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Aug 25, 2022 - Striking Frontier Workers Win Big and other news

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CWA Members’ Strike Victory Limits Subcontracting at Frontier in California

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Nearly 2,000 CWA members at Frontier Communications in California went on strike last Friday protesting the company’s continued subcontracting of work in violation of their collective bargaining agreement. The workers walked off the job after several failed meetings with management to resolve a grievance filed over the issue. The company admitted it was in violation of the subcontracting limit but refused to provide the union with information about current subcontracting levels.

After days of striking, the members won an agreement last night in which Frontier has committed to take significant steps to adhere to the limits of subcontracting set in the collective bargaining agreement, including posting job requisitions for at least a hundred Term Cable Splicer positions, meeting regularly with CWA on the status of the postings, offering union jobs in lieu of contract workers, and utilizing the existing referral program for union members to assist the Company in procuring qualified applicants.

“This is a huge victory for CWA members at Frontier who stayed one day longer, one day stronger on the picket line and refused to settle for the company’s excuses and empty promises. It’s proof that we can successfully fight back when we come together, mobilize, and build solidarity,” said CWA Local 9510 Executive Vice President Kenny Williams. CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce added, “I am grateful for all of the members of the community who have been persistently supporting CWA members at Frontier and fighting alongside us to protect good jobs and the quality of service our customers receive. Although the issues relating to this grievance are resolved, we are still fighting for a new contract. I have no doubt in my mind that our members are ready, able, and willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that Frontier provides quality service and good jobs for Californians.”

Nearly 2,000 CWA members at Frontier in California, who went on strike to protest the company’s continued subcontracting of work, won an agreement with the company that limits subcontracting.

Organizing Update

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General Electric

Nearly 200 General Electric (GE) Aviation workers in Auburn, Ala., have launched an historic new union organizing campaign with IUE-CWA, becoming the first GE workers to organize a union in nearly a decade. With strong majority support, the workers, who use cutting-edge technology to build the next-generation of aircraft engines, submitted union cards to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) this week. The workers announced their organizing campaign at a rally with support from national and state leaders, including Alabama AFL-CIO President Bren Riley and leaders from Alabama Jobs With Justice and Alabama Interfaith Power and Light.

The workers have faced a wide range of union-busting tactics intended to intimidate them since they began organizing. They report being subjected to mandatory anti-union captive audience meetings, misleading management flyers, unannounced pop-up drug testing, new security cameras to monitor their work, and unlawful threats from managers that their factory will shut down if workers form a union. Despite this, support for the union continues to grow stronger every week.

Bargaining Update

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Kaleida Health

Last week, more than a thousand workers at Kaleida Health in Buffalo, N.Y., participated in an informational picket to demand a fair contract. Nearly 6,300 union workers represented by CWA Local 1168 and 1199SEIU are fighting for wage increases, better staffing levels, and dignity and respect on the job. More than half of the workers are represented by CWA. The workers were joined by other CWA members, community allies, elected officials, and fellow union members on the picket line. During the rally, the members spoke to the media to educate the public about short staffing and poor working conditions. Following the picket, the CWA Local 1168 and 1199SEIU joint bargaining committee unanimously voted to hold a strike authorization vote in a show of solidarity that will send a clear message to Kaleida Health that the workers are ready to do what it takes to protect quality care for patients and residents. Click here for more information.

More than a thousand workers at Kaleida Health in Buffalo, N.Y., participated in an informational picket to demand a fair contract last week.


Union County Division of Social Services

After a long fight, workers at the Union County Division of Social Services in New Jersey, members of CWA Local 1080, ratified a new collective bargaining agreement. The members, who have been without a contract for slightly more than two years, stayed committed and actively mobilized throughout the bargaining by holding rallies and other workplace actions. The new contract includes wage increases for all employees, rebate payments from the previous year’s healthcare premiums, no increase to employees’ healthcare contributions for the duration of the agreement, a quiet room within the workplace for workers to relax after long intense shifts, new flexible schedules, the addition of Juneteenth as a paid holiday, and more.


