Nov 5, 2020 - Election Results, COVID Outbreak at AT&T Call Center and more news from CWA

November 5, 2020

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CWA Members Push AT&T for Work from Home after Call Center COVID-19 Outbreak

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Despite 30 employees at an AT&T call center in Tustin, Calif. testing positive for COVID-19 and a probable fatality from the disease, AT&T has not agreed to allow all employees at the center to work from home.

While AT&T management at the facility initially claimed that the outbreak was not a result of exposure at work, CWA members worked together to trace contacts and map the workplace to show the pattern of cases. Confronted with this clear evidence, and a CWA rally outside of the call center which increased public awareness of the situation, AT&T closed the building for two weeks and the workers will receive paid leave.

“Indoor spaces put workers at higher risk for exposure to COVID-19, especially if they are inside for a long period of time,” said CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce. “AT&T is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. Why are they dragging their feet figuring out how to put systems in place so that their own employees can work from home during the pandemic? It’s unacceptable and we are demanding that the company immediately implement additional measures to protect their workers and the communities they serve.”

Representatives Katie Porter and Lou Correa, who represent the area in Congress, have contacted AT&T management to demand that AT&T do more to protect workers from exposure to the coronavirus.


CWA-Endorsed Candidates Win Big on Election Day

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CWA members across the country worked tirelessly in the home stretch to deliver key election wins to pro-worker candidates! Election officials continue to count ballots in many areas. Here are some initial highlights from Election Day:

  • CWAers in District 7 had huge wins on Tuesday, including turning key states blue for Biden and flipping two Senate seats to pro-worker candidates Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.).
     
  • In Georgia, CWA-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Raphael Warnock has qualified for a Senate runoff election to be held on January 5. As the final votes come in, CWA-endorsed candidate Jon Ossoff looks to be on the verge of making it to the runoff election, too. Our chances of ending Mitch McConnell's obstruction in the Senate will almost certainly come down to this key runoff election in Georgia.
     
  • In Colorado, voters passed a CWA-supported paid family and medical leave bill, Proposition 118, which requires employers to provide 12 weeks of paid time off for childbirth and family emergencies.
     
  • In Florida, a CWA-supported ballot measure to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr by 2026 passed with strong support. CWA-endorsed candidate Daniella Levine Cava was elected Miami-Dade County mayor.
     
  • In New Jersey, CWA-endorsed candidates Andy Kim, Tom Malinowski, and Mikie Sherill won three key N.J. Congressional races.
     
  • In Connecticut, Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Jahana Hayes were reelected.
     
  • In New York, the Working Families Party gained enough votes to stay on the ballot. CWA-endorsed candidates for State Senate, including newcomers Samra Brouk, Jeremy Cooney, and Sean Ryan, won their elections.
     
  • In Pennsylvania, CWA-endorsed Rep. Conor Lamb won re-election.
     
  • In Michigan, Sen. Gary Peters was reelected.
     
  • In Ohio, CWA-endorsed Jennifer Brunner's election narrowed the Republican majority on the state Supreme Court to 4-3.
     
  • In Texas, CWA-endorsed State Senate candidate Roland Guiterrez and State House candidate Ann Johnson won their elections.
     
  • In Missouri, CWA-endorsed Doug Beck was elected to the State Senate.
     
  • In Oklahoma, State Senate candidate Jo Anna Dossett defeated a Republican incumbent and State House candidate Maureen Turner won an open seat.
     
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and key CWA ally, was re-elected.

CWA members not only delivered wins for pro-worker candidates — some of them won their own races! Congrats to CWA Local 3204 member Nikki Merritt for being elected to the Georgia State Senate, and to AFA-CWA member Kaela Berg for being elected to the Minnesota State House of Representatives!


CWA members across the country worked tirelessly in the home stretch to deliver key election wins to elect pro-worker candidates!


Organizing Update

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Fort Worth Star Telegram

Journalists at the Fort Worth Star Telegram won voluntary recognition of their union on Monday, becoming the third McClatchy publication to do so this year.

Investigative reporter Nichole Manna said, "We started this effort out of love and only love, to protect and strengthen. Our future has always been bright, but now it's blinding."

Reporter Haley Samsel noted that workers at the Star-Telegram had become the second newsroom in Texas to join the NewsGuild-CWA, following the overwhelming vote in favor of union representation by employees of the Dallas Morning News on Oct. 16. "So proud of all the colleagues who made this possible, and newsroom leadership for recognizing that this was necessary," Samsel said.


Apply for the Beirne Foundation Scholarship for 2021-2022

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The CWA Joe Beirne Foundation will award 16 partial college scholarships of $4,000 each for two years for the 2021-2022 academic year. CWA members, their spouses, children, and grandchildren are eligible for the scholarships, including the dependents of retired, laid-off, or deceased members.

Applications are available only online at the Foundation's website. The final deadline for the 2021-2022 school year is 11:59 p.m., EDT, April 30, 2021.

The Beirne Scholarship Program is made possible by funding from CWA locals. Read more about the program here.


In Memoriam – November 5, 2020

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CWA has established a memorial page for members who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

This week we honor the memory of Gale Ballard, a member of CWA Local 9510 who worked for AT&T in Tustin, Calif., and Jamilia Williams, a member of IUE-CWA Local 86782 who worked at Trane in Tyler, Texas.