Members mobilized around the need for wage increases to address rising costs and the effect of AT&T’s shifting of work from company-owned stores to third-party authorized retailers. The proposed contract contains substantial increases to base wages, title-specific upgrades, and unprecedented adjustments to protect against inflation. It also has a first-time requirement for at least 20% of AT&T stores to be company-owned.
“This is your victory,” the bargaining team wrote in an email announcing the agreement. “Our bargaining team could not have achieved this breakthrough tentative agreement without the hard work that you did mobilizing.”
Other improvements in the four-year contract include limits on mandatory overtime, privacy protections for call center representatives who are working from home, the addition of two weeks of paid parental leave, and new health care options.
“These workers provided essential services during the pandemic, putting themselves at risk to enable us to stay connected to one another,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “They stayed united during contract negotiations and won an agreement that recognizes the importance of the work they do and shows what working people can achieve when they join together and demand respect.”
CWA members at Frontier Communications in California are ramping up their mobilization efforts to build their strength at the bargaining table as they continue to negotiate a fair contract with the company. On Sunday, members and supporters gathered in Covina, Calif., for a rally hosted by CWA Local 9586 to make their demands heard loud and clear.
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Seven Seas Entertainment
Workers at Seven Seas Entertainment won voluntary recognition last week, becoming the first manga and light novel workers in North America to form a union. The workers, members of United Workers of Seven Seas/CWA, systematically organized around issues such as healthcare, paid leave, work-life balance, higher wages, and increased transparency. Despite the fact that a super majority of workers expressed their interest in forming a union with CWA, Seven Seas Entertainment initially refused to voluntarily recognize their union and even hired a notorious union-busting firm to undercut their efforts. However, the workers persisted and ran a powerful public campaign using creativity and humor to galvanize support from fans and apply pressure on the company. Inspired by the groundbreaking Comic Book Workers United (CWA Local 7901) campaign, workers at Seven Seas organized with CODE-CWA and they hope their victory serves as an inspiration for a growing movement of workers organizing in the publishing industry.
Throughout the organizing campaign, members of United Workers of Seven Seas/CWA changed their icons to one of these two mascots, Nyacola (left) or Bartolomeow (right), as a show of solidarity.
Public News Service
Workers at the Public News Service (PNS), a member-supported news service that advocates for journalism in the public interest, won voluntary recognition earlier this month. The group of about 25 reporters, editors, audio engineers, and outreach and membership specialists will join the Minnesota Newspaper & Communications Guild (TNG-CWA Local 37002). They look forward to negotiating their first contract and working with management to create a sustainable and equitable future for PNS.
Worker Power Update
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CWAers in North Carolina Building Broadband Better
CWA leaders and activists in North Carolina gathered for a virtual town hall last week for a critical discussion with state lawmakers and community leaders on broadband expansion. The participants discussed how they can work together to ensure that federal broadband buildout funds from the bipartisan infrastructure bill are used to support good jobs for CWA members and expand affordable internet access to all communities in the state. CWA District Vice President Richard Honeycutt spoke at the beginning of the discussion, followed by other invited guest speakers, including State Senator Wiley Nickel, State Representative Ben Moss, Deputy Secretary for Broadband and Digital Equity Nate Denny, and Wayne Stewart, a high school principal.
Sen. Nickel, who is currently the Democratic nominee for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, spoke to CWAers about his plans to continue advocating for equitable broadband expansion and more good union jobs in Congress, while Rep. Moss, who was the primary sponsor of the CWA-supported state broadband regulation legislation, discussed the importance of expanding affordable high speed internet access to rural and underserved communities in the state using experienced union workers. Secretary Denny spoke about his agency’s role in ensuring broadband funds go towards good jobs instead of low road contractors. Principal Stewart highlighted how the lack of quality broadband service has hindered educational opportunities for students in the community and stressed the need to close the digital divide.
IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew Visits White House to Support Partnership for Union, "Made in America" Manufacturing for Offshore Wind Energy
Last Thursday, the White House launched a formal partnership with 11 East Coast governors to boost the growing offshore wind industry. IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew joined other labor leaders to meet with the governors and top Administration officials to discuss ways to expand important segments of the offshore industry, including manufacturing facilities, ports, and workforce training and development.
“IUE-CWA is very supportive of state and federal efforts at building out an ambitious agenda for offshore wind turbine manufacturing and installation here in the United States. Many new jobs can be created, electricity generated, and carbon emissions reduced. We want all the offshore wind manufacturing jobs of the future to be family-sustaining union jobs,” President Kennebrew said. IUE-CWA represents thousands of General Electric workers, including manufacturing workers in Schenectady, N.Y., America’s original “Electric City.” “GE is a major player in the wind energy industry globally, but they have not committed to manufacturing their next-gen Haliades offshore wind turbines here in the United States. We are asking them to do so, and expand unionized employment right here in America,” added President Kennebrew.
IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew (second from right), along with other labor and industry leaders, met with governors and Administration officials at the White House to promote a new partnership for union, "Made in America" manufacturing for offshore wind energy.
Building Support for Pro-Worker Candidates in Maryland
On Wednesday, CWA activists participated in a phone bank to build support for CWA-endorsed Maryland gubernatorial candidate Tom Perez in the upcoming primary election. As Secretary of Labor under President Obama, he played a key role in resolving the 2016 Verizon strike which resulted in big gains for CWA members. He has an outstanding record of public service when it comes to improving the lives of working families, fighting discrimination, and taking on the forces that want to restrict democratic rights.
Click here to view all CWA-endorsed pro-worker candidates for national and local offices in the upcoming Maryland primary election on July 19.
CWA Member Honored for Pride Month
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June is Pride Month. As part of its yearly celebration of LGBTQ+ leaders who are shaping the labor movement for the future, the AFL-CIO featured CWA Local 6215 Secretary Reginald Small. Reginald Small is a proud 28-year CWA member and currently serves as the Secretary of CWA Local 6215 in Dallas, Texas. In addition, he directs the local’s Community Services Committee and serves on the National Committee on Civil Rights and Equity. Reginald is passionate about his work and advocacy for marginalized communities. Most notably, Reginald has been actively engaged in combating homelessness in his community and beyond.
Register for the 2022 CWA Human Rights Conference
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You can now register online for the 2022 CWA Human Rights Conference, which will be held August 7-10, 2022 at the Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak in Phoenix, Ariz. This year’s conference, themed “Where There is Injustice, You Will Find Us!”, will feature CWA leaders and activists as well as various guest speakers who have been at the forefront of the fight for social and economic justice in their communities and beyond. The four-day conference will also include powerful panel discussions and workshop sessions around issues such as protecting the right to vote, advancing diversity and inclusion, stopping the assault on women’s rights, and fighting for reproductive rights. To register for the conference, sign up for workshop sessions, and find out more information click here.
CWA Women's Committee: Working Class Women Will Suffer the Most From the Supreme Court’s Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade
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The following statement is from the CWA Women’s Committee
The Supreme Court is dangerously out of step with the American people. From recent decisions eliminating public sector fair share fees, to allowing employers to force workers to sign arbitration agreements giving up their right to participate in class action lawsuits, to striking down laws that allow union organizers to meet with workers, the anti-worker majority on the Court has relentlessly pursued its ideologically driven agenda at the expense of working people.
Today's radical decision overturning the long-established constitutional right to safe, legal abortion is a continuation of those efforts. Without the ability to make their own choices about reproductive healthcare, and in a country where pregnancy can have devastating economic effects due to pervasive discrimination and the lack of affordable healthcare or paid parental leave, working class women are the ones who will suffer the most.