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Oct 20, 2022 - Apple Workers Vote to Join CWA and other news

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Pittsburgh NewsGuild Members Join Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Strike

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Members of CWA Locals 14842 and 14827 employed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who went on strike two weeks ago in response to unfair labor practices by management, including unilateral changes to their health care plan, are staying one day longer, one day stronger on the picket line. On Tuesday, members of the Pittsburgh NewsGuild (TNG-CWA Local 38061) joined the strike, citing the company’s illegal declaration of an impasse in contract negotiations and imposition of new working conditions, including cuts to wages and vacation time and a low benefit, high cost health plan.

Members of Teamsters Local 205/211 and Pressmen’s Union GCC/IBT Local 24M/9N are also on strike.

“For the first time in my adult life, along with the members that I represent, I wake up every morning without health care. And I'd like to tell you, that's a very uncomfortable feeling in today's world. You could ring up a health care bill that could absolutely cripple you for the rest of your life. And I just think it's unfair that after all this time, this is the way we're being treated,” said John Clark, President of Mailers Local 22/CWA Local 14842, at a press conference the workers held last week to a announce public boycott of the Post-Gazette and to ask members of the Pittsburgh community to cancel their subscriptions and withhold advertising from the paper.

The strike and the solidarity actions have had a significant impact on the company’s operations. In addition, the workers continue to receive an outpouring of support from elected officials, community leaders, and other unions.

“We, the workers, are standing together today, ready to fight to win back our contract and work toward signing a new collective bargaining agreement that preserves the Post-Gazette for the Pittsburgh region,” said Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh (TNG-CWA Local 38061) President Zack Tanner in a release announcing that the newsroom employees had voted to join the strike.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Strike
CWA members from Local 13500 and from IUE-CWA joined striking Pittsburgh Post-Gazette workers on the picket line.

Organizing Update

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Apple retail workers at the Penn Square Mall store in Oklahoma City voted overwhelmingly to join CWA on Friday, becoming the second group of Apple retail workers to win union representation in the U.S. The workers include Apple salespeople, genius admins, technicians, creatives, and operations specialists.

“I was on the organizing committee which just won the second Apple election in the U.S. My dad is a proud member of IUE-CWA battling for a fair contract right now with General Electric (GE) in Oklahoma and my mom was a proud union member too. Solidarity with Apple and GE workers everywhere. One union one fight,” said Laurel Agee, a member of the Apple Retail Workers/CWA. CWA District 6 members are excited to welcome their newest members at Apple, who will be members of CWA Local 6016 in Oklahoma City.

“Apple workers are determined to organize for better wages and dignity on the job. Despite Apple's illegal and aggressive anti-union campaign, Apple retail workers across the country will continue to organize, especially after this momentous victory,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “The Penn Square Apple retail workers are an amazing addition to our growing labor movement, and we are thrilled to welcome them as CWA members.”

Apple Organizing in Oklahoma City
Apple retail workers at the Penn Square Mall store in Oklahoma City voted overwhelmingly to join CWA.



Tech workers at ActBlue, a nonprofit technology organization that enables progressive groups and individuals to raise funds, won voluntary recognition from the company after Kristen Gonzalez, a candidate for the New York State Senate and tech worker, conducted a neutral third party verification and confirmed that a majority of eligible workers have signed union authorization cards. The 80 workers, who will be members of CWA Local 1400, plan to promptly begin negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement with management. Read more here.



Last week, CWA filed a series of unfair labor practice charges on behalf of workers at Maximus, a multi-billion dollar corporation and the largest federal call center contractor. The workers, who answer calls for 1-800-Medicare and assist American consumers with Affordable Care Act Marketplace (ACA) plans, have been organizing with CWA to win improvements in their workplace The charges, which were filed with the National Labor Relations Board, include allegations that in Bogalusa, La., Maximus unlawfully interfered with the right of employees to engage in protected union activities by coercively questioning an employee regarding her union sentiments and union activities, and threatening closure of the worksite if employees were to form a union.

