- Organizing Update
- Bargaining Update
- Worker Power Update
- CWA’s Annual Juneteenth Celebration
- CWA President Chris Shelton Encourages All CWAers to Get Involved in the Fight to Ensure Broadband Funding Supports Jobs for CWA Members
- CWAers Recommit to Fighting for Systemic Change at the 2022 Poor People’s Campaign Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington
- IUE-CWA Activists Gather to Build Skills to Strengthen Our Union
On Friday, over 40 workers from Maximus, the nation’s largest federal call center contractor, marched to the company's brand new, state-of-the-art headquarters in Tysons, Va., to deliver a petition with close to twelve thousand signatures calling for livable wages and affordable health care. The workers, who traveled from call centers in Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, and Texas and are organizing with CWA, are also fighting to protect their right to organize a union free from intimidation. Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens joined the protest in solidarity with the workers. The Maximus workers also participated in the Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers' Assembly and Moral March on Washington on Saturday. Their collective actions come on the heels of a two-day strike at two of Maximus’ largest call centers located in Louisiana and Mississippi last month. Watch the live stream of the protest here.
Maximus workers traveled to the Washington, D.C., area to protest outside of the company’ headquarters calling for a living wage and a union.
Delta Air Lines
A new video from More Perfect Union highlights Delta Air Lines Flight Attendants’ ongoing organizing campaign to form a union with AFA-CWA. The Flight Attendants featured in the video courageously share the challenges they face at work, and how the recent resurgence of worker organizing has fueled their continued fight for a voice on the job despite the airline’s extensive anti-union stance.
“We’re not treated like people. We’re not treated like real humans with families, and obligations, and stresses, and illnesses. I am seniority #13,998, and that is how I’m treated at Delta,” said Kara Dupuis, a Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant. Jake Dafoe, another Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant featured in the video added, “I feel we see this American culture shift toward unions right now. It was kind of a bad word at some point in history, but I’ve watched that shift with Amazon, and Starbucks, and other companies. And to listen to their inspiration and their drive to fight against something that they thought they couldn’t, and to achieve what they are achieving, I just—I feel overwhelmed and I know that we’re gonna win here at Delta Air Lines.”
CWA District 4 members reached a tentative agreement yesterday for the Frontier North contract, which covers close to 600 workers over 12 locals in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The new four-year contract includes wage increases, improved pension minimums, job security protections, no changes to 401(k) contributions, a recognition of Juneteenth as a paid holiday, and more.
CWA members at Frontier in Minnesota also have reached a tentative agreement for a new four-year contract. The contract includes wage increases every six months for the life of the contract, improved benefits such as increased boot and meal allowances, added language to ensure workers’ receive full termination pay, new health and safety language to protect members, a recognition of Juneteenth as a paid holiday, and more.
CWA Members at Frontier in California continue to mobilize to bargain for a fair contract. The members are encouraged by the support they are receiving from lawmakers and the community at large.
Psychiatric Institute of Washington
Workers at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington (PIW), members of CWA Local 2336, held an informational picket in front of the hospital on Monday demanding a fair contract that addresses dangerous working conditions including staffing shortages, inadequate resources, and lack of sufficient security. CWA Local 2336 members have been bargaining for a new contract for years. After several extensions, the contract expired on April 15, 2022. However, PIW continues to fail to meet the workers’ demands for a fair contract.
Workers at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington (PIW), members of CWA Local 2336, held an informational picket in front of the hospital on Monday demanding a fair contract.
Worker Power Update
Fighting for Good Airport Jobs
Last Thursday, Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Chuy Garcia (D-Ill.) introduced new worker-backed legislation to establish national wage and benefits levels for all airport service and airline workers at major airports that receive federal funding.
James McKnight, President of CWA Local 3146, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), other lawmakers, union leaders, and workers spoke at the press conference in support of the legislation that would ensure public funds go towards supporting good jobs for airport workers.
“Throughout the pandemic, my members kept our nation’s air transportation system running safely and effectively. Frontline workers were expected to be at work, despite the risks to our personal safety,” said McKnight. “We continue to perform our duties despite the risks, all the while being overworked and underpaid. More than 75% of my members work part-time jobs, including myself, in order to make ends meet and support our families. Miami International Airport is the state’s largest economic engine and it is a shame that my members cannot survive on the wages they earn.”
James McKnight, President of CWA Local 3146, joined lawmakers, other union leaders, and workers in support of the Good Jobs for Good Airports legislation.
Lawmakers Stand with NABET-CWA Contract Workers in the U.S. House of Representatives Demanding Equal Pay
U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) led a coalition of 29 House Democrats calling for members of NABET-CWA Local 52031 employed at Maslow Media Group, Inc., to receive equal pay for equal work. In a letter sent to the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives earlier this month, the lawmakers pointed out that Maslow employees “work side-by-side with House Recording Studio (HRS) employees performing the same duties and responsibilities. However, the Maslow employees earn substantially less than the HRS employees and have few, if any, benefits (such as retirement, health insurance, etc.) available to them.”
