWA activists called their Senators to tell them to hold U.S. trade negotiators to their promise that an updated NAFTA will raise standards and wages for workers and stop providing incentives for multinational corporations to move jobs offshore.
On Capitol Hill, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) held a press conference to draw attention to renegotiation talks that are now underway in Washington, D.C., and the impact they will have on working people. Rep. Ellison said that the NAFTA renegotiation offers "an opportunity to learn from what hasn’t worked and come up with an approach to trade that serves the common good."
Currently, NAFTA lacks enforceable labor and environmental rules, lowering standards for everyone. NAFTA negotiators have promised that the renegotiated trade deal will have strong provisions to protect working people, but they are under pressure from corporate lobbyists to make sure that there are no barriers to outsourcing jobs and driving down wages.
CWAers joined activists from labor, environmental, faith, consumer and community groups, as well as Members of Congress for a national Replace NAFTA Day of Action.
AFA-CWA Calls on Airline Industry to Back Crews with Zero Tolerance for Sexual Harassment and Assault
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AFA-CWA is calling on U.S. airline CEOs to renounce the past objectification of Flight Attendants, reinforce Flight Attendants' safety role onboard, and announce zero tolerance for sexual harassment and assault at the airlines.
"A national discussion on sexual assault and sexual harassment has lifted the veil on a silent epidemic in our society," said AFA President Sara Nelson. "As Flight Attendants, we have a unique opportunity to join a positive dialogue about the change we want to see. We must also recognize what this moment means for our careers, our flying partners, and all of the people on our planes."
In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Nelson called on "airline chief executives to clearly and forcefully denounce the past objectification of Flight Attendants, reinforce our safety role as aviation's first responders and pledge zero tolerance of sexual harassment and sexual assault at the airlines."
CWA/NETT Academy is inviting all members to a free webinar on programming and writing code.
This session will show how programming can benefit your career at a time when industry needs are changing rapidly. Topics to be covered include: What is driving the need for programming? What exactly is programming and where is it used? How is programming done?
Register and join us for one of the following sessions: