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Aug 18, 2022 - NewsGuild-CWA Members Walk Out to Protest Layoffs and Protect Local Journalism and other news

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Organizing Update

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New Flyer

Workers at the New Flyer bus manufacturing facility in Jamestown, N.Y., have formed a union with IUE-CWA. New Flyer agreed to recognize the union after the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service verified that a majority of the workers signed union representation cards. The unit includes more than 50 workers who make components for New Flyer buses, including electric buses, and are critical to supporting green manufacturing in New York. These workers join more than a thousand workers at two New Flyer facilities in St. Cloud and Crookston, Minn., who are represented by the union. With a union and seat at the table, New Flyer workers in Jamestown are looking to improve relationships with management, create pathways to promotion, and secure better wages and benefits.

Workers at the New Flyer bus manufacturing facility in Jamestown, N.Y., formed a union with IUE-CWA.


Activision Blizzard

Workers at Activision Blizzard have filed an unfair labor practice charge against the company for continuing to ignore labor law by illegally surveilling workers and shutting down protected speech. Activision Blizzard engaged in illegal surveillance of workers during their walkout in July to end gender inequity; cut off access to a chat channel where workers were discussing wages, hours, and working conditions; and threatened to shut down other internal channels of communication where workers discussed labor issues. This is the third unfair labor practice charge CWA has filed against the company, which is also currently refusing to voluntarily recognize the Albany Game Workers Alliance/CWA union, a group of quality assurance testers at the company’s location in Albany, N.Y.


Norse Atlantic Airways

The National Mediation Board this week certified that a majority of Flight Attendants at Norse Atlantic Airways had signed cards authorizing AFA-CWA as their union representative. The Flight Attendants filed for official recognition and certification of their union earlier this month after demonstrating unanimous support for joining AFA-CWA. In a statement following the certification, AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson said, “We are thrilled for the Flight Attendants at Norse, and they are ready to vote on the historic tentative agreement we reached with Norse management last year. Norse Flight Attendants strengthen our union, our career, and our industry. Our agreement will immediately set a new standard in aviation—both in the terms of the content and how it was reached. Norse Flight Attendants will have the highest starting pay in the industry, strong work rules, and the knowledge that management worked to reach that agreement as a partner, not an opponent.” Read more here.

Bargaining Update

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CWA members at DirecTV covered by three contracts reached tentative agreements this week. The Orange Customer Care contract covers members in Minnesota, West Virginia, and Colorado who primarily work as call center representatives. The Midwest contract covers members in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois who work as technicians, dispatchers, office coordinators, administrative support assistants, and technical support representatives. The DirecTV Field Services Telecommunications and Technologies Labor Agreement covers members in Delaware, Oregon, New Mexico, and Maryland who primarily work as technicians and administrative support assistants. The members have been mobilizing and working closely with their respective bargaining committees for months to harness their collective power and win contracts with substantial improvements to wages and working conditions, including pay increases, adjustments to healthcare costs, added protections for employees who work from home, the addition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday, improved scheduling and attendance policies, and much more. The members will be voting to ratify each of the contracts in the coming weeks.


Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, and Bradenton Herald

Workers at the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, and Bradenton Herald, members of CWA Local 3108, voted unanimously to ratify their first contracts with McClatchy. Throughout the bargaining, the members engaged in escalating actions including a letter-writing campaign, a press conference and rally, and a one-day work stoppage. Highlights of the new contract include wage increases and retroactive pay, protections against layoffs, adjustments to healthcare costs, paid parental leave, and the recognition of Juneteenth as a paid holiday.

Worker Power Update

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CWAers Highlight Critical Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Investments in Atlanta

CWA Local 3204 President Ed Barlow joined White House Infrastructure Coordinator and Senior Advisor to the President Mitch Landrieu, Georgia Democratic Congresswoman Nikema Williams, and community leaders at a press conference in Atlanta, Ga., to discuss the positive impacts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law on Georgia families. The event especially highlighted how the law will expand access to affordable, high-speed internet.

“President Biden likes to call the law the blue collar blueprint for America. I couldn’t agree more. This law is getting to work right here, right now. For the CWA, this funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law means more union jobs in all kinds of industries in our states. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping to rebuild Atlanta’s roads and bridges so we can all get to work faster and safer. It’s expanding access to affordable high-speed internet for households of thousands of families. These projects are going to benefit our communities for decades to come. They’re an investment in the people of Atlanta,” said CWA Local 3204 President Ed Barlow.

Following the press conference, Landrieu met with a group of CWA members who expressed their support for the Administration’s efforts to support working families and strengthen unions.

CWA Local 3204 President Ed Barlow joined White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu, other elected officials, and community leaders at a press conference in Atlanta, Ga., to discuss the positive impacts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.


CWA Political Activists Participate in the First Ever Activist Academy Ahead of Upcoming Elections

Last week, lead CWA political activists from District 3, District 4, District 6, and IUE-CWA completed a week-long intensive Activist Academy, a first of its kind training focused on leadership development and electoral mobilization. The activists who came from key battleground states including Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas learned how to lead phone and text banks, facilitate presentations, edit scripts and slideshows, research CWA-endorsed candidates, and utilize voter targeting tools. CWA National Political Director Cory Medina spoke to the activists about what's at stake in this election cycle. The activists also heard from guest speakers including Robert Asencio, who is running for Congress in Florida's 28th District, and Arizona Secretary of State candidate Adrian Fontes.

CWA political activists participated in the first ever activist academy ahead of upcoming elections.

Hundreds of Gannett Journalists Represented by NewsGuild-CWA Walk Out Over Layoff Threat

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Hundreds of workers employed by Gannett-owned newsrooms took part in a coordinated walkout during their lunch break last week in response to a string of emails from upper management that threatened layoffs due to the company’s second quarter financials. The workers believe that the financial austerity at Gannett is a result of financial mismanagement and frivolous spending by executives and cannot be solved by further staffing cuts. The NewsGuild-CWA represents more than 50 Gannett-owned newsrooms across the country. Over half of those newsrooms participated in the action and gathered on Zoom to discuss next steps to fight back against the company.

“Gannett continues to show that it puts investors and executives before journalists. In contrast, local journalists are organizing all across the country because of their deep commitment to their work, their communities, and their newsrooms. Well-staffed and fully functional newsrooms are a critical component of democracy, especially in an election year,” said NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss. Read more here.

Hundreds of Gannett journalists represented by the NewsGuild-CWA walked out in protest of potential staffing cuts.