TIME Magazine

Workers at TIME, members of the NewsGuild of New York (TNG-CWA Local 31003), voted unanimously last week to ratify a new contract after three years of bargaining. This is the first contract that covers all TIME editorial employees, ending the divide between the print side of the magazine and TIME digital and TIME for Kids workers who organized to join the union in 2019. The agreement is the first Guild contract to secure language protecting reproductive and gender-affirming health care. In light of the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the workers also secured the right to re-open bargaining to address reimbursement for travel expenses once legalities around this issue become clearer. The contract also includes wage increases and strong equity, diversity, and inclusion language. Read more here.

Worker Power Update

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CWA-Endorsed Candidates Win Big in Florida and New York Primaries

Florida and New York held primary elections this week for national, state, and local offices.

In Florida, the CWA-endorsed candidate for Florida’s 10th Congressional District, Maxwell Frost, won his primary election against several prominent Democratic candidates, including two former members of Congress. After a careful review of the candidates’ records, CWA was one of the first major unions to endorse Frost, a young Afro-Cuban leader, community organizer, and longtime advocate of the working class. He has stood with CWA members and other union members on picket lines, protests, rallies, and has demonstrated his commitment to keep fighting for working people in Congress. CWA activists across the state who were highly engaged in garnering support for Frost played an instrumental role in his victory.

CWA members in Florida mobilized to build support for Maxwell Frost, who won the Democratic primary for Florida’s 10th Congressional District.

CWA-endorsed candidates Charlie Crist, who is running for Governor; Val Demings, who is running for U.S. Senate; and Annette Taddeo, who is running for Congress from Florida’s 27th Congressional District, also won their Democratic Primary races. Taddeo has been a longtime supporter of CWA and played a crucial role in defeating one of the most anti-union pieces of legislation in the state legislature. CWA members actively supported these campaigns and are committed to continuing to support these champions for working people through the general election.

In the race for Congress in Florida's 28th District, CWA-endorsed candidate Robert Asencio won the Democratic primary. Asencio is a former state representative who helped introduce the CWA-supported Call Center legislation and has repeatedly supported CWA members on picket lines and beyond. Other CWA-endorsed candidates, including candidate for state Senate Lauren Book and candidate for state House Juan Fernandez Barquin, also won their primaries.

CWA members mobilized to build support for Pat Ryan, who won the special election in N.Y.’s 19th Congressional District.

In New York, Ulster County executive and CWA-endorsed candidate for Congress Pat Ryan won a special election in New York’s 19th District. Throughout the campaign, Ryan consistently championed the rights of all working families and reiterated his commitment to defending them in Congress. In addition, 21 out of the 22 candidates endorsed by CWA District 1 in New York won their primaries this week. This includes CWA-endorsed congressional candidates Laura Gillen, running in the 4th District; Sean Patrick Maloney, running in the 17th District; and Josh Riley, running in the 19th District. CWA members across the state mobilized to build support for all of the endorsed candidates, helping most of them fight off tough primaries.


North Carolina CWAers Meet with Legislators

CWA members from various locals in North Carolina, including Locals 3611 and 3640, met with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Democratic State Senator and CWA-endorsed Congressional candidate Wiley Nickel, and State Representative Rosa Gill to discuss key CWA legislative priorities as pro-worker legislators in Washington, D.C., and Raleigh continue the push for lowering cost of living and raising wages for working people.


IUE-CWA Members Supporting Pro-Worker Candidates

Members and retirees from IUE-CWA Local 81201 participated in a canvass by going door to door to talk to voters and build support for state House candidate Terri Tauro. Tauro, who serves as the President of IUE-CWA Local 81776, is running for State Representative in the 8th Essex District, Mass. If elected, she would be the second IUE-CWA member in the Massachusetts State House.


Jaime Harrison, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Charles Booker, candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, who is endorsed by CWA District 3 and IUE-CWA, participated in a labor roundtable discussion with IUE-CWA members including Kindre Batliner, President of IUE-CWA Local 83761, and IUE-CWA Campaign Lead Ashley Snider. The members highlighted key union priorities and discussed other critical issues affecting working people in the state.

