Jul 23, 2020 - Mitch McConnell is Blocking COVID-19 Relief for Workers

July 23, 2020

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CWAers Participate in National Strike/Day of Action for Black Lives

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On Monday, CWAers across the country participated in a National Strike/Day of Action for Black Lives along with other union members at SEIU, the Teamsters, AFT, and community-based organizations, demanding that bosses and elected officials address the systemic racism that drives economic inequality in this country. Workers are demanding guaranteed sick pay, affordable health care, strengthened health and safety protections for essential workers, and stronger organizing rights for all workers.

"At CWA, we know that statements in support of our Black colleagues and Black lives are not enough to dismantle the centuries of racism that have shaped our society and our workplaces," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "We are taking real action, educating all of our members on the importance of this movement and the harsh realities that so many of their Black co-workers face each and every day, and demanding the same from our employers. As this pandemic continues to disproportionately affect our Black colleagues and other communities of color, we are ensuring all members understand that an injury to one is an injury to all."

In Memphis, workers held an action to call out AT&T for its contradictory statements in support of Black Lives Matter while the company has failed to protect workers of color from COVID-19.

"Our actions here in Memphis are part of a much larger movement to ensure that Black workers are supported and uplifted on the job at AT&T and everywhere else," said Randall LaPlante, and Executive Board member of CWA Local 3806 in Memphis, Tenn. "AT&T continues to spend thousands on ads that portray it as a leader supporting the movement despite its failure to institute policies that protect Black workers. Their lack of action is a disgrace, and we’re here to expose the company for its hypocrisy and demand better from leadership."


CWAers across the country participated in a National Strike/Day of Action for Black Lives to demand that bosses and elected officials address the systemic racism that drives economic inequality in this country.


CWA Mourns Passing of Congressman John Lewis

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The following statement is from CWA President Chris Shelton:

The accomplishments of Congressman John Lewis are legendary. His courage and determination in the face of some of the most brutal racist attacks any person has ever endured inspired generations of activists and leaders, including thousands of CWA members. He truly understood the connection between labor rights and civil rights.

Congressman Lewis devoted his life to helping America live up to its highest ideals. He will, of course, be remembered for the leadership he showed and the sacrifices he made as a young man during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. I knew Congressman Lewis as an accomplished legislator who treated me like family and always had time to listen to the concerns of working people.

John Lewis is irreplaceable, but we are seeing a new generation of activists rising to defend and carry on his work. In fact, they have distilled it into three simple words: Black Lives Matter. In his memory, we at CWA recommit ourselves to the fight for justice.

Read the statement on Congressman Lewis from CWA District 6 Vice President and head of CWA's Human Rights Program Claude Cummings, Jr. here


Organizing Update

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Dallas Morning News and Al Día Dallas

With a strong majority of workers backing the effort, newsroom employees at The Dallas Morning News and Al Día Dallas asked their parent company, A.H. Belo,. to recognize the Dallas News Guild as a unit of The NewsGuild-CWA. The Dallas News Guild would cover more than 100 journalists across all departments of the newsroom.

Dave Tarrant, a longtime Morning News reporter, said, “We are under no illusions about the difficulties faced by newspapers today. We believe that by uniting as partners with management, we can keep the paper and its many platforms alive and serve our readers and audiences across Texas and beyond in meaningful ways for years to come.”

Send an email to management, demanding they recognize these workers.

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ACLU of Kansas

Staffers at the ACLU of Kansas won union recognition on July 20 after management of the organization dropped its anti-union campaign and agreed to allow a neutral party to verify support for the union. The procedure, known as “card check,” showed unanimous support for the ACLU of Kansas United, which will become part of the United Media Guild/TNG-CWA Local 36047.

In June, the workers announced their plans to form a union and were stunned when management of the pro-civil liberties organization hired an anti-union law firm to thwart their efforts. Management relented after union supporters mounted a pressure campaign urging the organization to live up to its values.


We Must Pass the HEROES Act to Provide Relief to Workers During COVID-19

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The HEROES Act, passed by the House of Representatives in May, would provide much needed relief to state and local government, premium pay for essential workers, paid leave, strengthened OSHA protections, and funding for safer voting in the 2020 elections. This critical legislation would benefit workers across the country, including CWA members.

However, the bill has stalled in the Senate, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he opposes core provisions of the bill like extended unemployment protections and aid for state and local governments.

CWA members have made thousands of calls and sent thousands of emails in support of the bill, but we need to ramp up now, especially as cases of COVID-19 have spiked. Call your Senators now and urge them to support the HEROES Act: 1-877-775-9294.


On July 16, CWA locals took part in a caravan of about 30 cars to pressure North Carolina's U.S. Senator Thom Tillis to vote yes for the Heroes Act on July 16. (Photo credit: National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA).)


New York State Assembly and Senate Pass CWA-Backed Broadband Bill!

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A bill that CWA members in District 1 strongly supported – A6679/S8805 – to expand broadband and fiber optic services, was passed by both the New York Assembly and the New York Senate this week. It will now head to Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk for a signature.

Access to affordable high-speed internet is vital, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic with millions of New Yorkers working and schooling from home, yet too many people have been left behind. The bill requires the New York Public Service Commission to assess and map the availability, reliability, and affordability of high-speed broadband internet access within New York State, a vital step in helping get affordable broadband access to all New Yorkers. CWA members throughout New York made phone calls to speak with legislators about this important bill and sent hundreds of emails to help convince nearly every single one of them to vote YES to bring affordable broadband access to all New Yorkers.


Know Your Rights to Paid Leave Under the Federal Families First Coronavirus Act

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Need information about paid leave and paid sick time under the Families First Coronavirus Act? Family Values @ Work has created an easy to understand questionnaire and decision chart to help you understand which parts of the legislation may apply to you. Check it out at https://familyvaluesatwork.org/rights.

You can find links to additional COVID-19 resources at cwa-union.org/covid-19.

If you have concerns about COVID-19 protocols in your workplace, contact your shop steward or a local officer.

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.