Feb 24, 2022 - CWAers Honored for Black History Month and other news

February 24, 2022

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Organizing Update

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Raven Software/Activision Blizzard

Yesterday, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) sent a strongly worded letter to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, blasting the company’s management for undermining the efforts of quality assurance (QA) department workers at Wisconsin-based Raven Software to organize a union with CWA. Raven is owned by Activision Blizzard.

Baldwin’s letter follows the National Labor Relations Board’s hearing on the workers’ petition for a union election. Although a supermajority of Raven QA workers signed cards in support of having a union, a hearing was necessary because Activision Blizzard refused to voluntarily recognize the union and is using every procedural route possible to delay the vote in an attempt to subvert the workers’ effort to have a voice on the job.

“I am disturbed by recent media reports that describe efforts by Raven management to disrupt the organization effort,” Sen. Baldwin’s letter reads. “I urge you and the management at Raven Software to negotiate in good faith with the workers and suspend any efforts to undermine your employees’ legal right to form a union and collectively bargain.”

Click here to read the full letter and more from The Washington Post.

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Grist

Workers at Grist, a nonprofit independent media organization dedicated to telling stories about climate solutions, won voluntary recognition after more than 90 percent of employees signed cards showing their support to form a union. The bargaining unit, which includes editorial, engagement, and audience employees, will become part of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA Local 37082).


Bargaining Update

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Kaleida Health

Clinical Engineering Department employees at Kaleida Health (CWA Local 1168) in Buffalo, N.Y., have reached a tentative agreement. The new tentative agreement, which covers a unit of biomedical engineers at Kaleida Health, provides meaningful raises over the course of the agreement.

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Alliance for Justice

Last week, workers at Alliance for Justice, members of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild (TNG-CWA Local 32035), voted unanimously to ratify the first union contract in the organization’s 43-year history. In the new three-year contract, workers made significant progress on their top priorities including salaries, health insurance, and protections against discrimination. They also won improvements in leave, work hours, remote work, and other benefits. Read more here.

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La Casa De Don Pedro

Workers at La Casa De Don Pedro’s Early Childhood and Youth & Family Services divisions (CWA Local 1037) wore stickers to show solidarity with their bargaining committee ahead of last week’s first bargaining session. They are ready to fight for a fair contract.


Worker Power Update

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Supporting Pro-Worker Candidates in Texas


CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings, Jr., (right) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) at the Texas Organizing Breakfast.

CWAers in Texas continue their mobilization efforts to turn out voters and build support for pro-worker candidates in upcoming primary elections.

Last Saturday, CWA Local 6143 in San Antonio, Texas, hosted the Texas Organizing Breakfast featuring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and CWA-endorsed candidates for Congress Jessica Cisneros (TX-28) and Greg Casar (TX-35).

CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings, Jr., opened the event with an overview of CWA's political program in Texas, highlighting our work to elect candidates who support workers’ rights by building a coalition of labor and community partners. Casar and Cisneros both spoke about their vision to build a better Texas for working people. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez spoke about her organizing roots in Texas and her commitment to growing the labor and community movement to elect more pro-labor candidates to Congress. The next day, CWA activists along with other labor and community allies joined Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and a large crowd of voters for a rally in Austin to show support for Casar and help boost voter enthusiasm ahead of early voting.

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CWA Public Workers Win Pay Raises in New Mexico, Fight for Bargaining Rights in Colorado

Last week, public workers in New Mexico won full funding for a $15 minimum wage. This is a major victory for members of CWA Local 7076 who have been engaging in political and legislative mobilization and bargaining to secure this funding. CWA represents over 1,500 public sector workers in New Mexico who will directly benefit from this raise. The raises, which will be included in the workers’ collective bargaining agreements, will begin in April.

Unfortunately, in roughly half the country, public workers, who serve states and municipalities providing vital services, do not have the right to collectively bargain for fair wages, better working conditions, and other workplace protections. CWAers are turning up the pressure on state lawmakers to secure public workers’ bargaining rights. Members of CWA Local 7799 made a series of videos sharing their stories on the importance of securing collective bargaining rights for Colorado public workers. Check out their testimonials here.