In the lead up to the Medicare and ACA open enrollment periods, the busiest, most critical times for Americans to get their healthcare questions answered by Maximus workers, Maximus is choosing to spend time interfering with its employees’ rights to form a union. “Maximus is attempting to intimidate workers into giving up. They will not succeed. The workers' commitment to fight for a voice on the job remains strong and the support they are receiving from community members, elected officials, and other allies continues to grow. CWA is and will continue to be steadfast in our support of the workers as they continue to fight back and organize their union,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens in a press release announcing the filing of the charges.

Bargaining Update

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Kaleida Health

In a major victory for healthcare workers, nurses, clinical, professional, technical, service, dietary, and clerical staff represented by CWA Local 1168 and 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East voted to ratify a new three-year contract with Kaleida Health in Buffalo, N.Y. The collective bargaining agreement covers over 6,300 union healthcare workers at Buffalo General Medical Center, Oishei Children’s Hospital, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, HighPointe on Michigan, DeGraff Medical Park, and various community-based clinics.

The contract includes industry-leading wages and safe staffing ratios. The new agreement makes major strides to address the staffing crisis, including adding 500 new positions, daily staffing incentive bonuses, and a minimum 12% wage increase over three years for all workers. Kaleida will also create two new union positions in order to oversee safe staffing ratios and ensure they are adhered to, and to facilitate the improvement of working conditions within its hospitals. This victory is the result of the workers’ resilience and mobilization throughout the eight months of bargaining, including rallies, pickets, online and worksite actions, as well as a strike authorization vote that was overwhelmingly passed by the membership. “This contract is a huge win for our members who have been struggling to care for patients amidst serious staffing issues and a nationwide worker shortage. We fought hard to ensure there were no compromises made, which is a testament to the tireless efforts of our members, whose top priority has always been their patients,” said Cori Gambini, President, CWA Local 1168 and a Registered Nurse.


Montefiore Nyack Hospital

Workers at Montefiore Nyack Hospital and members of CWA Local 1103 held an informational picket calling on the hospital to bargain in good faith for a fair contract. The workers’ previous contract expired on June 30, 2022. They have been negotiating a new contract covering 130 technical employees. “For over two years, our members sacrificed their own health and well-being to care for patients and members of the community during a worldwide pandemic. Every single day, they reported for duty and were here to help save lives, even when they were scared for their own lives. They reported for duty because they were committed to their careers, the hospital and to the health and safety of the community. It is time for Montefiore Nyack Hospital to treat their employees with the respect they deserve and come to this bargaining table and do just that,” said Kevin Sheil, President of CWA Local 1103. The workers were joined by other union members, health care workers, elected officials, and community allies.

Nyack Hospital Picket
Workers at Montefiore Nyack Hospital and members of CWA Local 1103 held an informational picket calling on the hospital to bargain in good faith for a fair contract.

Worker Power Update

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CWA Promotes Pro-Worker Legislation at Congressional Briefing

A legislative briefing, hosted by the Congressional Labor Caucus for members of the U.S. House of Representatives and their staff, included testimony from James McKnight, President of CWA Local 3140 in Miami, Fla. The briefing highlighted HR 8105, the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act. “If CWA agents received better wages, I believe that the airline could recruit more employees, retain skilled workers, relieve the pressure and stress of our overworked agents, and allow workers to provide for themselves from one, full-time wage,” read McKnight’s statement. “I join my colleagues at SEIU and UNITE HERE, as well as our allies in Congress, to pass the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act, to establish wage and benefit minimums so that our essential frontline aviation workforce remains strong, protected, and respected,” the statement added.

In addition to McKnight’s statement, the briefing featured remarks from other airport service workers, labor leaders, and a subject matter expert on why this bill is essential to stabilizing our aviation system. The bill establishes a floor for wage and benefit standards for certain covered airport service workers while ensuring public money serves the public good. CWA represents more than 20,000 passenger service agents who work for American Airlines and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Envoy Air and Piedmont Airlines.


CWAers Across the Country Continue to Mobilize for the Midterm Elections

The midterm elections are less than three weeks away. CWA members across the country are ramping up their mobilization to ensure that our endorsed pro-worker candidates win office.