Aviation Workers Launch Public Campaign Demanding a Stop to Stock Buybacks in Aviation Until Problems Are Fixed

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CWA, AFA-CWA, Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), and several other unions representing hundreds of thousands of aviation workers, launched a public campaign demanding that airlines pledge to stabilize the industry with reliable operations and good jobs before diverting any airline profits to Wall Street through stock buybacks.

“Stock buybacks don’t help families reach their destinations safely or ensure that flights are on time, but airline workers do. Every dollar that goes toward stock buybacks is a dollar that could have been used to reduce disruption by addressing understaffing, high turnover, excess overtime, and low starting wages," said Richard Honeycutt, Vice President of CWA District 3 and Chair of CWA's Passenger Service Airline Council.

“We paused the greed in aviation for a little while with legislative constraints tied to COVID relief,” said AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson. “But the greed that ran rampant before COVID created a system that was already stretched thin with minimum staffing and high overtime hours. We can’t allow executives to send one dime to Wall Street before they fix operational issues and conclude contract negotiations that will ensure pay and benefits keep and attract people to aviation jobs.”

Click here to add your name to a petition demanding that the CEOs of U.S. airlines pledge to extend the COVID relief ban on stock buybacks until operational meltdowns and staffing shortages are fixed and outstanding labor contract negotiations are settled.

CWAers Bring Organizing Message to Netroots Nation Conference

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This year’s Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh featured a keynote session with AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson and a CODE-CWA hosted panel entitled “Beat the Boss: Lessons from Worker Organizers in Tech & Games.”

Nelson joined filmmaker Abigail Disney and former Disney theme park custodian Artemis Bell for the keynote. The group discussed Disney’s new film, “The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales,” and Nelson stressed the importance of widespread union organizing to hold corporations accountable and to ensure that profits are directed toward workers and not to Wall Street. “We have to take on Amazon, Starbucks, Disney, Delta Air Lines – we have to take on these companies together. Because if they're allowed to get away with undermining anyone, they're going to do it everywhere,” Nelson said.

The CODE-CWA panel, moderated by Motherboard reporter Edward Ongweso, included Kara Fannon, a founding member of the Activision Blizzard King Worker Committee Against Sex & Gender Discrimination; former Activision Blizzard worker Jessica Gonzalez; CODE-CWA campaign lead Emma Kinema; and Alphabet Workers Union Executive Chair Parul Koul. The group discussed their experiences organizing and the tactics companies use to prevent workers from having a voice.

Members of CODE-CWA discussed organizing at the Netroots Nation conference.

Below: AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson (right) joined filmmaker Abigail Disney and former Disney theme park custodian Artemis Bell for a Netroots Nation keynote panel on “The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales.”

NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss Receives Pride at Work’s Solidarity Award

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NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss was recognized by Pride at Work, a constituency group of the AFL-CIO that supports LGBTQIA+ workers in the labor movement, at their 2022 quadrennial Convention with a Solidarity Award. He received the award for creating a new spirit of organizing and his inspirational leadership as an out labor leader. NewsGuild member Chris Serres, an award-winning reporter at the Star Tribune, presented Schleuss with the award and spoke about the massive organizing in the Guild and about the union’s willingness to engage in fights that come in conflict with journalistic notions of “objectivity.” “I want to dedicate this award to our members because our members are our true strength,” said President Schleuss in his acceptance speech. Several CWA members also attended the convention, heard from dynamic and informative guest speakers, and built solidarity with members of other unions.

CWA members at the 2022 Pride at Work quadrennial Convention where TNG-CWA President Jon Schleuss received the Solidarity Award.

CWA Executive Board Member Keith Gibbs Honored with Legacy Award

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Western Region At-Large Executive Board Member and CWA Local 9412 President Keith Gibbs received the Legacy Award for his hard work and commitment to labor and the working class at a dinner and awards ceremony hosted by the Alameda Central Labor Council in Oakland, Calif.

Enter the Labor Day Sweepstakes for a Chance to Win $50,000

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In case you missed it, this Labor Day, Union Plus is giving away $75,000 in prizes, including a Grand Prize of $50,000 to celebrate and support America’s union members.

Enter the Unions Power America Sweepstakes for your chance to win:

Be sure to enter the sweepstakes by Monday, August 29, and increase your chances of winning by completing extra activities.