The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act is national legislation that, among other things, will provide these essential workers the ability to bargain and protect their rights on the job. CWAers across the country are mobilizing to pass this critical federal legislation. Sign this petition to show your support for the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act.

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CWAers Continue to Build Support for the PRO Act

CWA Local 6143 in San Antonio, Texas, in coalition with Our Revolution and the Texas AFL-CIO, hosted the Support Texas Workers: Rally for PRO Act to hold Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) publicly accountable for his opposition to the PRO Act.

The event was moderated by CWA Local 6143 President Geronimo Guerra with opening remarks by CWA Local 6143 Legislative-Political activist Katie Garcia. Both Guerra and Garcia highlighted Rep. Cuellar's track record of being the only Democratic member of Congress to vote against the PRO Act twice. Members from CWA Local 6132 and the Texas State Employees Union (CWA Local 6186) also participated in the rally. The strong turnout sent a loud message that CWA, the labor movement, and community allies are committed to taking action and holding politicians who vote against the interest of working people accountable.


CWA Local 6143 President Geronimo Guerra (right) and CWA Local 6143 Legislative-Political activist Katie Garcia spoke at the PRO Act rally in Texas.


CWA Texting Program Gets a New Number: 49484

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CWA's text message program keeps members informed with news updates and opportunities to take action.

Current subscribers received text notifications about CWA’s transition to a new number (49484) last week. The change will allow for faster text message delivery and will differentiate CWA's messages from unwanted spam in carrier networks.

If you are not yet receiving text alerts from CWA, you can text the words CWA ACTION to 49484 to add yourself to the list.


CWAers Honored for Black History Month

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February is Black History Month. The AFL-CIO featured several profiles of Black CWA leaders, including Kwami Barnes (CWA Local 4603), Michael Rice (AFA-CWA Local 27085), Shawanda Rankin (CWA Local 6016), Keith Robinson (CWA Local 6300), and Dante Harris (AFA-CWA Local 29012), as part of its yearly Black History Month celebration honoring leaders who are actively making Black history across the labor movement and beyond.

In addition, AFA-CWA supported the Georgia Congressional delegation in introducing a resolution to designate February 16th as International Black Aviation Professionals Day.

"Cheers to establishing International Black Aviation Professional Day and recognizing the contributions of Black Americans to aviation," said Sara Nelson, AFA-CWA International President. "Decades after trailblazers like Ruth Carol Taylor and Willa Brown made history in aviation, Black workers still face barriers to entry and discrimination on the job. Today is about breaking barriers and lifting the strength of an inclusive workplace. As we celebrate the past and present of Black aviation, we also recommit ourselves to the work of addressing bias and obliterating discrimination so our industry and our unions can live up to our nation’s highest ideals.”


CWA President Chris Shelton, Vice President Dennis Trainor Featured on the 2022 New York State Labor Power 100 List

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CWA President Chris Shelton and District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor ranked number 6 on the 2022 New York State Labor Power 100 List released annually by City & State New York Magazine. The feature particularly highlighted Vice President Trainor’s leadership during the CWA healthcare workers’ strike in Buffalo, N.Y., that lasted over a month and led to a historic standard-setting contract with Catholic Health. Check out the full list here.


CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings Jr. Joins the NAACP’s National Board of Directors

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CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings, Jr., was elected to join the NAACP’s National Board of Directors as an at-large member. The election took place during the NAACP’s Founders Day event, celebrating the organization’s 113th anniversary. Cummings has a long history as a leader in the NAACP and in the larger movement for racial equity. So far, he has served as the First Vice President of the NAACP Houston Chapter, Second Vice President Texas State NAACP Conference, and as a member of the Labor Committee for the National NAACP. He hopes to use his new position to continue to strengthen the bridge between the struggle for labor rights and civil rights.