Biden's Choice for Trade Representative Will Stand Up for Workers
Last week, President-elect Joe Biden announced the nomination of Katherine Tai for United States Trade Representative (USTR). The United States Trade Representative is the president's principal trade advisor and negotiator. By picking someone with Tai's experience and understanding of how trade agreements impact workers, Biden has shown that his Administration will follow through on his commitment to challenge corporate power and rebuild the middle class.
Tai has extensive experience with international trade policy, most recently serving as chief trade counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee. In that position, she negotiated fixes to Donald Trump's disastrous NAFTA 2.0 deal, getting the special deals for Big Pharma that Trump put into NAFTA 2.0 out of the final agreement. She also made important progress on labor rights, which is amazing in working out a deal with the most anti-labor president in decades.
"Katherine Tai is a tremendous choice for United States Trade Representative," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "Her values are working people's values."
UC Healthcare Workers
On Tuesday, nurses and other healthcare workers at UCHealth announced that they are forming UCHealth Workers United which will be part of CWA Local 7799. UC Health is Colorado's largest health system. Speaking with the Denver Post, UCHealth workers said that turnover and lack of staffing have affected patient care. By joining together in a union, the workers will unite their voices to fight for safe staffing ratios, proper PPE protections, fair wages, and public healthcare funding.
"I love UCHealth and the work I do here, but we are under real pressure from COVID-19," said a nurse at UCHealth. "If you are in the public, wear your masks and follow guidelines to stay healthy. If you work at UCHealth, join our union so we can have a voice and we can work for positive changes for ourselves and for our patients."
A healthcare technician at UCHealth stated, "We need to have the working conditions that allow us to bring the best energies to the bedside. Being able to bring our best selves to the bedside means better care for the community and more efficiently combatting this pandemic. We are all in this together."
Workers with Sunrise Movement, a youth-led movement organization advocating to stop climate change and create millions of American jobs, have voted to form a union with CWA Local 1180. Management has agreed to recognize the staff union.
In a virtual meeting that was live streamed on Facebook, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) verified the union vote count as Sunrise's third-party validator, announcing support from more than 95% of the workers. The workers saw organizing as an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with management while creating a more accessible environment for their growing team.
"The organizing efforts by Sunrise workers show that unions are essential in creating a foundation for a strong, equitable environment that elevates the voices of all workers," said Senator Markey. "I'm proud of these passionate young people who embody the true value of unions in the strongest traditions of the labor movement and are stepping out as advocates for workers' rights and good American jobs. Their dedication to empowering their team with strong support from management sets an important precedent for our country's workplaces."
Workers at Sunrise Movement participated in a virtual meeting with Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to verify the union vote count.
CWA Calls on Teleperformance to Ensure Worker Safety During COVID-19 Pandemic
CWA and other unions from around the world are calling on call center outsourcing behemoth Teleperformance to respect the human rights and safety of its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teleperformance is the world's largest call center service provider, operating in 80 countries and providing services to some of the largest brands and companies on the planet, including AT&T.
Last year, Teleperformance workers in the Dominican Republic won union representation with help from CWA.
"Teleperformance management's behavior during the pandemic has been appalling. The company is not providing sufficient protective equipment or social distancing, and workers in the Philippines are forced to sleep on the floor of call centers," said Shane Larson, CWA's Senior Director for Government Affairs and Policy. "If we raise standards at global outsourcers like Teleperformance, wages will go up and companies will have less incentive to send work overseas."
Text CWA UNION to 49484 for Updates on the Fights Ahead
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