- Bargaining Update
- Organizing Update
- Worker Power Update
- CWA and Microsoft Help Detroit Residents “Get Connected” to No-Cost Internet Service
- IUE-CWA Members and Other Workers at General Electric Rally Demanding the Company Prioritize Its Workers
- CWA Leaders Build Power at the 2022 Minority Leadership Institute
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Strike
Workers continued to build support for their strike against the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week, rallying in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Washington, D.C. They were joined by elected officials and CWA leaders and members from across the country.
Members of CWA Locals 14842 and 14827, the Pittsburgh NewsGuild (TNG-CWA Local 38061), Teamsters Local 205/211, and Pressmen’s Union GCC/IBT Local 24M/9N are striking in response to unfair labor practices by management, including unilateral changes to their health care plan.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey and U.S. Representative Conor Lamb visited the picket line in Pittsburgh to show their support for the strikers, as did CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton and CWA Telecommunications Vice President Lisa Bolton. In D.C., CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens; Public, Health Care and Education Workers Vice President Margaret Cook; AFA-CWA Vice President Keturah Johnson; and AFA-CWA Secretary-Treasurer Dante Harris, along with members of CWA and other unions picketed alongside Ashley Murray, the Post-Gazette’s Washington bureau chief and only staffer. Harrisburg bureau chief Gillian McGoldrick has been holding down the picket line in Pennsylvania’s capital, and was joined this week by other TNG-CWA members and supportive state representatives.
Last week, striking workers launched the Pittsburgh Union Progress to cover the strike and serve as a voice for the people of Pittsburgh.
To send a message of support to the strikers or donate to their fund to assist striking Post-Gazette families with special needs who are facing very difficult financial circumstances, visit cwa.org/ppg.
Elected officials, CWA leaders, and members from across the country turned out to support striking Pittsburgh Post-Gazette workers this week.
Clockwise, from top left: CWA Telecommunications Vice President Lisa Bolton and CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton joined CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney and NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss on the picket line in Pittsburgh;
TNG-CWA members and supportive state representatives picketed in Harrisburg, Penn.;
U.S. Representative Conor Lamb visited the picket line;
U.S. Senator Bob Casey spoke with workers in Pittsburgh;
CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens; Public, Health Care and Education Workers Vice President Margaret Cook; AFA-CWA Vice President Keturah Johnson; AFA-CWA Secretary-Treasurer Dante Harris, along with members of CWA and other unions, picketed in Washington, D.C.
AT&T In Home Experts
In another groundbreaking victory, AT&T In Home Expert (IHX) workers in Ohio won recognition after a majority of them signed cards in favor of joining CWA. Despite being faced with a broad anti-union misinformation campaign, the workers were victorious in large part due to their strong internal organizing committee and the support they received from a great team of CWA members and organizers. The workers also spent countless hours in discussions with each worker building power, overcoming the anti-union narrative, and building trust with the workers. This win brings the total number of AT&T IHX workers represented by CWA District 4 to 400.
A supermajority of workers at YouTube Music Content Operations have signed union cards and filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The workers, who are already dues-paying members of Alphabet Workers Union-CWA Local 1400 (AWU-CWA), are seeking formal recognition and collective bargaining rights. YouTube, like Google, is a subsidiary of Alphabet.
This filing comes as AWU-CWA has grown to almost 1,200 members since its launch in January 2021. The wall-to-wall union has been leading the charge to improve working conditions for all Alphabet workers, including full-time employees and temporary, vendor, and contract workers.
Workers at Gannett’s Midwest Digital Optimization Team (DOT) formed a union, the Midwest Digital Guild, becoming the second group of midwestern Gannett workers to do so. The new unit will include digital journalists of varied backgrounds and career experience, all of whom serve a key role in producing and managing digital content across Gannett properties in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. They will be part of the Indianapolis NewsGuild, TNG-CWA Local 34070. Read more here.
Raven Software/Activision Blizzard
CWA filed an unfair labor practice charge against Activision after Lulu Cheng Meservey, the company’s communications executive, sent a company-wide Slack message disparaging the union, making threats to withhold raises and benefit improvements from workers who joined the union, and giving workers an impression that they were under surveillance. Although Meservey called for “direct dialogue” in her rant, most staff were prevented from directly responding in the Slack channel.