Phone Banking for Keith Ellison

Last week, activists from across the country joined CWA's first National Night of Action by participating in a virtual phone bank to help get out the vote for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Ellison has a long history of supporting workers in Congress and, as Minnesota Attorney General, he fought to save CWA members' jobs at Frontier and made the company invest at least $10 million over four years to improve its broadband network.

Collectively, the volunteers were able to dial almost 8,500 households and identify over 200 supporters for Ellison.


Knocking on Doors in North Carolina

In North Carolina, activists were out door knocking for our CWA-endorsed candidates.


Arizona CWAers for Kris Mayes

In Arizona, CWA activists met with Kris Mayes, candidate for Attorney General, and Adrian Fontes, candidate for Secretary of State, then participated in a member to member phone bank.


Michigan CWAers with Dan Kildee

In Michigan, CWA activists met with Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee, who is running for reelection.


Knocking on Doors in Florida

In Florida, CWA activists continue to build support for CWA-endorsed candidates by door knocking and phone banking.


Phone Banking in California

In California, CWAers did a “Twin Day” phone bank and got out the vote for CWA-endorsed California Congressional candidates, as well as Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.


Georgia CWAers with Stacey Abrams

In Georgia, AFA-CWA activists joined a labor walk for Georgia Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.


Alaska CWAers for Mary Peltola

In Alaska, AFA-CWA members hosted a hybrid (in person and virtual) phone bank at the state AFL-CIO in Anchorage to build support for CWA-endorsed candidate Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola’s campaign for Congress.


For more information about these races or to sign up for virtual actions this midterm cycle, click here.

CWA District 3 Members Build Power at Annual Meeting

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CWAers from across District 3 gathered for their annual meeting this week, held for the first time in person since the pandemic.

Hundreds of members gathered in Biloxi, Miss., to participate in workshops and committee meetings and hear from union leaders and guest speakers, including CWA President Chris Shelton. Speaking to the crowd, Shelton highlighted the members’ achievements and applauded their engagement on all three sides of the CWA Triangle. He also detailed why the fight for our future and democracy is not a partisan fight, but a fight for all working people. “Our job is to represent our members. Every day, you are out there bargaining and enforcing our contracts. It’s hard work that is made even harder because corporations and the politicians they have controlled for over 40 years - yes, including some Democrats - have gutted our labor laws. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to turn the tables on them. But let me assure you, if Mitch McConnell gets control of the Senate back and Democrats lose control of the House, that opportunity will be gone,” said Shelton.

Throughout his remarks Shelton stressed the need for all CWA members to mobilize to build support for endorsed candidates in the upcoming midterm elections. “From now 'til election day, each and every one of you should be mobilizing, phone banking, door-knocking, and canvassing to build support for these candidates who will protect what we have gained and further advance our agenda,” added Shelton.

“Our CWA organizing program is on fire,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, who also attended the meeting and touted the various organizing victories in District 3 and elsewhere. “Right now, all over our country, workers are losing their fear, claiming their power, and writing a new future for our labor movement,” she added. She also took the opportunity to encourage everyone to remain hopeful despite the hardships of the last few years and keep fighting for change. “Every single time someone goes down the path of leaving behind their fear, and standing in their power, we grow a little closer to the world we are trying to build. We have been through so much, and finally the sun is rising. Workers are stepping into the sunshine. Let’s make the most of this moment we have fought for and dreamed of,” said Steffens.

"Our Solidarity is the heart of our movement and there is no shortage of it in our District and our union. Once a year, we come together from all over the District to strategize, learn, celebrate each other’s hard fought victories, strengthen existing relationships, and build new ones. Our members have stood tall through all the challenges thrown at them in the last few years. By drawing on the energy and support they gain from each other, they will continue to fight to build on what we’ve accomplished and secure a better future,” said CWA District 3 Vice President Richard Honeycutt.

Conference participants also heard from CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings Jr., CWA Public, Healthcare and Education Sector Vice President Margaret Cook, and other guest speakers.