CODE-CWA Game Workers Debut Pro-Union Arcade Game and Highlight Union Busting at Activision
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At this year’s Game Developers Conference, held last week in San Francisco, attendees flocked to the CODE-CWA booth to learn how to organize for change at their workplaces and to play “Super Anti-Union Campaign Simulator,” a pro-union arcade game developed by CWA members at the Meow Wolf Collective.
During the conference, 30 workers gathered for a day-long organizing workshop to build skills and share strategies on how to win union representation. An article in the Washington Post listed “labor issues” as one of the five big takeaways from the conference, highlighting the CODE-CWA booth.
On Thursday, quality assurance testers at Activision’s Raven Software studio, who are organizing with CWA, sent a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella asking him to tell Activision executives to stop their union busting campaign and to encourage them to voluntarily recognize the union. The workers also ran an ad in the Seattle Times to share their concerns. Seattle-based Microsoft has announced plans to acquire Activision.
Earlier in the week, a video released by More Perfect Union highlighted the harsh working conditions faced by the Raven Software workers and their campaign to join CWA. “We had gone to leadership several times prior to us unionizing, prior to any of this, asking, hey, you know, here are the changes we'd like to see, how can we open up a dialogue,” Raven quality assurance tester Molly Weaver says in the video. “They weren't willing to put us at the table. So we are making our own seat at the table. That's what the union is, making our own seat at the table.”
At the Game Developers Conference, CODE-CWA members debuted their pro-union video game and helped attendees learn how to organize for change at their workplaces.
Raven Software workers who are organizing with CWA ran an ad in the Seattle Times asking Microsoft to tell Activision executives to stop their union busting campaign and to encourage them to voluntarily recognize the union.
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Google/BDS Connected Solutions
Workers at BDS Connected Solutions, a contractor for Google Fiber in Kansas City, Mo., won their election for a union with 90% of the vote, after a months-long, union-busting effort from management. During a forced meeting with a consultant brought in to prevent a yes vote, the workers fought back, calling him out for insinuating that Google might stop doing business with BDS if the workers joined the union. Better yet, they recorded the whole thing. Check it out here.
The workers are members of the Alphabet Workers Union-CWA (CWA Local 1400) and the first group of Google Fiber workers to form a union. The unit is also AWU-CWA’s first recognized bargaining unit since its launch in 2021. The workers include retail associates at multiple Google Fiber retail locations in Kansas City, Mo. The bargaining rights they just won will provide an important leverage point for other Alphabet temporary, vendor, and contract workers, who are explicitly denied the same rights, benefits, and protections on the jobs afforded to full-time employees at the corporation.
Google Fiber workers with BDS Connected Solutions, members of Alphabet Workers Union-CWA (CWA Local 1400), overwhelmingly won their election for a union.
Workers at Condé Nast’s editorial brands and Condé Nast Entertainment announced the formation of the Condé Nast Union, demanding voluntary recognition from management to join the NewsGuild of New York (TNG-CWA Local 31003). The company-wide unit includes more than 500 full- and part-time editorial, video, and production workers across all of Condé Nast’s brands, including Vogue, Bon Appétit, Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, and GQ. Watch this video to learn more about the issues the workers face, including low pay, lack of diversity and equity, and heavy reliance on contract workers. Their fight for a union is a major step forward for workers organizing in the media industry.
Workers at Condé Nast’s editorial brands and Condé Nast Entertainment announced that they are forming a union with NewsGuild of New York (TNG-CWA Local 31003).
More NewsGuild Organizing Updates!
Earlier this month, workers at End Citizens United/Let America Vote won voluntary recognition to join the Washington-Baltimore News Guild (TNG-CWA Local 32035). The organization’s core mission is to ensure that everyone has a voice and the freedom to participate in our democracy.
Workers at the Charlotte Observer announced the formation of the Charlotte Observer News Guild and demanded voluntary recognition from McClatchy, which owns the Observer, to join Washington-Baltimore News Guild (TNG-CWA Local 32035). Similarly, workers at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle requested voluntary recognition for their union, the Yellowstone News Guild, part of Denver Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA Local 3707).
