Sep 3, 2020 - A Labor Day Message from CWA President Chris Shelton

September 3, 2020

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A Labor Day Message from CWA President Chris Shelton

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Labor Day traditionally marks the homestretch of election season. As we race toward November 3rd, working people have more at stake than ever before.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed Donald Trump as a total fraud. Day after day during this crisis, he's bungled the basic functions of leading this country. He's refused to listen to medical experts and has failed to address the coronavirus crisis, causing many unnecessary deaths and making it harder for our nation's economy to recover. And he is blocking actions in Congress that could help many working families and small businesses get through the crisis.

While in office, he's secured tax breaks for his billionaire buddies and for corporations that move jobs overseas and totally deserted working people. He's put a union-busting lawyer in charge of the Labor Department, gutted workers' rights, and now he wants to make sure companies can't face any sort of legal consequences for exposing their workers to COVID-19.

Trump has absolutely no moral compass, no compassion for people who are struggling, and no interest in actually rolling up his sleeves to solve the problems our nation is facing. While millions of underpaid frontline workers are pleading with him to take basic actions to save their jobs and save their lives, Trump is picking fights with his critics on Twitter and fanning the flames of hatred and division in our country.

This crisis has made it abundantly clear: Donald Trump is destroying our country. If working people want our nation to recover from this crisis, we must do every single thing we can to elect Joe Biden in November to be the next President of the United States.

Read the full piece here.


Airline Workers Demand Action on Payroll Support Program Extension

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Last week, CWA members who work at American Airlines as passenger service agents and allies held a protest outside of the Charlotte office of U.S. Senator Thom Tillis calling on him to take action to extend the Payroll Support Program (PSP) in the CARES Act that saved 950,000 jobs in the aviation industry. The program is set to expire on September 30, and if Congress doesn’t act, airlines will lay off thousands of employees.


Sign Up to Power the Polls in November

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Our democracy depends on hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who act as poll workers to make sure elections run smoothly and everyone's vote is counted. But during the pandemic, we're facing an unprecedented shortage of poll workers that could mean closed polling places and long delays during the November election.

CWA is proud to partner with Power the Polls, an initiative to recruit poll workers. Sign up to Power the Polls today, to help make sure we have a safe, fair, efficient election for all voters.


Health and Safety Knowledge is Power in New Jersey

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Many of the 50,000 CWA members in New Jersey provide essential public services, including healthcare and direct care services, as well as public facing services in motor vehicle agencies, unemployment offices, and regulatory and inspection services. Jobs that were previously not considered to be risky have now become dangerous during COVID. As usual, we can't rely upon management to keep us safe, so New Jersey National Staff and Locals, with the help of Micki Siegel de Hernandez, CWA's National Deputy Health and Safety Director, developed a new Health & Safety Committee training program that focuses on keeping members and families safe in an unsafe environment, and building the union at the workplace.

The program focuses on building rank-and-file worksite Health & Safety Committees where committee members become the experts on safe environments, including understanding air-borne contagions, social distancing, cleanliness needs, what happens when there is a primary or secondary COVID exposure, and how workers can make demands and gather information to keep the workplace safe.

On August 25, 105 rank-and-file local leaders participated in the first round of training, which covered detailed information about how to avoid and prevent virus spread, along with how to engage members using surveys, worksite plans, meetings, and actions to mobilize and build power at the workplace. CWA National and Local Staff are now working Local by Local to implement this critical worksite-driven program.


3 Pro-Union Reforms To Improve Tax Fairness for American Workers

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A new brief from the Center for American Progress Action Fund looks at how anti-union bias is baked into the U.S. tax code and suggests three steps that policymakers should take to fix it and build power for workers:

  1. Impose limits on corporate deductions of business expenses that are anti-labor, like so-called “union avoidance” consultants, often highly-paid lawyers that companies hire to come in to coerce workers into not joining unions.
     
  2. Creating a new above-the-line deduction for union dues, allowing them to be deducted in addition to the standard or itemized deduction.
     
  3. Changing tax law to reduce the misclassification of employees as independent contractors, a tactic that many large corporations use to get out of paying and providing benefits to their workers.

Read the full brief here.


Election Update

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Massachusetts


After a tough campaign, during which CWAers spent many evenings phonebanking to talk with voters throughout Massachusetts, U. S. Senator Edward Markey came away with a huge win in the primary on Tuesday! CWA Local 1400 and IUE-CWA Local 81201 members went all out over the last few weeks to help make this victory a reality, with help from the members of CWA Locals 1180, 1106, and others.

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