Feb 17, 2022 - CWAers Share the Love for Valentine's Day and other news

February 17, 2022

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Bargaining Update

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AT&T Mobility and DirecTV (Orange)

The AT&T Mobility and DirecTV Orange contracts, which were set to expire on February 11, have been extended for two weeks while negotiations for a fair contract continue. After multiple weeks of bargaining, AT&T has failed to meet CWA’s reasonable demands for a fair and equitable contract. Major issues at the table include comprehensive and affordable healthcare plans; retirement security and other benefits; numerous issues regarding authorized retailers; quarantine, pandemic, and natural disaster issues; job security; scheduling and other work from home issues for call center employees; safety issues for technicians working in hazardous conditions; and more.

The members have been ramping up their mobilization efforts to strengthen their power at the bargaining table and improve their working conditions. During Valentine’s Day, hundreds of members signed virtual “Valentine” cards calling on AT&T to “show the love for a fair contract.”


AT&T Mobility and DirecTV workers signed Valentine's Day cards to AT&T demanding a fair contract.

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Center for Biological Diversity

Workers for the Center for Biological Diversity (CWA Local 9415) have been engaging in multiple rounds of negotiations for a fair contract, marking a milestone for environmental justice workers in the United States. So far, they have reached tentative agreements on several key issues including non discrimination, no strike, no lockout, responsible union and employer relations, and more. The workers, who formed their union and won voluntary recognition in August of last year, are part of a growing union movement among workers at environmental and other nonprofit organizations, including the Sunrise Movement, Sierra Club, 350.org, Defenders of Wildlife, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the American Civil Liberties Union.


Center for Biological Diversity workers ready to bargain.


Worker Power Update

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CWAers in Colorado Rally for Collective Bargaining Rights for All Public Workers

Last Thursday, members from CWA Local 7799, CWA Local 7777, TNG-CWA Local 37074, and community allies rallied outside of the Colorado State Capitol in support of legislation that would grant collective bargaining rights and other protections for all public workers in the state. Lawmakers including Colorado House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar and Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg spoke at a rally organized by Public Workers United, a coalition of labor groups advocating for such legislation. State Representative Kyle Mullica, who is a registered nurse, also participated in the rally and stood shoulder to shoulder with public healthcare workers, including members of Denver Health United (CWA Local 7799).


CWAers and allies rallying in support of collective bargaining rights for all public workers outside of the Colorado State Capitol.

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CWAers on the Frontline of Broadband Expansion

CWA Local 3411 President and Broadband Brigade member Matt Wood attended a Town Hall event with U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, (near right), in New Orleans, La. President Wood shared CWA’s vision pertaining to expanding access to affordable, reliable, high speed internet to all communities and the need to use skilled union labor for broadband deployment.

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CWA Essential Workers Demand Hazard Pay

Workers from the Ocean County Board of Social Services (OCBSS), members of CWA Local 1088, attended the Ocean County Commissioners meeting to demand hazard pay under the American Rescue Plan (APRA). Over the last few months, the workers have been mobilizing by wearing their CWA red, rallying outside their work locations, sharing their stories, and more. These workers have been working fully in person since June 2020 and many have contracted COVID or had to use personal or unpaid time to quarantine. They have been providing essential services for Ocean County's most vulnerable residents including housing, food, and medical insurance. They are exactly the kind of front line workers the APRA is meant to support.


Ocean County Board of Social Services (OCBSS) workers, members of CWA Local 1088, attended the Ocean County Commissioners meeting to demand hazard pay.


CWA Secretary-Treasurer Steffens Attends White House Event Celebrating the Affordable Connectivity Program

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CWA Secretary Treasurer Sara Steffens attended a White House event hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris celebrating the enrollment of more than 10 million households in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP, funded by the bipartisan infrastructure bill, helps families and households stay connected by making internet service more affordable. As a leader in the broadband industry and an advocate for expanded broadband access to underserved communities, CWA will continue to support the success of this program. To learn more about the Affordable Connectivity Program, click here.

 


“Don’t Split Us Up”: IUE-CWA Members Hold Valentine’s Day Actions Urging General Electric to Invest in America

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IUE-CWA members, other General Electric (GE) union members, and allies spent their Valentine’s Day participating in actions as part of a nationwide protest against the company’s ongoing offshoring and outsourcing and its plan to split into three separate companies focused on aviation, health care, and energy.

“General Electric received $4 billion in public taxpayer funds last year, but instead of reinvesting in the critical energy and manufacturing infrastructure America needs, they’re letting the fox into the henhouse by catering to the interests of predatory corporate raiders in this split,” said Chris Depoalo, Business Agent of IUE-CWA Local 81301. “A minority of GE board members have direct ties to private equity hedge funds that are set to reap a windfall if the company is split apart – we are urging the board members who still have independence from Trian Partners and other hedge funds to refuse to rush this decision through.”

Workers demonstrating at GE’s headquarters in Boston delivered a set of four national demands to the company.

  • Invest at least $5 billion over the next 5 years and add 35,000 jobs to existing and recently shuttered U.S. facilities.
  • Reshore all U.S. military aviation production and 70% of GE industrial work offshored over the past 5 years.
  • Let shareholders vote on the proposed breakup of GE and add elected worker representatives to the GE Board of Directors.
  • Convert historic GE facilities into multi-modal brilliant factories with supplier parks to minimize supply chain disruptions, building an American offshore wind supply chain on our shores.


IUE-CWA members and allies protest GE’s offshoring, outsourcing, and lack of investment during a Valentine's Day event. Check out more great photos from the actions here.


Honoring Our Veterans for Valentine’s Day

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CWA military veterans and other members from Local 6222 assisted Congressman Al Green’s (D-Texas) office in folding 800 U.S. Flags that were delivered to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center on Valentines Day.

 


TNG-CWA Journalists Win Protections Against Attacks and Arrests by State Patrols

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Last week, a federal judge approved a settlement that prohibits the Minnesota State Patrol from attacking or arresting journalists, and awarded $825,000 to several journalists who were assaulted and injured while covering protests over the police killings of George Floyd and Daunte Wright in 2020. The suit, filed by the Minnesota ACLU, CWA, and TNG-CWA, accused law enforcement agencies of deliberately targeting, assaulting, and arresting journalists as they covered the protests. Although they were not plaintiffs in this case, over half a dozen TNG-CWA members were injured or detained during the uprising following the police killings last year. Prohibiting the Minnesota State Patrol from arresting, threatening to arrest, and/or using physical force or chemical agents against journalists, ordering journalists to stop photographing, recording, or observing a protest, making journalists disperse and seizing or intentionally damaging equipment such as photo, audio, or video gear are among some of the important changes included in the settlement.


Building Solidarity with Starbucks Workers

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Last week, CWA members from Local 6143 in San Antonio, Texas, visited a Starbucks located next to an AT&T retail store to show their support for the Starbucks workers who are organizing to form a union by ordering drinks using the name “Unity.” CWA will continue to build solidarity and power with workers from all industries in our collective struggle to have dignity, respect, and a voice on the job.