Sep 26, 2019 - Scabby the Rat at Frontier

September 26, 2019

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Bargaining and Mobilization Update

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Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications workers in California rallied in Pomona on Friday calling on the company to honor its contract with its employees, and demanding a stop to the company's offshoring of jobs. They also showed their support for workers in Connecticut who are negotiating a new contract to replace their contract that expires in mid-October.

"We are making it known to Frontier that our top priority is keeping good jobs in our communities," said CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce. "In addition to providing better service for its customers, the company must not leave its employees behind. Frontier workers deserve nothing less than a fair contract."

"Frontier has broken its promises to customers and to its workers," said CWA Local 9588 President Maggie McCormack. "It's time for the company to invest in our communities and negotiate a contract that brings back U.S. jobs."


Frontier Communications workers in California rallied in Pomona on Friday calling on the company to honor its contract with its employees, and demanding a stop to the company's offshoring of jobs.

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Altice

CWA Local 1103 members at Altice are standing up to say NO MORE outsourcing work to contractors. Workers rallied outside of the Westchester County Board of Legislators on Monday to demand job security and fair treatment from the company. Altice has eliminated more than 1,000 good jobs in the tri-state area, shifting the work to lower-paid contractors.

Local 1103 President Kevin Sheil said, "It's simple: Westchester workers and consumers are getting a raw deal from Altice. Altice has systematically eliminated good middle-class jobs in order to make a quick buck, which harms all of our communities in Westchester County."


CWA Local 1103 members at Altice rallied to demand job security and fair treatment from the company.


CWA Calls on Congress to Pass PRO Act to Expand Workers' Rights to Organize

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On Wednesday, the House Committee on Education and Labor passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, H.R. 2474. The bold proposal that would restore fairness to the economy by protecting workers' rights to stand together and negotiate for better working conditions has now cleared an important hurdle in the legislative process. CWA members successfully mobilized to make sure the bill made it through the committee without being watered down, and will now be pushing for a vote by the full House of Representatives for the strong pro-worker bill.

"At a time when wages haven't even kept pace with inflation, the PRO Act will give workers a fighting chance to make sure they're compensated fairly for their hard work," CWA President Chris Shelton said in a statement.

The PRO Act will empower workers across the country by strengthening their right to act collectively and join together in a union. It will remove some of the barriers that workers face when bargaining for fair wages, improved benefits, and a more secure retirement. Additionally, the PRO Act will improve protections for workers who face anti-union discrimination, retaliation, and other coercive acts by their employers.

All of the Democrats on the committee who were present voted in favor of supporting working people by moving the bill forward, while none of the Republican committee members did.


Ohio Workers Rally Against Racism at Verizon

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Today, workers from the Verizon Wireless store in Lancaster, Ohio, delivered a 15,000 signature-strong petition to the store's manager that calls for the reinstatement of a former employee, Martin Hopkins. CWAers, including District 4 Vice President Linda Hinton, and community leaders then gathered with Martin for a rally outside the store, where they demanded that Verizon address widespread issues of racial discrimination at the company.

"Racism was everywhere at the Verizon Wireless store where I worked, and the company's indifference allowed it to continue," said Hopkins, a former Verizon Wireless employee who was terminated after enduring years of racist treatment at the retail store in Lancaster. "Verizon Wireless executives tolerate toxic work environments where racial discrimination can thrive. Verizon can and will be a better company if it acknowledges that all workers deserve basic respect on the job."

"I saw management ask Martin to go to the back of the store when openly racist customers would come in," said Ryan Stretton, a former co-worker of Martin's who still works at the store. "I have seen customers and managers use the 'N'-word in front of Martin. Nothing ever happened to them. Martin is the best rep we've ever had. What Verizon did here is wrong. They should bring him back."

Martin was the subject of stories in the Lancaster Eagle Gazette and the Columbus Dispatch in July after he was fired without explanation. The only African American employee in the store, Martin was among the best salespeople in the region and never faced disciplinary action or a customer complaint. At the time of his termination, management refused to supply Martin any reason for his firing, and only later tried to justify it with trumped-up charges. Martin has since filed an EEOC complaint.