“The only vehicle that can give workers a sustained, legally-protected seat at the table and a voice on the job is a union,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “It's indisputable that these anti-union messages were meant to intimidate union members, and stop workers from organizing for better wages and dignity on the job. We strongly believe the labor board will find these actions unlawful and hold Activision accountable for violating its workers’ protected right to organize.”
Worker Power Update
Join CWA’s National Day of Action to Re-Elect Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
Join CWAers for a National Day of Action on Thursday, November 3, at 6 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. CT/ 4 p.m. MT/3 p.m. PT to phone bank for Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto who is running for reelection.
Senator Cortez Masto has been a long-time ally to CWA members. She is one of the lead sponsors of the Call Center Bill in the Senate. This bill will protect call center jobs from going overseas and hold corporations accountable for offshoring jobs. She also supports updated "Buy America" rules to strengthen our supply chain with goods manufactured in the United States, lowering prescription drug prices, and labor law reform to make it easier for workers to join unions and bargain strong contracts.
We need to reelect Senator Cortez Masto so she can continue to lift up America’s workers and fight to strengthen workers’ rights to join unions and bargain fair contracts. This race is going to be close and the control of the U.S. Senate is hanging in the balance. We need to get out the vote and make sure the Senate remains pro-worker.
Join your fellow CWAers on the National Day of Action to phone bank together and re-elect one of our labor champions. Sign up here.
CWAers Ramp Up Mobilization to Build Support for Pro-Worker Midterm Candidates
The midterm elections are less than two weeks away. CWA members across the country are ramping up their mobilization to ensure that our endorsed pro-worker candidates win office.
Last week, activists from across the country joined CWA's second National Day of Action by participating in a virtual phone bank to help build support for Mandela Barnes, who is running for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin.
CWAers are mobilizing to send Mandela Barnes to the Senate so he can continue to lift up America’s workers and fight to strengthen workers’ rights to join unions and bargain fair contracts. “I believe in the strength of unions because I would not be here without them, and I believe we can create a future where hard work pays off and that a fair shot is within the realm of possibility,” said Barnes, who spoke to the volunteers.
The volunteers, including CWA Executive Board members Linda L. Hinton, CWA District 4 Vice President; Susie McAllister, CWA District 7 Vice President; Sara Nelson, AFA-CWA President; Margaret Cook, Public, Health Care and Education Workers Vice President; and Lisa Bolton, Telecommunications and Technologies Vice President were able to dial over 7400 households and identify 130 supporters for Barnes.
In Ohio, CWA activists joined CWA-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate and Democratic Congressman from Ohio Tim Ryan at a campaign stop. They are continuing to build support for his campaign by door knocking, visiting worksites, and phone banking.
CWA Activists in North Carolina met with U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley, and knocked on doors to build support for her campaign and all of our CWA-endorsed candidates.
In Pennsylvania, CWA activists continued their worksite visits, door knocking, and phone banks to build support for CWA-endorsed candidates.
CWA activists in California continue to phone bank, door knock, and visit worksites across the state to build support for CWA-endorsed candidates.
In Georgia, CWA activists met with Attorney General candidate and State Senator Jen Jordan. They also continued to phone bank and door knock for our CWA-endorsed candidates.
CWA and Microsoft Help Detroit Residents “Get Connected” to No-Cost Internet Service
Volunteers from CWA and Microsoft hosted a “Get Connected” event at Brewster Homes in Detroit to help residents who need it receive no-cost internet service. CWA and Microsoft recently launched "Get Connected," an initiative aiming to boost enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides low-cost broadband service. The event was part of a “Trick or Treat for Resources” community initiative by the Detroit Housing Commission Resident Services Department. CWA and Microsoft partnered with the non-profit EveryoneOn and the Detroit Housing Commission to spread the word about the event and the opportunity for low-income residents to get online at little to no cost via the ACP. The partnership between CWA and Microsoft builds on a groundbreaking labor neutrality agreement announced in June, which includes a commitment to collaborate on technology adoption and skill building programs.