Bob Williams, President of NABET-CWA Local 52031 said, “Maslow workers broadcast messages of pay equity and dignity and respect in the workplace from the House of Representatives – and now it’s time the lawmakers they serve start speaking out for them and try to rectify this injustice. Thank you to Representative Cleaver and all the Members who signed on. This brings us one step closer to making sure that our members who provide vital services for the House of Representatives are paid fairly.”
More Highlights from the 2022 CWA Legislative and Political Conference
Videos of featured speakers and worker panels from last week’s 2022 CWA Legislative and Political Conference are available at cwa.org/2022-lp-conference-video.
You can also check out the conference photo gallery here.
CWA’s Annual Juneteenth Celebration
On Sunday, CWA premiered our annual Juneteenth Celebration on Facebook. This year’s event, “Stronger Together: Uplifting the Black Family,” featured union leaders, organizers, and activists at the forefront of transformational movements within their workplaces and communities. IUE-CWA President and CWA National Executive Board Diversity Committee Co-Chair Carl Kennebrew shared a heartwarming story during his remarks at the beginning of the program about how his grandmother’s activism inspired him to get involved from a young age and how he hopes all parents continue to influence younger generations to become activists. “When raising children, it is our responsibility to create a better world for them. We may believe that our children aren’t watching us, but they are. They hear us discussing rights on the job, politics, or fair wages at the dinner table. They see us marching in the streets with signs that read Black Lives Matter and Workers Rights are Human Rights. They are listening, they are watching, and most importantly they are learning,” said Kennebrew.
CWA Local 6215 member Scott Spencer from AT&T Mobility in Plano, Texas; Lakeisha Preston, a Maximus worker organizing with CWA in Hattiesburg, Miss.; Sydney Rhodes, an Apple Store worker in Atlanta, Ga.; Linda Burns, an Amazon Warehouse worker in Bessemer, Ala.; and Laila Dalton, a Starbucks worker in Scottsdale, Ariz., shared powerful stories about their experiences advocating for workers rights and racial justice as Black workers. Watch the full event here.
To learn more about Juneteenth, check out the CWA District 3 Human Rights Committee’s five-part series on the history and significance of the holiday.
CWA Local 1168 and 1133 members celebrated the holiday by participating in the 47th annual Juneteenth parade in Buffalo, N.Y.
CWA President Chris Shelton Encourages All CWAers to Get Involved in the Fight to Ensure Broadband Funding Supports Jobs for CWA Members
CWA leaders from across the country joined President Chris Shelton and CWA’s Broadband Brigade members for a virtual meeting earlier this month to learn more about how to get involved in CWA’s ongoing campaign to ensure that the federal broadband buildout funds from the bipartisan infrastructure bill are used to support good jobs for CWA members.
President Shelton thanked the CWA leaders for joining a critical conversation and stressed the need for everyone to get involved to help make sure as much of the work to expand access to high speed, affordable internet service for all communities is done by CWA members.
“I’ve never been prouder of the work of this union than what I’ve seen this kick-ass group of members do. I urge you to work closely with them as we move forward with making sure that we take full advantage of this opportunity presented to us to secure good, union jobs and make a real difference for our country by bringing true high speed broadband to every community,” added Shelton, uplifting CWA’s Broadband Brigade members for their continued advocacy and hard work.
CWAers Recommit to Fighting for Systemic Change at the 2022 Poor People’s Campaign Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington
On Saturday, hundreds of CWA members from across the country, other union members, activists, elected officials, faith leaders, community allies, and social justice advocates gathered in Washington, D.C., for the Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington.
The event featured Christina Jimenez, a Maximus worker from Hattiesburg, Miss., who is organizing with her colleagues to form a union with CWA. Christina spoke up about the struggles of providing for her three children as a single mother while being denied a livable wage and affordable healthcare. Filled with so much passion and determination, she led the crowd in a chant saying, “We are not numbers, we are human.”
The CWA members and other activists who participated in the assembly and march called on elected leaders to do more to address social and economic equality in all its forms and enact real policies to fully address poverty and low wealth from the bottom up. Watch the livestream from the event here.
IUE-CWA Activists Gather to Build Skills to Strengthen Our Union
Over 50 IUE-CWA local women’s committee chairs from across the country met in Washington, D.C., last week as part of IUE-CWA’s National Women’s Program. The goal of the program is to develop and provide ongoing support for local women activists throughout IUE-CWA. The two-day event featured guest speakers, panel discussions, and various activities to help build internal organizing and leadership skills. CWA President Chris Shelton, Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, and other CWA Executive Board members, including CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings Jr.; CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton; CWA Telecommunications and Technologies Sector Vice President Lisa Bolton; CWA Public, Health Care and Education Workers Vice President Margaret Cook; NewsGuild-CWA President John Schleuss, and Southeast Region At-Large Executive Board Member Vera Mikell spoke to participants and expressed their support for the program.
In addition, IUE-CWA Diversity Ambassadors recently participated in a training in Atlanta, Ga., to share experiences and learn from each other. The group of phenomenal leaders left re-energized to go back to their local unions and promote diversity and inclusion to strengthen our union.