"We came to support Martin. The petition and rally are a demonstration of what workers can do when we stand together and refuse to let companies turn a blind eye," said Hinton. "Sadly Martin’s story is not unique. Verizon needs to accept the fact that it is responsible for the culture in its stores. The company should require implicit bias training for all managers and employees."

"Our community has mobilized around Martin to help him find justice and ensure what happened to him doesn't happen to others," said Diane Bailey, President of CWA Local 4310 in Columbus. "Verizon says that it cares for its workers and the communities in which it works, but that hasn't been the case here. Verizon needs to do the right thing by reinstating Martin and making it clear that racism has no place at the company."


CWAers and community leaders stood with Martin Hopkins, who was fired from a Verizon Wireless store in Lancaster, Ohio, after enduring years of racist behavior.


Successful AT&T Strike Shows that Workers Can't Rely on Empty Promises from CEOs

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CWA District 3 Vice President Richard Honeycutt's op-ed highlighting how CWA members in the Southeast held a successful unfair labor practice strike to stand up to AT&T was featured in Business Insider this week:

Some say the era of corporate accountability is here, pointing to statements like the one recently put out by the Business Roundtable in which executives from companies like JPMorgan Chase, General Motors, Lockheed Martin, and Walmart affirmed their commitment to doing right by customers, employees, and the communities in which they work.

But with another Labor Day behind us, and now 49,000 General Motors employees represented by the United Automobile Workers on strike around the U.S., the truth is that trusting corporations to hold themselves accountable is like trusting the fox to guard the henhouse. True accountability comes from workers who join together to fight for fairness, respect, and dignity for themselves and their communities.

That was made clear when more than 20,000 members of my union across nine Southeastern states launched an unfair-labor-practice strike against AT&T — the largest private-sector strike in the South in over a decade.

Read more here.


CWA Activists Across the Country Join Global Climate Protests

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CWA activists across the country joined people all over the world rallying last week for climate justice and a sustainable economy that works for everyone. CWAers, including those in New York, Ohio, Texas, and Arizona, showed their support for the youth-led global climate strikes to demand real and immediate action in response to the climate crisis.


EEOC: Employers Violated Federal Law by Excluding Women and Older Workers from Receiving Facebook Job Ads

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued a historic decision finding reasonable cause that seven American employers violated federal law when they posted job ads on Facebook that excluded women, older workers, or both, from getting those ads. The employers were Capital One, Edward Jones, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Enterprise Holdings, Renewal by Andersen, Drive Time Auto, and Sandhills Publishing Co.  
 
Federal law bars employers from engaging in discriminatory advertising and hiring based on sex, age, and other statuses. Since 2018, CWA and several workers have filed discrimination charges against 66 employers that allegedly excluded older workers, women, or both from their job ads on Facebook. 
 
"All workers deserve a fair chance to get a good job," said Sara Steffens, CWA Secretary-Treasurer. "The EEOC's rulings should send employers a strong message that they can't unfairly lock workers out of opportunities based on their gender or age. CWA will continue to fight to hold employers accountable for unjust discrimination."


Louisiana CWA Political Activists Gear Up for Elections

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A group of CWA members from all four corners of Louisiana – members of CWA Locals 3402, 3403, 3404, 3406, 3407, 3410, and 3411 – attended a CWA Political Activist Training. The participants are looking forward to the 6-week follow-up program as Louisiana CWAers work hard to re-elect Governor John Bel Edwards in the coming weeks.


Court Sides with CWA and Rejects Trump FCC Attempt to Scrap Media-Ownership Limits

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On Monday, a federal court delivered a forceful rebuke of the Trump Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s efforts to eliminate crucial limits on local-media ownership that protect workers, consumers, and communities' access to local news.

CWA, along with allies including Common Cause, Free Press, the Media Mobilizing Project, and attorneys from the Georgetown Law Institute of Public Representation, challenged the Trump FCC's ruling for its failure to address the impact of this radical deregulation on race and gender diversity in broadcasting.

The court agreed in full with CWA and the group's argument that the Commission "did not adequately consider the effect its sweeping rule changes will have on ownership of broadcast media by women and racial minorities," and rejected the FCC's decision to scrap these rules.