Volunteers at the event guided residents through the registration process and Internet Service Providers that offer no-cost high speed broadband plans to ACP enrollees were also available so that qualifying residents could sign up for service on-site. The event in Detroit follows a similar event in Memphis earlier this month and another one in Atlanta on Labor Day. Additional sign up events are being planned in New York City and rural North Carolina.
Left: Volunteers from CWA and Microsoft helped Brewster Homes residents in Detroit enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and sign up for services from AT&T.
Right: CWA Local 4100 President Gerald Sommerville and Vice President DeAndre Davis with a Detroit Housing Authority employee volunteered at the “Get Connected” event in Detroit and encouraged participants to enroll in the ACP to receive no-cost internet service.
IUE-CWA Members and Other Workers at General Electric Rally Demanding the Company Prioritize Its Workers
Hundreds of IUE-CWA members and workers at General Electric from across the country converged outside the GE factory in Schenectady, N.Y., to demand the $70 billion dollar company reinvest in its American workforce and take immediate action to protect jobs, improve pay, and cut spiraling healthcare costs. The workers, from GE plants in Massachusetts, New York, Kansas, and Kentucky, also said they want guarantees that GE will continue to honor their union rights after the company splits into three new entities.
“GE must stop taking orders from Wall Street and start investing in the American workers who built this company in the first place. Regardless of whether GE is one company or three, we are demanding it put the industrial future of America first. GE must invest $5 billion over the next five years in American manufacturing and build offshore wind in states like New York and Massachusetts where skilled union workers are ready to power the green economy of the future,” said IUE-CWA National President Carl Kennebrew.
This latest mobilization is the largest multi-state action by GE workers in years, and comes as IUE-CWA members prepare to head into national contract negotiations with GE this spring. Workers want the company to stop offshoring and outsourcing jobs, and to instead invest in rebuilding its once robust domestic, union manufacturing base. Workers also want to know why GE is still spending billions on stock buybacks instead of prioritizing their opportunity to become the nation’s leader on green energy at home.
Other union members, community allies, and supporters also participated in the rally in solidarity with the GE workers.
Hundreds of IUE-CWA members and workers at General Electric from across the country rallied outside the GE factory in Schenectady, N.Y., demanding the company prioritize its workers over profits.
CWA Leaders Build Power at the 2022 Minority Leadership Institute
Earlier this month, CWA leaders from across the union graduated from the 2022 CWA Minority Leadership Institute (MLI), held in person for the first time since 2019 and under the direction of CWA’s new Director of Human Rights, Education and Health & Safety, Angela Wells. The MLI program was established more than 30 years ago to promote the involvement of members of color and women at every level of our union. The CWA Minority Caucus, who led the push for greater education and training opportunities for underrepresented members, was one of the early advocates of the program. This year, thirteen CWA leaders, one from each District and Sector, came together for a week-long program to sharpen their skills in public speaking, organizing, mobilizing, collective bargaining, legislative advocacy, and building solidarity.
Participants engaged in intensive dialogue about the values that guide our movement, combatting discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and organizing labor-community coalitions. Participants also spent time developing and practicing critical skills and learning from each other’s experiences.
CWA staff, instructors from the University of Iowa Labor Center, and other guest speakers led training sessions. CWA President Chris Shelton and CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens held a virtual discussion session with the participants on union activism. “This program has produced excellent leaders who are filling the diversity gap at every level of our union and beyond. What past MLI graduates have accomplished is a testament to the program’s strength and the difference we can make by simply being intentional about developing opportunities for growth for underrepresented members,” said Shelton.
Executive Board Diversity Committee Co-Chairs CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings Jr. and IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew, as well as other members of the CWA Executive Board, including CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce, CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton, and Public, Health Care and Education Workers Vice President Margaret Cook, also spoke to the participants. Throughout the week, past MLI graduates led discussions with the class about the impact MLI has had in their careers and to inspire participants to pursue more leadership opportunities within the union and beyond.
The CWA Minority Leadership Institute Class of 2022.