Jan 6, 2022 - Why Does Infrastructure Matter to You? Share Your Story and other news

January 6, 2022

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Organizing Update

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AT&T In Home Experts

This week, a majority of AT&T In Home Expert (IHX) workers in Maryland and Nevada voted to join CWA. They are building power with hundreds of thousands of workers at AT&T and other telecom companies to bargain good jobs and strong contracts. IHX workers across the country have been organizing to have a voice on the job in Arkansas, Detroit/Southfield Michigan, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey.

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Google/BDS Connected Solutions

On Tuesday, a supermajority of customer service workers at BDS Connected Solutions, a contractor for Google Fiber, signed union cards to join the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU-CWA Local 1400) and filed with the National Labor Relations Board for a representation election. Most of the workers are already dues-paying members of AWU-CWA.

This milestone is the latest accomplishment for the members of the Alphabet Workers Union and CWA Local 1400. AWU celebrated its one-year anniversary this week. Alphabet is the name of Google’s parent company.

“We are glad to welcome the workers of BDS Connected Solutions as members of CWA Local 1400. AWU-CWA has been a powerhouse since its inception and we are ecstatic to help Alphabet workers grow their worker power and finally have bargaining rights, ensuring their voices are not only represented within the tech industry, but heard,” said Local 1400 President Don Trementozzi.

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Change.org

Canadian workers at the online petition company Change.org have officially won union recognition as part of CWA Canada. The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) certified the union as the bargaining agent and will hold a hearing next month to determine the precise makeup of the bargaining unit. The workers at the company announced a cross-border campaign to form a union with CWA last spring. CWA Canada filed for certification last June after a majority of staff in Victoria and Toronto signed union cards. The staff includes campaigners, engineers, content creators, designers, product managers, and operations professionals.


Bargaining Update

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Daily Hampshire Gazette

Workers at the Daily Hampshire Gazette, members of Pioneer Valley NewsGuild (TNG-CWA Local 31041), ended 2021 by ratifying their first contract, securing important victories after more than two years of negotiating with the Gazette’s owners, Newspapers of New England. The contract includes protections against outsourcing for employees in all departments, pay raises in each year of the two-year deal, paid breaks, the designation of Martin Luther King Day as a paid holiday, and a generous severance package if layoffs occur. The vote was unanimous amongst the members who took part in balloting over the long Christmas weekend.


New Program Makes Internet Connectivity More Affordable for Households

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As part of our Build Broadband Better campaign, CWA members ensured that the recently passed, bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) included funding to build high-speed internet with skilled union labor. They also pushed for a long-term program to help families and households stay connected by making internet service more affordable.

Now that program has launched. The Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Learn more about the program and how to apply at www.acpbenefit.org.

Please help get more people the broadband access that they need by sharing this information with your friends, family members, and community organizations! Social media content, flyers, and posters are available at www.fcc.gov/acp-consumer-outreach-toolkit.

Note: This program will replace the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, a similar program previously launched by the FCC. Households fully enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program as of December 31, 2021, will continue to receive their current monthly benefit until March 1, 2022. More information about the transition and staying enrolled after March 1st can be found here.


Worker Power Update

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CWAers in New York Secure a Major Legislative Victory

Thanks to CWA members and community allies, the New York Fiber Acceleration Bill was passed into law and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul. CWAers in New York made phone calls and held over 160 meetings with legislators last year to secure the bill’s passage.

Far too many consumers are denied a competitive choice of broadband providers because building and property owners block broadband providers from gaining access to deliver broadband services. In New York City alone, there are over 160,000 properties that Verizon workers cannot access. The New York Fiber Acceleration Bill gives internet service providers the right to access any building where there is or was telephone service for the purpose of upgrading the copper to fiber in order to provide New York residents with access to the most advanced broadband services.

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Share Your Story: Why Does Infrastructure Matter to You?

The recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes around $550 billion in new federal investment that will grow the economy, create good jobs, and make our economy more sustainable, resilient, and just.

Thanks to the leadership and the activism of CWAers, the legislation includes $65 billion to expand our nation’s broadband networks and help states across the country bring their telecommunications infrastructure into the 21st century, creating new jobs in the process. CWA members are eager to begin this buildout and to support the deployment. We are also working with state legislators and regulators to make sure that the funds are distributed to projects that deliver the speed and reliability that customers need and that the companies receiving the funds are held to high standards.

The White House has recently launched a new platform for workers and community members to share their stories about how the IIJA will impact them and their communities. CWA’s Broadband Brigade is encouraging all CWAers to participate by visiting this website and recording a video submission. While recording the video, remember to introduce yourself as a CWA member and don’t forget to wear your CWA red!


AFA-CWA Flight Attendants Fighting Against Human Trafficking

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January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. AFA-CWA Flight Attendants are taking a stand against human trafficking by recommitting to end it on planes. As aviation's first responders, Flight Attendants are uniquely positioned to identify human traffickers and assist their victims.

All over the world people will be wearing blue articles of clothing on January 11, in observance of the fourth annual #WearBlueDay to encourage greater public awareness about the scourge of human trafficking.

Want to participate? On Twitter, post a photo of yourself and others on social media wearing blue with hashtags #WearBlueDay and when tweeting, tag @afa_cwa. Finish the statement #WeWearBlueBecause to share why you are participating.


Our Year in Review

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The last couple of years have been tough, but CWAers have accomplished a lot by sticking together to mobilize, organize, and build worker power. Check out these amazing videos highlighting our wins in 2021.


Here is to building more worker power in 2022!