The United Soccer League Players Association (USLPA), the union representing all of the United Soccer League’s Championship and League One players, has signed an agreement officially affiliating with CWA. USLPA and CWA have had a partnership agreement since late 2020, and the players will be members of the newly-formed CWA Local 7211.
“Over the past three years, our collaboration with CWA has helped us continue to grow as a labor organization and better represent our players,” said USLPA Executive Committee Member Connor Tobin, who has played for Forward Madison FC in USL League One the last three seasons. “Much like CWA, the USLPA was founded by players for players, and our players are the driving force and key decision-makers. With CWA’s support, we negotiated a groundbreaking collective bargaining agreement for USL Championship players, and we will soon begin bargaining with USL League One for another historic agreement. We are proud to officially join CWA and we are excited to continue to build on the collaborative success we’ve experienced to date.”
The USL Championship and USL League One are the second and third divisions, respectively, of U.S professional soccer beneath Major League Soccer (MLS).
A group of fifty ski patrollers at Purgatory Resort in Durango, Colo., voted overwhelmingly to join the United Professional Ski Patrols of America/CWA Local 7781 on Tuesday. Purgatory Resort is owned by Mountain Capital Partners (MCP) and is the first MCP resort to organize.
“Right out of the gate, we had pretty high support,” Purgatory patroller Jason Moore said. “We thought it would be worth organizing and giving ourselves a better opportunity for a collective voice.”
Patrollers, whose duties include emergency rescue and avalanche mitigation, are organizing for a seat at the table and better working conditions.
Purgatory patrollers join already organized UPSPA patrols at Big Ski, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Park City, Steamboat Springs, Stevens Pass, and Telluride.
Union Strong buttons from the Purgatory Resort Ski Patrollers’ successful campaign to join the United Professional Ski Patrols of America/CWA Local 7781.
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Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald, and Bradenton Herald
Journalists at the Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald, and the Bradenton Herald held a one-day work stoppage on April 1 to demand a fair contract and respect from McClatchy, the publications’ parent company. The workers are members of CWA Local 3108.
“For more than two years, journalists at McClatchy’s three Florida newspapers have worked to continue to produce quality journalism through crisis and conflict, as the company has refused to complete a fair contract, repeatedly asking its staff to do more with less,’’ said Mary Ellen Klas, co-unit chair for One Herald Guild, which covers workers at the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.
A lunchtime rally on Zoom with supporters from around the country was exuberant, with messages of support from journalists at other McClatchy-owned publications and other CWA members. Workers attended an afternoon bargaining session in big numbers, decked out in union T-shirts.
Unresolved issues include pay equity between English and Spanish-language journalists, experience-based salary floors, protections against outsourcing, and improvements to the retirement plan. Benefits that the One Herald Guild and Bradenton Herald NewsGuild units are fighting for have been offered to non-union workers, but have been withheld from unionized workers across the news chain. The withheld benefits include paid parental leave, minimum salaries, and mileage reimbursement at the IRS standard rate. Management admitted during negotiations that it was withholding the benefits as a “bargaining chip,” said Sarah Blaskey, an investigative reporter at the Miami Herald.
Journalists at the Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald, and the Bradenton Herald, members of CWA Local 3108, held a one-day work stoppage on April 1 to demand a fair contract and respect from McClatchy, the publications’ parent company.
Bargaining opened yesterday for the Frontier North contract, which covers workers in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
In an interview with Wisconsin television station WKPW, CWA Local 4671 President Steve Kotel said that workers have made sacrifices over the past few years and are fighting for family-supporting pay and benefits now that the company has emerged from bankruptcy.
"A lot of our members really held on for several years and tried to get the company through the bankruptcy and through COVID," Kotel said. "[We had] six-day, mandatory work weeks to try to get this company to stay on track so that when they come out of it, everyone would be better off.”
CWA Local 4671 members mobilized in advance of bargaining at Frontier North.
Over the weekend, CWA Local 7304 members who work at the New Flyer bus manufacturing facility in St. Cloud, Minn., voted 415 to 12 to authorize a strike, should it be necessary. The workers are fighting for a new contract that includes fair wage increases to account for inflation, paid sick leave, and paid time off for religious holidays.
“Most of the issues we brought to the table are about time,” said CWA Local 7304 President Matt Lelou. “We do not have any paid sick time. We are often barred from using vacation time when we need to because of production demands, and people are forced to work too much overtime. It’s about time New Flyer realizes that paying better wages is not just good for employees, but it’s good for the company, too.”
Columbus Workers Win Hero Pay
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CWA Local 4502 President Susan Wilson signed a Memorandum of Understanding authorizing hero pay and a vaccine reward for City of Columbus workers.
After months of bargaining, members of CWA Local 4502, who work for the City of Columbus, Ohio, won hero pay and a vaccine reward. While the Columbus City Council unanimously authorized $1000 per employee for hero pay in July 2021, the original Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from the Mayor's Office directed half of that amount toward a vaccine reward. The new MOU provides the full $1000 in hero pay to full-time frontline workers, $500 to other full-time employees who worked during the applicable time period, and a separate $500 vaccine reward.
The local worked with other city unions to win the pay, which is funded with money that Congress allocated as part of the American Rescue Plan.
"During the height of the pandemic, our members picked up extra shifts, worked extended shifts, different hours, and different days all to maintain the services our Columbus community depend on,” said CWA Local 4502 President Susan Wilson. "They are the best of the best, and now they are finally getting compensation for their sacrifices and the recognition they deserve."
Call Center Workers Support Legislation to Keep Good Jobs in Michigan
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CWA members in Michigan collaborated with members of the Michigan State Legislature on a video in support of the Call Center Jobs Retention Act, which would discourage the outsourcing of call center jobs by creating a registry of companies that move call center jobs offshore and prevent them from obtaining tax breaks, loans, grants, or other financial assistance from the state. Click here to watch the video.