May 28, 2020 - Thanking our Essential Workers

May 28, 2020

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CWA Endorses Joe Biden for President

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CWA has endorsed Joe Biden for President, citing his strong record of fighting for workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively.

"Joe understands labor's mantra: 'Which side are you on?'," said CWA President Chris Shelton in a letter to the union's Executive Board recommending the endorsement. "He knows who built America and who built the middle class. When we need him, Joe and his White House will be there for us, ready to help. It's about time the President of the United States was an ally and promoter of organized labor, not an enemy."

Shelton cited Biden's support for the PRO Act, the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, and the fact that his broadband plan includes language requiring companies receiving funds to remain neutral on workers' organizing efforts as evidence of Biden's commitment to workers' rights.

As part of its endorsement process, CWA sent candidates a comprehensive questionnaire about issues important to working people and asked them to submit a short video explaining what they will do in the first 100 days as President to pass the PRO Act, Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, and expand workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively. Biden's answers and video are online at cwapolitical.org/biden2020. President Trump did not respond.


Cardin Introduces Legislation to Protect CWA Members' Jobs and our Communities from Unsafe "One-Touch-Make-Ready" Policy

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Last week, Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) introduced a bill to clarify that the FCC's "one-touch, make-ready" (OTMR) rules do not supersede collective bargaining agreements, a win for CWA members who have been fighting against the unsafe OTMR policy for years.

In 2018, the Republican-controlled FCC voted to adopt the dangerous anti-worker OTMR policy that sends CWA members' work – done by skilled employees who know the equipment and have extensive training – to unskilled, untrained, low-wage contractors. The Commission ignored hundreds of comments submitted by workers urging the FCC to protect public and worker safety and protect good jobs.

The OTMR policy allows companies that want to add equipment to a utility pole to move existing equipment. A local OTMR ordinance in Louisville, Ky., was disastrous, with dangerous mistakes made by contractors.

"Outsourcing skilled jobs to low wage contractors has serious consequences for workers and our communities," said CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney. "Pole attachment work is complex, and if done incorrectly, can cause electrocution or poles to fall. Senator Cardin's bill would protect good CWA jobs and keep our communities safe."

"The FCC was wrong to approve the anti-worker OTMR policy, especially after so many CWA members warned them about the safety risks of the policy," said CWA District 3 Vice President Richard Honeycutt. "CWA members are grateful to Senator Cardin for introducing a bill to protect jobs and our communities, and to make sure the work in our collective bargaining agreements is performed by skilled CWA members."


Organizing Update

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The Bradenton Herald

The journalists of the Bradenton Herald won union recognition on Tuesday, voting to form the Bradenton Herald NewsGuild. They are part of an ongoing wave of union organizing in Florida and among employees of the McClatchy chain, which has filed for bankruptcy.

"Today, the newsroom of the Bradenton Herald stood up, not just to demand better working conditions for ourselves, but to preserve quality local journalism in Bradenton, and our voices were heard," said veteran reporter Jessica De Leon.

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Digital Journalists at the Seattle Times

The digital journalists at the Seattle Times announced plans Tuesday to form a union and to join their colleagues in the Pacific Northwest local of The NewsGuild-CWA. More than 100 Seattle Times journalists are already members of the union.

The unit will have approximately 15 members and will represent digital producers, engagement editors, video journalists, and web developers.

Organizers presented Seattle Times management with a request for voluntary recognition. If management refuses to voluntarily recognize the union, workers will file for an election with the National Labor Relations Board.


CWA Local 1104 Nurses Thank Firefighters for Support

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This week, CWA Local 1104 nurses presented a banner to New York City Fire Department Engine Company No. 6 firefighters who have been providing meals and moral support to CWA members during the pandemic via sirens and applause to our health care workers on the frontline. The firefighters prepare the meals themselves at the firehouse for the nurses and other healthcare workers.


CWA District 6 Recognizes Hard Work of Essential Workers

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On Friday, CWAers in District 6 held a day of action to celebrate essential workers at AT&T Mobility. Across the district, members submitted photos of themselves wearing their PPE and CWA red. Thank you to those who submitted photos, we appreciate the hard work all our essential workers perform each day! Click here to check out all the photos from the day of action.


COVID-19 Resources for CWA Members

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Wondering about recommended health and safety protocols at your workplace? Looking for information on state and federal benefits for workers affected by the pandemic? Check CWA's COVID-19 resource page for answers.

Your local leadership will have the most up-to-date information on policies in place at your work location to address the COVID-19 pandemic and what action you should take if you believe you are being asked to work under unsafe conditions.

Remember, if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms consistent with infection, contact your healthcare provider immediately and follow reporting procedures established by your employer. Also notify your CWA Local or District as soon as possible.