Jul 7, 2022 - Bargaining Wins at Lumen, American Red Cross, and other news

July 7, 2022

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Organizing Update

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Verizon Wireless

Workers at Verizon Express stores in Portland, Ore., have formed a union with CWA and are seeking voluntary recognition from the company. The workers have also filed an election petition with the National Labor Relations Board, should the company fail to recognize the union. The workers stand firm in their commitment to form a union and collectively work to implement their stated values, including fair compensation, adequate staffing levels, health benefits, work-life balance, and a safe work environment that is built on respect and positivity.

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Eastern Airlines

Flight Attendants at Eastern Airlines have overwhelmingly voted to join AFA-CWA in an election certified by the National Mediation Board. Eastern Airlines, formerly Dynamic International Airways, operates as a scheduled carrier employing 65 U.S.-based and 35 internationally-based Flight Attendants in Miami, New York, Ecuador, Guyana, and Venezuela. “Eastern Flight Attendants have spoken loudly and clearly,” said AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson. “Our entire union is thrilled to welcome them, and ready to work shoulder-to-shoulder to negotiate a contract that gives them real voice on the job, safe conditions at work, time to rest, clarity with pay protections, and benefits that reflect their contribution to the airline.” Read more here.

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Maximus

Last Friday, Christina Jimenez, a Maximus worker, participated in a roundtable discussion on workers’ rights with U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh in Jackson, Miss. The discussion was organized as part of a national effort for labor officials to better understand rural workforces and how to address issues workers are facing in their workplaces and beyond. Jimenez, who is organizing with her colleagues at Maximus to form a union with CWA, spoke about the challenges of being denied a living wage. "I am here because I am a mother of three and fifteen dollars an hour is not enough. Me and 40 of my coworkers recently went to the headquarters of Maximus in Washington, D.C., to voice our concerns and we won’t stop until we are heard," said Jimenez. Speaking about the barriers she and her colleagues are facing to form a union and fight for their rights, Jimenez added, “They say unions are evil. They don’t give specifics. They just say unions are evil. You are led to believe you are stuck and can’t do anything about the working conditions you are in.”

Secretary Walsh, who headlined the roundtable discussion and heard from Jimenez and the other worker organizers on the panel, said, “I think most people understand that $15 an hour minimum wage is where we need to go. That’s the floor, that’s not the ceiling. I think the fact that in every state that has incorporated a $15 minimum wage, the conversation in the very beginning was that it was going to put businesses out of business, and every state that’s instituted it, including my own state [Massachusetts], business has gotten better.”


Christina Jimenez (second from right), a Maximus worker organizing with her colleagues to join CWA, participated in a roundtable discussion on workers’ rights with U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh (center) in Jackson, Miss.


Bargaining Update

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Lumen

CWA District 7 members at Lumen (formerly known as CenturyLink) have reached a tentative agreement. This agreement includes an increase in wages, job security, new work brought into the bargaining unit with a commitment to hire CWA workers, and no changes to benefits and pensions for active employees. The workers have been engaged in early bargaining for the contract which is set to expire next year. The members built a strong mobilization plan via the Fight Forward at Lumen campaign for 2023 bargaining, and they continued to build power and solidarity on and off the bargaining table until the company met their demands.

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American Red Cross

Last Thursday, blood service workers at the American Red Cross (ARC), represented by a coalition of labor unions including CWA, reached a tentative agreement on the 2022-2024 national addendum. The workers have been mobilizing for the last year by holding workplace actions, rallies, educating the public about their working conditions, and engaging elected officials. Although they were met with resistance on various proposals including a healthcare proposal that would allow workers’ to continue to have high quality, affordable healthcare, the workers triumphed. In addition to affordable healthcare benefits, the new agreement also includes wage increases, new language that promotes health and safety, additional resources, and more.

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DirecTV (Orange)

CWA members at DirecTV covered by the Orange Mobility contract in Eden Prairie, Minn.; Huntington, W.Va.; and Englewood, Colo., continue to mobilize for a fair contract. The company has proposed major cuts to the workers’ healthcare benefits and inadequate raises that do not match with inflation. Management continues to put profits before workers in order to appease their partners at the private equity firm TPG Capital. The workers are fighting back and making their demands for a fair contract heard by participating in workplace actions, online mobilization, and more. Workers are currently engaged in a letter campaign to let the company know that the proposed cuts are unacceptable and they will not stop until they reach an agreement on a fair contract.

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LifePath

CWA Local 13500 members have reached a new agreement with LifePath, an organization that serves individuals with disabilities. The new agreement includes a ratification bonus for the 450 full-time and part-time workers, wage increases, continued cost of living adjustments, increased matching 401(k) contributions by the employer, and improvements to bereavement leave. In addition, the workers successfully fought back against the company’s regressive proposals to reduce their short-term disability benefits and paid time off.


