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Jan 24, 2019 - The Shutdown Crisis Continues

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Bargaining Update

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Over the past year, CWAers have been battling with Nokia to prevent the company from laying off all of the bargaining unit members and replacing its installers with subcontractors. 

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board Region 9 Director found that CWA's concerns about the company's efforts to frustrate the process and take work away from CWA members were meritorious.

Nokia has refused to provide the CWA bargaining committee with the information they need to develop comprehensive responses to the company's proposals and has refused to bargain in good faith over plant closings, layoffs, and subcontracting.  

In addition, CWA Local 4390 President Art Plas raised the alarm when the company short-timed and temporarily transferred his members around the country while sending the work they could be performing in Ohio to subcontractors in other states and countries.

"We will continue to do whatever it takes to fight for our sisters and brothers at Nokia," said Lisa Bolton, T&T Vice President. "I am so proud of the bargaining team and the locals for mobilizing and remaining rock solid and letting the company know: No contract, no peace!"

While the bargaining team awaits the information from Nokia, the local leadership is busy mobilizing members to continue fighting for a fair and equitable contract that protects retirement security. 

Organizing Update

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Gloucester County Library Commission

Workers at six libraries in Gloucester County, N.J., now have a voice at work! CWA Local 1085 President Mike Blaszczyk, EVP Joe Hiles, and VP and Organizing Committee Chair Brian O'Donnell supported this successful effort as part of the local's CWA STRONG program.

The organizing committee developed a mission statement and shared their vision in one-on-one conversations with coworkers about the benefits of joining together to create positive change at work. Thanks to this diligent work, they won voluntary recognition from the Gloucester County Library Commission last Friday.

"Our Calling is Now" to End the Government Shutdown

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As she accepted the 2019 AFL-CIO Martin Luther King, Jr., Drum Major for Justice Award on Sunday, AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson called on conference activists from across the labor movement to come together to address the government shutdown.

"Our calling is now," Nelson said. "There is a humanitarian crisis unfolding right now for our 800,000 federal sector sisters and brothers who are either locked out of work or forced to come to work without pay due to the government shutdown. These are real people who are facing real consequences of being dragged into the longest shutdown in history. No money to pay for rent, for childcare, or a tank of gas to get to work."

Nelson urged union members not to sit on the sidelines. "Don't wait for an invitation," Nelson said. "Get engaged, join or plan a rally, get on a picket line, organize sit-ins at lawmakers' offices."

For more information on how you can support efforts to end the shutdown, visit

AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson and other CWAers joined union members, workers affected by the shutdown, and other allies, packing the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday to call on Senators to end the shutdown.

Hedge Fund Alden Global Capital Attempts Takeover of Gannett Newspaper Chain

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Billing itself as a savior of newspapers, vulture hedge fund Alden Global Capital has made a $1.36 billion hostile takeover bid to acquire Gannett's chain of more than 100 local papers.

If successful, the move would make Alden's Digital First Media the largest newspaper chain in the country (in terms of circulation), while extending Alden's heavily criticized slash-and-burn strategy to hundreds of U.S. communities.

The NewsGuild, which represents workers at 12 Digital First newspapers, issued a statement Monday opposing the proposed takeover.

"A purchase of Gannett by Digital First Media would result in a dangerous loss of local reporting, more consolidation, and the strip-mining of Gannett's newspaper assets at a time when the industry demands owners who are committed to reinvestment in journalism and when citizens need local news coverage more than ever," the statement reads.

Read more here.

IUE-CWA Members Take Action to Remake our Democracy

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IUE-CWA members from Locals 84758 (Dayton), 84725 (Sydney, Ohio) 84727 (Cleveland), and 83761 (Louisville) joined thousands of other CWAers who made phone calls to their members of Congress on last week's Day of Action to push for the passage of the For the People Act. The bill contains reforms essential to fixing our political system including voting rights, money-in-politics, redistricting, and government ethics reforms. It's not too late to add your voice! Call 1-888-894-6720 to ask your member of Congress to stand up for our democracy.