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Aug 27, 2020 - Will Congress Act to Save Our Jobs?

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CWA Involvement Protects Contracts and Pensions in Frontier Bankruptcy

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Thanks to CWA members' involvement in the Frontier Communications bankruptcy process, the plan of reorganization that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved last week does not include changes to CWA's collective bargaining agreements or benefits at the company.

Protecting our benefits and collective bargaining agreements was a priority during these negotiations. There are, however, many outstanding questions about the effect of the plan on frontline employees and whether or not Frontier will follow through on badly-needed investments in broadband deployment and service quality.

The plan of reorganization must still be approved by state regulatory agencies and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In a filing last week, CWA asked the Commission to require Frontier to commit to investing in its network to support all Frontier customers and to no job reductions post-restructuring. Sufficient resources and a trained workforce are needed to improve Frontier's struggling infrastructure.

CWA members' hard work has kept the company afloat through years of mismanagement. We must ensure that CWA members are part of Frontier's future, and hold Frontier accountable to its customers and to the communities it serves.

Town Hall Call: Saving Our Jobs

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The COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress in March provided funding to keep workers on the payroll, improved access to paid leave, and expanded unemployment benefits. While the economic crisis caused by the pandemic continues, many of those benefits have expired or will expire in the coming weeks.

Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are refusing to extend these critical programs, putting thousands of CWA members at risk of losing their jobs. Airlines have announced that they plan to cut tens of thousands of jobs on October 1 if the Payroll Support Program is not renewed, including CWA-represented Flight Attendants and passenger service agents. State and local governments face massive deficits, threatening CWA members' jobs and the public services we all rely on. The news industry is fighting for survival, even as readers are turning to local news outlets in record numbers in search of accurate, up-to-the-minute information about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting their communities.

Next Thursday, September 3rd, at 7:05 pm EDT, CWA President Chris Shelton and members from across the country will host a town hall call to talk about the impact of the pandemic and what we can do to force the Senate to pass legislation to save jobs. Click here for more information and to register.

CWA Members Rally for Safe Hospital and Nursing Home Staffing in New York

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CWA members joined members of the New York State Nurses Association and the New York State Public Employees Federation for a series of rallies this week in support of raising revenue and adequately staffing New York's hospitals and nursing homes. The unions are calling for taxes on the ultra-wealthy to provide the increased revenue necessary to fund proper staffing. Events took place in New York City, Buffalo, Elmira and Utica, and members also engaged in digital actions.

"Our healthcare workers have been on the frontlines risking their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Debbie Hayes, CWA District 1 Area Director. "As we prepare for a second wave of the virus, we cannot just sit back and wait for the disastrous loss of life we saw this spring to repeat itself. Adequate staffing is essential for improving patient care and protecting healthcare workers, but in order to achieve this we need our legislative leaders to provide additional funding for our hospitals and healthcare facilities."

Members from CWA Locals 1101 and 1180 joined picketing at Jacobi Hospital in New York City to demand funding to safely staff hospitals and nursing homes.

Visit CWA District 1's Facebook page for photos and videos from the week of action.

Organizing Update

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University of Virginia

Workers at the University of Virginia are joining together to make their university a better place for workers and students. The United Campus Workers of Virginia-CWA have launched #ActFastUVA, to demand that UVA abandon its "hybrid remote option" learning model for Fall 2020 and cancel move-in for the majority of undergraduates due to safety concerns. They are united with other campus groups under three principles: Fight Austerity, Assure Safety, and Solidarity Together.

The UCW-CWA affiliated group, including UVA undergraduate and graduate student workers, faculty, and staff, formed over the summer as a direct result of growing dissatisfaction with the University's repeated sidelining of student and worker input when developing its pandemic response. "I think a lot about what UVA's actions would have been like at the start of the pandemic if we had a strong union presence representing workers' interests all across grounds," said Evan Brown, a member of the UCW-VA steering committee. "I want to help build that vision and stand together when confronted with future issues."

Fighting for Justice in Texas

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On Saturday, CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings, Jr., will join a panel hosted by Senator Bernie Sanders on how the pandemic and economic crisis have affected Texans. Other panelists will include former Congressman Beto O’Rourke; Julie Oliver, a Candidate for Congress in Texas's 25th Congressional District; Jose Garza, Travis County District Attorney candidate; and representatives of organizations fighting for working families in Texas.

The panel will be live-streamed on CWA's Facebook page starting at 3 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. CDT.