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AT&T Mobility and DirecTV (Orange)
Just shy of a thousand AT&T Mobility workers joined a town hall call last Wednesday for an update on contract negotiations and strategies for strengthening their power at the bargaining table. The call was also an opportunity for newer members to learn how we have mobilized to bargain strong contracts at AT&T Mobility, such as waging an historic strike in 2017.
CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor, who coordinates bargaining for the AT&T Mobility Orange contract, kicked off the call saying, “We don't win our great contracts with just the bargaining committee, we win when we have every member mobilizing and participating in every mobilization activity. We have tremendous support within CWA and from the public. But we need to energize all of our Mobility workers and send a clear message to AT&T that we want a fair contract now. AT&T has to know that their employees are ready to stand up and fight back. We did this in 2017…I need all of you to be ready to send the same message to AT&T in 2022.”
CWA President Chris Shelton reiterated by saying, “Mobilize, mobilize, mobilize! And make sure that this company is listening, because whatever we do at the bargaining table doesn't count unless the company knows that the members are behind us.”
CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney, CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton, CWA District 7 Vice President Susie McAllister, and CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce, who represent members covered by the Orange contract, also joined the town hall. During the call, participants asked clarifying questions and expressed their gratitude and support for the bargaining team.
Members covered by the AT&T Mobility and DirecTV Orange contracts continue to hold workplace actions for affordable healthcare, fair wages, and more. AT&T Mobility workers have also been participating in a March Madness action, leafleting at basketball games to inform the public about the contract fight and the differences between authorized retail and union-staffed stores.
AT&T Mobility workers held March Madness related actions, distributing leaflets at basketball games to educate the public about the contract fight and the differences between authorized retail and union-staffed stores.
Workers at Buzzfeed News, members of the NewsGuild of New York (TNG-CWA Local 31003), overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike should management continue bargaining in bad faith. The members have been bargaining for over two years for their first collective bargaining agreement. The workers have been mobilizing to move management toward a more just and serious bargaining process, including participating in a one-day walkout. Last week, the company announced, under the threat of layoffs, that they would be offering “voluntary buyouts” to one-third of the unit. The workers have criticized the cuts as regressive bargaining and are ready to fight back against these unilateral decisions. Read more here.
Earlier this month, NABET-CWA’s Network Negotiating Team held their fifth round of bargaining talks with ABC. Over the last few weeks, they have held in-person and virtual sessions to address issues that remain on the table, including wage increases, travel pay, pension and retirement contributions, and limiting work performed by third-party production companies. Although some progress has been made, the parties are not close to an overall agreement. The contract, which was set to expire today, has been extended for three months while negotiations continue. Read more here.
Middlesex County Board of Social Services
Last week, workers at the Middlesex County Board of Social Services in New Jersey (CWA Local 1032) and supporters were out in huge numbers to demand a fair contract, telling management loud and clear: "If we don't get no contract, you don't get no peace!"
Worker Power Update
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CWA District 1 Building Broadband Better
Last week, over a hundred CWA members participated in a virtual town hall to learn about the CWA Broadband Brigade and to discuss opportunities that federal Broadband funding presents for workers and communities in CWA District 1.
CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor kicked off the town hall, which was organized by the Brigade members from District 1. In a recent op-ed published in the Times Union, Trainor said, "We cannot cut a blank check and trust the work will get done efficiently. It is on the state to make sure that the significant public funding proposed in the FY2023 budget comes with the right protections attached to ensure high-quality networks to deliver high-speed, reliable broadband and good jobs in the industry. Let’s make sure this money is put to good use so all New Yorkers get connected."
The Brigade members who organized the event, Nick Hoh (CWA Local 1104), Tom Roulley (CWA Local 1122), and Kim Edwards (CWA Local 1298), led a presentation on the challenges and opportunities we’re facing and our fight for strong labor standards that will ensure broadband is built by well trained union workers. Joe Tarulli from CWA Local 1102 also led a discussion about the CWA Political Action Fund and how our members’ contributions lead directly to huge victories for workers.
