Aug 13, 2020 - Harris Makes the Democrats’ Pro-Worker Ticket Even Stronger

August 13, 2020

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Harris Makes the Democrats' Pro-Worker Ticket Even Stronger

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On Tuesday, Democratic presidential presumptive nominee Joe Biden announced his selection of Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his vice presidential running mate in the 2020 election.

"Joe Biden's historic choice of Kamala Harris makes a strong, pro-worker ticket even stronger," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "Senator Harris never backs down from a fight, whether it's stopping companies from stealing wages, ensuring that our labor laws cover all workers, or calling out the worst members of the Trump administration and demanding they be held accountable. Donald Trump and his corrupt cronies have failed us, and CWA members will be doing every single thing they can to make sure Joe and Kamala win this fall."

"Kamala Harris is an outstanding choice for Vice President," said District 4 Vice President and CWA Legislative-Political Committee Chair Linda L. Hinton. "CWA members across the country know that she has been there for us when we've asked her to step up. She is a cosponsor of the PRO Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, and will ensure that the Biden administration makes restoring workers' collective bargaining rights a top priority. She's cosponsored our legislation to protect good call center jobs, as well as the Senate Democrats' bill to build out broadband, create good jobs, and close the digital divide. The Biden-Harris ticket will put the needs of working people first as we recover from this pandemic."

Get involved with CWA's 2020 political program! Learn more at https://cwa-union.org/2020-volunteer or text CWA2020 to 69866.


CWA Joins Labor and Environmental Groups' Call for Emergency Action to Protect Workers

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CWA joined other unions and environmental groups this week to file an emergency rule-making legal petition demanding that the Trump administration take action to provide adequate masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to essential workers.

The petition, led by the Center for Biological Diversity, demands that top Trump officials act immediately to ensure the manufacturing and distribution of adequate PPE. Trump has refused to properly manage PPE production and distribution, leaving states and industry to compete and frontline workers short of supplies. The petition requests a response from the administration within 15 days, and if they fail to respond, the groups could sue in federal court to compel a response.

"As states reopen and the number of COVID-19 illnesses and hospitalizations continues to rise to unprecedented levels, we need the President of the United States to stop abdicating his responsibility to protect workers who are putting their lives on the line to do their jobs," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "Leaving workers to fend for themselves while there are grave shortages of adequate PPE during a pandemic is unacceptable and un-American. CWA members and all workers need Donald Trump to do something useful for once and order the cronies he's put in charge of the federal government to use every tactic within their power to get PPE produced and distributed."

"Although in New York we're past the initial surge, the PPE situation for workers is still an urgent problem. We're still facing a shortage of N95 masks, gowns, and other crucial PPE," said CWA Local 1168 Director of Health and Safety Denise Abbott, an ER nurse at Kaleida Health in Buffalo. "Employers have still not been able to return to normal standards of care and PPE use because they are afraid of running out of supplies again if there is another surge. We need to ramp up production of crucial PPE now."


Keep the Pressure on to Save CWA Jobs in the Airline Industry

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CWA members like Devin Sartin, a member of Local 3641 in Atlanta, Ga., are urging their Senators to extend the PSP program. Watch the video here.

The airline industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, but the Payroll Support Program has helped keep workers on the job and helped maintain service around the country. The program is set to expire at the end of September, which will mean massive layoffs and cancelled flights, especially to small and medium sized cities.

While a proposal to extend the program has bipartisan support in Congress, the Senate has not taken action and time is running out. Contact your Senators today and tell them to make extending the Payroll Support Program through March 2021 is a national priority. Click here to send your message.


N.Y. Congressman Stands Up for Workers at E-ZPass

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With almost 300 good, CWA-represented customer service jobs on the line, Congressman Max Rose is pushing back against the current New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's solicitation of proposals for a new E-ZPass service provider. The MTA's request for proposals does not require that the new provider retain its current workforce.

"The loss of these jobs would be a massive setback for our community...I therefore request that there be contractual guarantees that the contract awardee will retain the current workforce in Staten Island and that these jobs will stay good, family-supporting jobs,” Rose wrote in a letter to the MTA.

"It's unconscionable that during an ongoing public-health crisis and an unpredictable economy, the livelihoods of almost 300 workers at the Staten Island E-ZPass Center are in jeopardy," said CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor. "As the MTA considers rebidding this contract, worker retention and protecting these jobs must be the top priority."


Unions Tell Congress: We Need Paid Leave for All in Next Relief Bill

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Unions representing more than 21 million workers including CWA, AFSCME, AFT, NEA, and SEIU, along with the AFL-CIO, sent a letter this week urging House and Senate leaders to extend and expand federal paid leave benefits for all workers into 2021.

"Millions of workers are worrying about their health and their jobs and incomes while this virus wreaks havoc on our country. Never before have paid leave protections been more necessary," the unions wrote. "Meaningful paid leave that covers everyone is one of our best chances to stop the spread, allow us to safely reopen, and get the economy back on track."

Read the letter here.


CWAers Attend Virtual Training on Building An Anti-Racist Union

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In response to the national uprisings following the murder of George Floyd, the CWA Executive Board committed to create dedicated spaces for open dialogue on race for our members and leaders. The discussions will help determine outcomes and clear steps the union must take to fight racism in the union, within the industries we represent, and the community-at-large.

In July, as part of those efforts, members of CWA's National Executive Board Diversity Committee, National Civil Rights & Equity Committee, and the National Women's Committee attended CWA's anti-racism training. The training, "Building An Anti-Racist Union," is part of a series of virtual training sessions on recognizing implicit bias, how to actively dismantle racist systems, ideas, and practices, and how to form local human rights committees.


Members of CWA's National Executive Board Diversity Committee, National Civil Rights & Equity Committee, and the National Women's Committee attended CWA's anti-racism training.