Jun 6, 2019 - CWA beats AT&T on call center bill

June 6, 2019

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Bargaining and Mobilization Update

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General Electric

The Union Coordinated Bargaining Committee (CBC) of IUE-CWA and five other member unions at GE met with the company in Cincinnati this week to begin national contract negotiations. The unions of the CBC combine their collective power so that GE cannot use divide-and-conquer tactics to weaken us. The CBC is chaired by Carl Kennebrew, President of IUE-CWA.

CWA President Chris Shelton and Kennebrew made opening statements at bargaining. IUE-CWA Conference Board Chairman and lead negotiator Jerry Carney and other union leaders addressed GE and demanded a fair and equitable contract for the thousands of union members they represent across the United States.

"Our goals are to make improvements in a number of areas – job security, health benefits, pension benefits, and wages, to name a few," said Shelton. "Our members are sick and tired of concessions on health benefits, increasing their costs every year. In addition to critical economic issues, we expect to negotiate over how this company will invest in a way to ensure our members have a future as we jointly work to bring GE to renewed success. These negotiations are an opportunity to build for the future."

Negotiations will continue throughout June with the current contract set to expire on June 23, 2019.


The Union Coordinated Bargaining Committee (CBC) of IUE-CWA and five other member unions at GE met with the company in Cincinnati to begin national contract negotiations.

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AT&T

This week, hundreds of CWA members leafleted outside AT&T authorized dealer stores across the country to let members of the public know how AT&T is hurting our communities, cutting jobs, and abandoning the workers who made the company so successful. 

The leaflets exposed AT&T's bad behavior and encouraged members of the public to take action to get Congress to investigate how the company has been using its tax cut since it has not fulfilled its promise to create jobs and invest in the United States. Sign the petition here: InvestigateATT.org

AT&T promised to create at least 7,000 jobs if they got a big tax cut. Instead, the company ran away with billions in tax breaks and still eliminated more than 23,000 jobs, while continuing to send work to low-wage contractors and overseas.

Thousands of CWAers at AT&T Midwest and AT&T Legacy T are currently fighting for fair contracts to ensure good jobs at the company. In Puerto Rico, where AT&T Mobility workers worked tirelessly to rebuild the AT&T wireless network after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, the company is refusing to ensure its two call centers will even stay open.


Hundreds of CWA members leafleted outside AT&T authorized dealer stores across the country to let members of the public know how AT&T is hurting our communities, cutting jobs, and abandoning its workers.


Delaware Expands Collective Bargaining Rights for CWA State Workers!

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Last week, Delaware Governor John Carney signed SB-8 to expand collective bargaining rights for all state worker bargaining units, including Social Workers/Case Managers in the Division of Health and Human Services who are members of CWA Local 13101. Previously, some units were limited by law to bargain over working conditions only. This bill allows workers to bargain for better wages and other compensation. The new legislation takes effect January 2020. The Delaware AFL-CIO and CWA Local 13101 were instrumental in the passage of the bill.


CWAers Win Protections for Nevada and Alabama Call Center Jobs

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Nevada

CWAers across the country are mobilizing to protect call center jobs from offshoring, and thanks to the hard work of Nevada CWAers, call center legislation is now heading to Governor Steve Sisolak for a signature! AT&T's lobbyists fought hard against the Nevada bill, applying pressure on state legislators to try to weaken it, but the governor helped keep the bill from being watered down.

The bill strengthens reporting requirements for companies that move more than 30% of their call center work out of Nevada, institutes a $5,000 per day penalty, and puts them on a bad actors list. Any company on that list is banned from receiving certain state funding and grants.

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Alabama


The Alabama bill to protect call center jobs, which contains strong notification requirements for companies that offshore 30% or more call volume at an Alabama call center, required repayment of unearned state benefits received to create call center jobs, and a five-year restriction on state benefits for employers who act in bad faith, was signed into law today!


