Nov 18, 2021 - Leading the Fight Against Disruptive Airline Passengers and other news

November 18, 2021

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Organizing Update

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Politico and Essential Energy and Environment News (E&E News)

Last Tuesday, workers at Politico and Essential Energy and Environment News (E&E News) won voluntary recognition a mere ten days after announcing the formation of the PEN Guild (TNG-CWA Local 32035). The workers attribute this win to their strategic and positive organizing campaign and the support of an overwhelming majority of the newsroom. The organizing committee members have begun informing their coworkers on the new rights and protections voluntary recognition brings and are eager to negotiate with the company for a first contract. Read more here.

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Point Park University

Last Wednesday, full-time faculty at Point Park University, members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh (TNG-CWA Local 38061), ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement in a unanimous 72-0 vote. The three-year deal includes minimum salary increases, progressive yearly salary increases for all faculty over the course of the agreement, new policies on leave for the Juneteenth federal holiday and other religious observances, and the addition of paid time off for parental leave. The agreement also gives faculty a greater role in shared governance at the university, as well as more input into health and safety matters. Read more here.

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University of Florida

On Monday, workers from the University of Florida (UF) gathered on campus to announce the launch of a new union, United Campus Workers of Florida (UCW-CWA of Florida). Other unions on campus are specific to faculty members and graduate assistants; this new union will be for UF staff and adjunct professors not included in the others. During the announcement, several staff members shared their stories of the challenges they face and low wages they receive and how they hope to change that with collective worker action.


Bargaining Update

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New York Times

On Tuesday, workers at the New York Times (NYT), members of the NewsGuild of New York (TNG-CWA Local 31003), rallied outside the NYT office in protest of management's anti-union tactics. The members are engaged in a fight with the New York Times that directly impacts three bargaining units (the newsroom, tech workers, and Wirecutter). Management is denying workers at Wirecutter a fair contract, slow-walking bargaining with Times Guild members over fair pay and safe working conditions, and fighting the union of hundreds of NYT tech workers. The three units are standing together with one clear message: Stop union busting. Respect our union.

Despite sitting on almost $1 billion in cash, the company has only offered workers at Wirecutter an unacceptably low 0.5% annual salary increase. Wirecutter Union members, who have been bargaining for their first contract for two years, have organized a job action set to begin on Black Friday and continue through Cyber Monday. They’re calling on supporters to honor their “digital picket line” and stop shopping through Wirecutter if a deal isn’t reached before then. Click here to learn more and pledge your support.


Members of three New York Times bargaining units and supporters protested against management's anti-union tactics outside the company’s offices.

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Frontier Connecticut

Last week, Frontier workers in Connecticut, members of CWA Local 1298, held an informational picket calling on Frontier Communications to negotiate a new contract that includes job security, fair benefits, and access to the jobs of the future expanding Frontier’s network. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) joined the picket in support of the workers, over 97% of whom have voted to authorize a strike if Frontier refuses to bargain a fair contract. Issues on the bargaining table include eliminating two-tier medical plans and two-tier work rules, getting a bridge to Medicare for retirees post expiration, and correcting the wage theft committed by the company to leverage sales reps. The workers are determined to keep mobilizing until their demands for a fair contract are met.


CWA Local 1298 members held an informational picket to get their message out to the public and fight for a fair contract.

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ABC

Last week, NABET-CWA’s Network Negotiating Committee participated in another round of negotiations with ABC. The bargaining committee pushed for enhanced benefits including expanded sick leave, child bonding leave, bereavement leave, paid jury duty leave, and extending payments in lieu of vacation to all daily hires. In addition, the union and the company came to a tentative agreement to add four new covered platforms (ESPN+, ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, and SECN+) into the Sports Event Agreement. Bargaining will resume on January 10th with sessions in Los Angeles.


Worker Power Update

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Build Back Better Act

CWA activists have been mobilizing to ensure the passage of the Build Back Better Act.


Last Wednesday, members of CWA Local 1104 and other coalition partners rallied in front of Congresswoman Kathleen Rice’s (D-N.Y.) office calling on the congresswoman to stand with workers and support the Build Back Better Act.

Today at 6pm ET/ 5pm CT/ 4pm MT/ 3pm PT we'll be hosting a phone bank to contact the handful of House Democrats who are attempting to weaken the bill and slow its passage. Click here to join and tell these members of Congress that working people and retirees can’t afford to wait any longer for affordable child care, lower prescription drug prices, and protections when they speak out at work to improve their wages and working conditions.


Protecting Our Democracy and Ending the Filibuster

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On Wednesday, in the latest of a series of protests, CWAers, coalition partners, and other activists rallied in front of the White House to demand action on voting rights.

The recent surge in anti-voter laws emerging from state legislatures around the country is a full fledged attack on our democracy and the freedom to vote. The Biden Administration must step up its commitment to voters and work with the Senate to secure the votes necessary to pass meaningful voting rights legislation.

To demonstrate the significance of this issue, several activists at the protest, including CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings, Jr., and PHEW-CWA Vice President Margaret Cook, participated in civil disobedience by getting arrested. Last month, delegates to the 78th CWA Convention voted overwhelmingly to pass a resolution to end the filibuster and save our democracy. We will continue to show up at the White House, in the halls of Congress, and take to the streets to make our voices heard and fight to ensure all Americans have the freedom to vote.


CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings, Jr., and PHEW-CWA Vice President Margaret Cook (below) were arrested at a protest in front of the White House demanding meaningful federal voting rights protections.


Advocating for Aviation Security and Worker Safety

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On Tuesday, AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security in a hearing entitled, “On the Frontlines in Turbulent Times: Workforce Perspectives on the State of Transportation Security.” Nelson’s testimony centered on the increase in unruly passenger incidents, which is currently one of the major threats to aviation security and workers on the frontlines.

“Dealing with a disruptive passenger used to be a rare event and a really bad day at work. But today, Flight Attendants and other aviation workers are aware before every trip, every shift, and our families are too, that when we put on our uniforms we are donning a target for abuse, harassment, and violence,” said President Nelson. “We cannot accept this as the new normal.”

President Nelson’s testimony also included several recommendations to protect frontline workers and maintain aviation security including swift and public prosecutions of violations by the Department of Justice, banning to-go alcohol in airports, creating a centralized list of violators who will be denied the freedom of flight on all airlines, increased staffing at the gate and on planes, crewmember self defense training, and more.