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Oct 14, 2021 - Flight Attendants at Piedmont Take Strike Vote and other news

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CWA Leaders Continue the Fight for Affordable Broadband Access for All

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Earlier this month, new members of CWA’s Broadband Brigade joined other CWA activists for a 2-day Build Broadband Better training. Participants received an overview of CWA’s campaign to expand broadband access at the state and federal levels, discussed strategies for mobilization and advocacy, and polished their digital communications and media relations skills. CWA President Chris Shelton led a discussion session and encouraged all the participants to keep the fight going. The members left the training re-energized and ready to engage other members, elected officials, and their communities on access to broadband.

Brigade members were also featured in a CWA-sponsored panel at this year’s Netroots Nation Conference. CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton moderated a panel of CWAers and other activists, talking about how to build broadband better for all. The panel included Chris Lewis, President and CEO of Public Knowledge, and Brigade members Robin Johnson, CWA Local 6215; Fernando Roman, CWA Local 7026; and Matt Wood, CWA Local 3411. Click Here to watch the full panel discussion.

Bargaining Update

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Indian River County School Board

Last week, workers at the School Board of Indian River County, members of CWA Local 3180, ratified a new contract that includes an increase in pay, up to 4% in some cases. The new 3-year contract covers 752 workers, including teacher assistants, secretaries, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, custodians, school bus drivers, bus assistants, media and computer lab assistants, and clerks.


Piedmont Airlines

After years of failed negotiations, Flight Attendants at Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, are currently taking a strike authorization vote that would allow them to go on strike at any moment if the company continues to refuse to reach a fair contract. Piedmont Flight Attendants helped keep the carrier flying through the COVID-19 pandemic and have been on the frontlines of dealing with difficult flying conditions. However, management's latest proposal includes only tiny raises with significant healthcare cost increases meaning many Flight Attendants would take home less tomorrow than they do today. They deserve better. Click here to learn more and sign a petition to support the Piedmont Flight Attendants.

CWA Airport Workers Call on Congress to Set Standards for Fair Wages and Better Benefits

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Last Thursday, airport workers from CWA, SEIU, and UNITE HERE met with members of Senate and House Appropriations Committees to call for extending prevailing wage and benefits standards to airports that receive federal dollars. Although airports receive billions in federal funding annually, there are no uniform standards for wages and benefits for frontline airport workers. CWA, which represents more than 20,000 passenger service agents, has joined with SEIU and UNITE HERE to call for a federal solution to establish uniform standards by extending the Service Contract Act’s wage and healthcare supplement to airports that receive federal funding.

Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.); Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.); Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.); and Representative Bonnie Watson-Coleman (D-N.J.) attended the roundtable and heard from workers including James McKnight, President of CWA local 3146, and Donielle Prophete, President of CWA Local 3645. They described the challenges airport workers are faced with such as high turnover, intense deadlines, and unsafe working environments, and stressed the need for Congress to take action to hold airports accountable to meet their workers’ needs. Watch the full discussion here.

Worker Power Update

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Supporting Pro-Worker Candidates in Virginia

Last Wednesday, CWAers in Virginia participated in a day of action to call union members across the state and talk about what's at stake in the upcoming statewide election. This day of action was focused on communicating the importance of winning this election for public workers in Virginia who currently do not have collective bargaining rights. CWA has endorsed gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and General Assembly candidates who have pledged that if elected, they'll work with labor to secure that right for Virginia's public servants. Public, Health Care and Education Workers Vice President Margaret Cook and CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton participated in the day of action along with 35 CWAers and other union members who made over 1,200 calls.

Above: CWAers and other union members participated in a day of action to encourage voters to vote for pro-worker candidates in the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial election.

Below: Last Thursday, CWA Local 2201 in Virginia and other local unions hosted a fundraiser for Hala Ayala, Democratic Nominee for Virginia Lieutenant Governor.

Building International Solidarity with Luxottica Workers

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Last Wednesday, Luxottica union members in Italy met virtually with Luxottica workers in the United States, to share their different experiences and discuss strategies to solve some of the challenges the workers in the U.S are facing. Workers at Luxottica’s manufacturing and distribution center in McDonough, Ga., have been organizing with CWA to gain union recognition for months but have been met with an aggressive anti-union campaign from the company.

During the meeting, the U.S workers talked about challenges including mandatory overtime, low pay, mismanagement, mistreatment and discrimination, sexual harassment, and much more. They described the push back they have received from the company, pointing out that the company has even gone as far as using a mobile application called LiveSafe, that was supposed to be oriented towards health and safety issues around COVID, to send out anti-union messaging to workers. The Italian workers shared their perspective on the positive aspects of having a union at Luxottica and some of the ways they have dealt with similar issues as an organized workforce. The workers and staff who participated in the meeting left feeling enlightened and energized to continue fighting for a union at Luxottica.

Join AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Stacy Abrams for a Critical Discussion on Protecting Voting Rights and the Power of Organized Labor

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Tonight AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Fair Fight Action founder Stacey Abrams will hold a fireside chat focusing on the connection between democracy at the voting booth and in the workplace, the importance of representation, and the power of collective bargaining. The two leaders will discuss the urgent need for Congress to take action to protect the freedom to vote for all eligible workers, particularly those who rely on early voting and mail-in voting to accommodate their work schedules.

The event will be livestreamed at 7:30 p.m., ET. Click here to join.