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Mar 12, 2020 - Scholarships for CWA Families

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Connecticut Labor Committee Passes Call Center Bill

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This week, the Connecticut Senate Labor Committee voted on and passed a bill spearheaded by CWA members to protect Connecticut's call center workers! The vote in support of H.B. 5273 is an important first step towards ensuring that companies that offshore call center and customer service jobs are not rewarded with taxpayer dollars. State Senator Julie Kushner and State Representative Robyn Porter have been leading the efforts to pass the bill.

"For too long, our state has turned a blind eye to corporations that take millions of dollars in state contracts, tax breaks, and subsidies while outsourcing jobs overseas," said Dave Weidlich, CWA Local 1298 President. "This vote sends a powerful message: Connecticut will now keep those that send jobs overseas accountable and will stop rewarding companies that send call center jobs overseas."

The fight isn't over yet – if you live in Connecticut, take two minutes right now to send emails to your Connecticut State Representative and Senator to tell them to protect call center jobs.

CWA members in Connecticut are mobilizing to pass a state bill to protect call center jobs.

New Mexico Governor Signs Bill to Expand Collective Bargaining Rights

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Last week, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed H.B. 364 into law. The labor law reform bill strengthens collective bargaining rights for New Mexican public sector workers by reducing delays in union elections, protecting concerted activities like circulating petitions and talking to coworkers about wages, and more.

"CWA members are grateful to Governor Lujan Grisham and all the state elected officials who got this bill passed to modernize and strengthen collective bargaining rights for New Mexico's public sector workers," said CWA District 7 Vice President Brenda Roberts. "All workers should have the right to join a union without intimidation, and this bill is an important step in achieving that goal for New Mexicans."

CWA members nationwide are mobilizing to pass the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, which addresses the unique challenges that public service workers face when they want to join a union. This bill, introduced by Congressional Democrats, establishes a right to join a union for public service workers and sets a minimum nationwide standard of public service worker collective bargaining rights that all governmental bodies including states, counties, and cities must provide.

Scholarships for CWA Families

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Don't miss the April 30 deadline! The CWA Joe Beirne Foundation is awarding 16 partial college scholarships of $4,000 each for two years for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Eligible for the scholarships are CWA members, their spouses, children, and grandchildren, including the dependents of retired, laid-off, or deceased members.

Applications are available only online at the Foundation's website. The final deadline for the 2020-2021 school year is April 30, 2020. CWAers, please share this information with students who might be eligible.

NewsGuild-CWA Calls on Newspaper Chains to Commit to Free and Fair Union Elections

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The NewsGuild-CWA is calling on the country's major corporate newspaper chains to commit to a set of ground rules that will ensure free and fair union elections for their employees.

Journalists at 10 news publications around the country, owned by national chains, including Gannett, McClatchy, and Tribune Publishing, recently announced union drives. Employees at each publication requested voluntary recognition. In each of the campaigns, the employer refused to offer voluntary recognition, forcing a four-week waiting period for an election.

During these waiting periods, employers typically retain high-priced consultants to conduct campaigns of intimidation, disinformation, and emotional manipulation. The purpose of these anti-union campaigns is to convince employees to vote against joining a union and prevent them from securing collective bargaining rights. 

A December 2019 report by the Economic Policy Institute found that American employers spend an estimated $340 million annually on "union avoidance" firms to attempt to crush union elections. Consultants often report being paid $350 per hour or more, with some earning as much as $2,500 per day.

Alex Driehaus, a photojournalist for the Naples Daily News, said, "We want our members to be able to make an informed decision without fear of retribution, and we expect our management to maintain an environment where that is possible."

Learn more here.

CWA Opposes Rollbacks in Protection for Healthcare Workers

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Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released guidelines for healthcare workers working with patients affected by the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). These guidelines apply to all healthcare settings in the U.S.

In their guidelines, the CDC made several recommendations that can endanger healthcare workers, including allowing the use of facemasks instead of respirators and not requiring Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms for COVID-19 patients.
CWA strongly opposes the rollbacks in protections in the new CDC recommendations. 

The new CDC recommendations are a downgrading of protections for healthcare personnel (HCP) on the front line of the fight against the pandemic. Simply put, facemasks cannot provide the level of protection afforded by respirators and employers will be more likely to use this downgraded level of personal protective equipment (PPE) based on the CDC's guidelines.

CWA's Health and Safety Department has provided Districts and Healthcare Locals with a list of items that they should address with employers to ensure that this recommendation does not increase the risk for healthcare workers, their families, patients, and the community.