Beirne Scholarships Awarded for 2022-2023

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The CWA Joe Beirne Foundation was established in October 1974 by the CWA Executive Board to honor the name and memory of the founding President of CWA, who served for more than 30 years.

Sixteen partial college scholarships of $4,000 each are being awarded for the 2022-2023 school year. Winners, selected in a lottery drawing, also will receive second-year scholarships of the same amount contingent upon satisfactory academic accomplishment. Part-time students, taking fewer than 12 credits, will receive half of the scholarship amount.

Eligible for the awards are CWA members and their spouses, children, and grandchildren, including those of retired or deceased members.

2022-2023 Winners:

Marcel Oliart, son of Antonio Oliart, NABET-CWA Local 51018
Sehaye Luks, daughter of JoAnna Luks, CWA Local 1081
April Garcia, daughter of Ana Garcia, CWA Local 1040
Christopher Herbert, son of Robin Herbert, CWA Local 1180
Caitlin Lambe, daughter of Norman Lambe, CWA Local 1101
Anna Wallace, daughter of John Wallace, CWA Local 2201
Jason Andrews, grandson of Walter Andrews, CWA Local 3204
Shelby Hill, daughter of Nathan Hill, CWA Local 3803
Christopher Tran, son of Anthony Tran, Chicago Mailers/PPMWS-CWA Local 14430
Bea Traum, daughter of Kurt Traum, CWA Local 4340
Ameena Khan, daughter of Aisha Sultan, TNG-CWA Local 36047
Floyd Bell, III, son of Floyd Bell Jr., CWA Local 6300
Paavo Passi, son of Peter Passi, Minnesota Newspaper Guild/TNG-CWA Local 37002
Jewel Johnson, dependent of Decovan Rhem, CWA Local 9415
Nathan Guerrero, son of Anibal Guerrero, CWA Local 9586
Leah Flatman, daughter of Trevor Flatman, CWA|SCA Canada Local 30223

Click here to learn more about the Joe Beirne Scholarship Program.


Worker Power Update

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CWA Next Generation to Host Political Briefings Ahead of the Upcoming Elections

CWA Next Generation will host two virtual briefings this month to explore labor's strategy for victory on Election Day 2022. In 2020, CWAers mobilized with the entire labor movement to put a pro-labor administration in the White House. If we want to advance our social and economic justice agenda, we must continue to mobilize to elect pro-worker, pro-equality, and pro-democracy candidates to Congress and state legislatures this November. During the two virtual briefings, Cory Medina, CWA’s National Political Director, and Yolanda Bejarano, CWA’s National Legislative and Political Field Director, will discuss what CWA activists are doing in critical states across the country and how members can get involved to make their voices heard.

Sign up to join one of two virtual political briefings on July 20 or 27.

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CWA District 7 Members Building Broadband Better

Last week, CWA leaders and activists participated in a virtual town hall to learn more about CWA’s campaign to build broadband better. The town hall, organized by CWA District 7 Broadband Brigade members, included state lawmakers and community leaders. 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. CWA District 7 Vice President Susie McAllister spoke at the beginning of the discussion, followed by other invited guest speakers including Steve Berch, State Representative from Idaho, and Richard Andrade, State Representative from Arizona.

Representative Andrade, who was the primary sponsor of CWA-supported state broadband regulation legislation in Arizona, discussed the importance of expanding affordable high speed internet access to rural and underserved communities in the state using experienced union workers. Representative Berch gave a brief family history of his association with labor unions, and expressed his appreciation for CWA’s partnership on a number of issues including equitable broadband access.

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CWAers Turn Out to Build Support for Tom Perez

CWA members in Maryland took part in a 4th of July Parade in Baltimore County with CWA-endorsed Maryland gubernatorial candidate Tom Perez to build support for his campaign. The members wore their CWA red and demonstrated their commitment to elect Perez, a pro-worker candidate who has an outstanding record when it comes to improving the lives of working families, fighting discrimination, and taking on the forces that want to restrict democratic rights. Perez also participated in a number of other parades over the 4th of July weekend across the state, including in Takoma Park, where he was joined by CWA Secretary Treasurer Sara Steffens.


IUE-CWA Manufacturing Workers Got a Visit from President Kennebrew

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IUE-CWA Local 81102 members at Steinway Piano in New York extended a warm welcome to IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew during his visit last week. President Kennebrew, who has made it a priority to visit IUE-CWA-represented manufacturing facilities and connect with workers, got an opportunity to tour the facility and hear directly from workers.


CWAers in New Jersey are ‘Steward’ Strong

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Last week, new CWA Shop Stewards at La Casa de Don Pedro and the Leaguers, members of CWA Local 1037 in New Jersey, held their first stewards training as they continue to fight for a fair contract to improve working conditions and standards in early childhood care.