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Aug 12, 2021 - On Strike in New York and Alabama and other news

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CWAers Win Labor Protections in Historic Broadband Infrastructure Agreement

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In a first for federal broadband investment, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which passed the Senate this week, includes protections for workers in the telecommunications industry. This historic legislation includes $65 billion in funding to support the expansion and affordability of broadband deployment and prioritizes funding for responsible employers with high labor standards.

CWA has been on the forefront of ensuring that the funding results in affordable, reliable broadband for all Americans and creates good union jobs. As part of our Build Broadband Better campaign, CWA activists from across the country have been engaged in educating the public and legislators about the importance of making sure that broadband infrastructure is built by skilled union workers and not low-wage contractors. The effort has also included a national broadcast and digital ad campaign

This historic investment is a great first step toward strengthening and bringing our nation's infrastructure into the 21st century. We urge the Senate to continue to make sure companies that receive federal funds support workers’ rights and to strengthen those rights by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

Read CWA’s statement on the passage of this historic bipartisan bill here.

Organizing Update

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Center for Biological Diversity

Workers at the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit organization working to protect endangered species through legal action, scientific petitions, creative media, and grassroots activism, won voluntary recognition last week. The new union includes paralegals and lawyers, organizers, campaigners, media specialists, scientists, membership, development, and IT staff. They will be members of CWA Local 9415 in Oakland, Calif.

“Joining the labor movement makes the Center for Biological Diversity an even stronger advocate for threatened communities, wildlife, and wild places. At this pivotal moment for our planet, we’re standing with workers against big polluters and other powerful interests,” the Workers for Biological Diversity Organizing Committee said.

This win is part of a growing unionization trend among workers at environmental and other nonprofit organizations.


New York Times

On Wednesday, technology workers at the New York Times staged a half day work stoppage to protest the news company’s unfair labor practices, including illegal polling and interrogation of workers about their activism. The virtual walkout was organized on Monday, after the tech workers learned of Times management's attempt to exclude staff such as data analysts and designers from a union representation vote. The NewsGuild of New York (TNG-CWA Local 31003), which represents 1,300 editorial and business employees at the Times, began the campaign to organize tech workers at the company in April. The unit is made up of more than 600 workers, an overwhelming majority of whom have signed a petition pledging to vote for a union.

CWAers Support Striking Mine Workers in Alabama

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Last Wednesday, CWAers from across the South participated in a rally in Brookwood, Ala., in solidarity with striking mine workers. Members of United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) District 20 have been out on an unfair labor practices strike against Warrior Met Coal since early April.

Members of CWA Locals 3902, 3204, 3908, and TNG-CWA Local 32035, as well as hundreds of other union members, retirees, and their families joined the crowd at what organizers said was the largest union rally ever in Alabama. AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson, who spoke in support of the mine workers on strike said, “You are standing on this picket line for every worker in America; for every single working person who wants to just be able to take care of their families at the end of a hard day’s work. I want to thank you for standing up. Flight Attendants are talking about this strike all over the country...we are with you.”

Donations to the UMWA Strike Fund can be made here.

CWAers participate in a rally to support striking UMWA miners in Brookland, Ala. AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson spoke at the rally in support of the striking workers.

CWA Public Workers in Columbus Win Essential Pay from City Council

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CWA Local 4502 members in Columbus, Ohio, have won their fight for premium pay for workers who were deemed essential or had consistent and on-going contact and interaction with residents of the city during the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualifying workers will receive $1000 each.

To win the pay, members of the local worked with other city unions and City Council President Shannon Hardin. The city will fund the program with money from the American Rescue Plan. Thanks to pressure from CWA members and our allies, Congress included money for state and local governments in the bill that can be used for pandemic premium pay.

"Our members have worked hard during the pandemic to provide services to those residing and/or working in the City of Columbus,” said CWA Local 4502 President Susan Wilson. “Until this legislation, nothing had been done, monetarily, for those that left their homes putting themselves and their families at risk. Many of these men and women picked up extra shifts, worked extended shifts, different hours, and different days all to maintain the services to those who live and/or work in Columbus. I am so proud of the employees we represent, they repeatedly demonstrate they are the best of the best."

Watch Wilson’s testimony to the Columbus City Council here.

NABET-CWA Members at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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NBC’s Olympic coverage crew members included CWAers from NABET-CWA Locals 51011, 51016, 51025, 52031, 54041, 59051, and 59053. Thank you to those who made this year’s Olympic games possible and congratulations to all the athletes on their accomplishments.

CWA Mourns the Passing of AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka

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The entire CWA family mourns the passing of AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka.

“Rich Trumka dedicated his life to the labor movement,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “Rich cared deeply about improving the lives of all working people, and he never forgot what it was like to work in the mines of western Pennsylvania. Under his leadership, the AFL-CIO fought every day for a more inclusive, just America.. I was proud to call him my brother.”

We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.