Beirne Scholarships Awarded for 2019-2020

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The CWA Joe Beirne Foundation was established in October 1974 by the Communications Workers of America Executive Board to honor the name and memory of the founding President of CWA, who served for more than 30 years.

Sixteen partial college scholarships of $4,000 each are being awarded for the 2019-2020 school year. Winners, selected in a lottery drawing, also will receive second-year scholarships of the same amount contingent upon satisfactory academic accomplishment. Part-time students, taking fewer than 12 credits, will receive half of the scholarship amount.

Eligible for the awards are CWA members and their spouses, children, and grandchildren, including those of retired or deceased members.

2019-20 Winners:

Devin Malbreaux, son of Catherine Stevenson, Local 1105
Ashley Cook, daughter of Caprecia Jackson-Cook, Local 1038
Abigail Rodriguez, member of Local 1045
Stephanie Shamah, daughter of Billy Shamah, Local 1104
William Idzinski, son of Kim Idzinski, Local 81408
Madison Metague, daughter of David Metague, Local 13000
Keshaun Baxter, son of Cira Baxter, Local 3641
Amber Betz, daughter of David Betz, Local 3905
Marcus Jenkins, son of Lisa O’Neal-Jenkins, Local 4009
Cameron Camp, daughter of Vanessa Ogletree, Local 54043
Shannon Lund, son of Cecelia Lund, Local 6222
Elena YellowBird, grand-daughter of Fenella Bergeson, Local 7500
Hailee Schalwig, daughter of Shari Wojtowicz, Local 7250
Farrah Ghazi Moradi, daughter of Ryan Castro, Local 9416
Annika Carroll, daughter of Joanne Schnurr, Local 30205
Jenifer Norwell, member of Local 30213


Help IUE-CWA Members Affected by Natural Disasters

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CWA members have been affected by a number of natural disasters in recent weeks. The effects have been particularly severe for our IUE-CWA members.

In Missouri, several IUE-CWA members lost their homes due to extreme flooding. In the Dayton region, hundreds of IUE-CWA members were affected by tornadoes that ripped through the area. A number of members lost their homes or had severe damage to their homes, and hundreds of workers could not report to work because of tornado damage to the manufacturing plants they work in.

IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew is asking those who can to make a donation to the IUE-CWA Disaster Relief Fund, which will provide support to members and retirees who have been affected by these disasters.

You may contribute online by clicking here or send a check to:

IUE-CWA Disaster Relief Fund 
313 S. Jefferson Street
Dayton, OH  45410

Contributions to the IUE-CWA Disaster Relief Fund are not tax-deductible.

CWA's Disaster Relief Fund is also available to help dues-paying members and retirees who have experienced financial hardship due to a FEMA-declared natural disaster. Contact your local for more information about how to apply for these funds.


CWAers Urge Congress to Raise the Wage

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Piedmont passenger service agents, most of whom make under $15 per hour, are fighting to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024. CWAers from CWA Local 3603 met with Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) (center), who is a co-sponsor of federal legislation to raise the wage. The CWAers also delivered signed postcards from workers at Piedmont encouraging Congress to pass the bill.


West Virginia Education Workers’ Fight is Our Fight

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The West Virginia State Senate passed legislation this week to further restrict education workers' right to strike by making participation in a work stoppage a "ground for termination." CWA members are supporting West Virginia teachers and school personnel every step of the way as they fight this anti-worker legislation.
  
When West Virginia teachers went on strike in 2018 to improve working conditions and strengthen public education, they provided inspiration to the entire labor movement. These workers won gains for underpaid staff and for their students despite already facing restrictions on their right to strike imposed by the West Virginia Supreme Court in 1990.

"Their fight is our fight," CWA President Chris Shelton said in a statement of support for the workers. "This new legislation is an expansion of the decades-long attack on workers' rights by Republican legislators. It's a cowardly scare tactic to punish workers who take part in successful actions like those of the teachers last year and this year. Should they decide to go on strike again, education workers will be walking beside CWA members on the picket lines."