Fired up by the presentations, participants completed an online action urging their legislators to include labor standards for broadband funding. Click here to learn more about the Build Broadband Better campaign.
Watch the CWA District 1 Broadband Town Hall here.
CWA Applauds President Biden’s Federal Budget Proposal
Since the day he took office, President Biden has made good on his commitments to working families. His recent budget proposal for fiscal year 2023 would strengthen the government’s ability to stop corporations from profiting by attacking workers’ rights and enriching CEOs at the expense of jobs. Most notably, it includes a sixteen percent increase in funding for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the agency’s first budget increase since 2014. This funding will address staffing shortages and other impediments caused by nearly a decade of underfunding, hindering the NLRB’s ability to protect workers’ rights without delay.
The proposal also cracks down on stock buybacks that corporate executives use to reward themselves over creating good, union jobs and taxes billionaires to make sure they pay their fair share. It would do so by prohibiting top executives from selling their personal stockholdings for a multiyear period after a buyback or buyback announcement. In addition to the new restrictions on CEO buyback behavior, the Biden budget also includes a 1% excise tax on share repurchases. As the President said, “budgets are statements of values” and it’s clear that the President’s values continue to be aligned with our union’s values and the values of the entire labor movement.
We urge Congress to carefully consider and pass these proposals that would empower workers, advance equity, and provide workers a path to good, middle class jobs.
CWA Endorses Charlie Crist for Governor of Florida
The CWA Florida Presidents’ Council announced that they have endorsed Charlie Crist for Governor of Florida.
“Charlie Crist has a proven track record of putting Florida’s working class first,” said Steve Wisniewski, President of CWA Local 3108. “As a congressman, Charlie answered the call for CWA and all working people, cosponsoring critical legislation like the PRO Act and voting for the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provides billions for broadband expansion and supports good union jobs.”
Incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis has pursued an agenda hostile to Florida’s working families during his term as governor, including support for anti-collective bargaining bills which would negatively impact hundreds of thousands of Florida’s workers and authorizing corporate tax giveaways and bills which restrict Floridians' right to vote.
“We are ready to get to work and mobilize our 15,000 members to elect a champion for Florida’s workers, Charlie Crist, and send him back to Tallahassee as our next governor,” said Glenda Abicht, CWA Legislative/Political Coordinator for Florida.
Click here to view all CWA endorsed candidates for upcoming elections around the country. The list will be updated periodically.
Happy Women’s History Month
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This March we recognize the 35th anniversary of Women’s History Month. In this video, members of CWA’s national Women’s Committee pay tribute to all women who inspire others to change our communities and country for the better.
CWA Members Continue to Build an Anti-Racist Union
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Last week, members of the national Women’s and Civil Rights & Equity committees hosted a national, two-day, virtual Building an Anti-Racist Union training for CWA members. Over a hundred CWA members across multiple districts and sectors participated in the training. The training focused on recognizing implicit bias, incorporating our union values into the fight against racism, strategies for building an anti-racist union, and best practices for forming and maintaining women’s and human rights committees in our CWA Locals. The training was well received and the participants were motivated to go back to their locals and put what they learned into practice.
CWAers participate in a national Building an Anti-Racist Union training, facilitated by members of the national Women’s and Civil Rights & Equity committees.
CWAers ‘Steward’ Strong at Beneficial State Bank
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CWA Local 9412 members at Beneficial State Bank held their first stewards training last month. The members organized as part of CWA’s Committee for Better Banks and are the first group of workers to form a union with CWA. Congratulations to the new stewards!
CWA’s Gloria Middleton Named One of the "50 Remarkable Women Who are Improving New York"
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CWA Local 1180 President and National Executive Board Member Gloria Middleton has been named one of the "50 Remarkable Women Who are Improving New York" by City and State New York Magazine. The magazine highlighted her commitment to and long history of ensuring the rights and safety of CWAers and all workers across New York and beyond.