Park City Mountain Resort
Lift mechanics and electricians at Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah, voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining CWA, becoming the first group of ski resort mechanics in the country to form a union. They are organizing as the Park City Lift Maintenance Professional Union under the United Professional Ski Patrols of America (CWA Local 7781). The members of the mechanics team face dangerous work conditions, chronic understaffing, and low pay that does not reflect the hazards of their work or cost of living. These issues contribute to constant employee turnover, which makes it impossible to cultivate a crew of experienced mechanics, and their work often goes unappreciated despite being essential to the resort’s functioning. The workers believe that self-advocacy as a union crew will combat these issues, and create a safe and equitable working environment for all. CWA Local 7781 currently represents over 650 ski patrollers in the Mountain West and Pacific Northwest, and recently added the Purgatory Resort Bike Patrol to their ranks.
Workers at a retail Visionworks store in Plymouth Meeting, just outside of Philadelphia, voted to join the IUE-CWA. They are the latest workers to join IUE-CWA Local 81408, which represents nearly a thousand eyewear workers in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
Saint Barnabas Medical Center
Healthcare workers at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, members of New Jersey Nurses Union (CWA Local 1091), held an informational picket last week demanding a new contract that addresses major hurdles the workers face. One of their main concerns is the lack of adequate staffing, which affects the workers and the care patients receive. In addition to safe staffing levels, the workers are also fighting for fair wages and an equitable contract for all. Other union members, community allies, and elected officials attended the rally, showed their support for the workers, and called for safe staffing ratios. As they have been doing for the last several months, the workers are continuing to mobilize by wearing pins and buttons and holding solidarity actions to build power and strength for their bargaining committee.
Healthcare workers at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, members of New Jersey Nurses Union (CWA Local 1091), held a rally last week demanding a new contract.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Strike
Allan Block, Chairman and CEO of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette parent company Block Communications, was caught on camera last week showing how he really feels about workers at the paper. In a video which has been widely shared and received over 100,000 views on social media, Block swears at a NewsGuild-CWA mobilizer and hits him in the face with a bag of fast food. Later in the video, Block’s wife offers her opinion that if workers don’t like it that their health care was cut and they haven’t had raises in over 16 years, they should just leave their jobs.
Workers remain strong on the picket line as they fight for good jobs, respect, and high quality local news coverage.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Workers at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, members of the Fort Worth NewsGuild (TNG-CWA Local 39213), went on an unfair labor practices strike because of the company’s continued refusal to bargain in good faith. The workers are the first media workers in Texas, and the first at a newspaper owned by McClatchy, to strike. The union filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint against McClatchy in August. Throughout the bargaining process, McClatchy and its representatives have repeatedly presented existing company policy at the bargaining table and have refused to budge at all on big-ticket items, including wages, severance, and layoffs. McClatchy has made few attempts to negotiate fairly with the bargaining team or to offer serious consideration of the union’s proposals. The workers are receiving overwhelming support from their neighbors, friends, community members, fellow journalists, and labor leaders such as Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy, who joined the picket line.
Northern Michigan Veneers
Workers at Northern Michigan Veneers (NMV), members of IUE-CWA Local 84800, are mobilizing to demand a fair contract. The workers, who are fighting for fair pay and safety in the workplace, held a day of action in Gladstone, Mich., last week joined by other union members and community supporters. They are engaging in weekly actions and mobilization efforts ahead of their contract expiration on December 3 to increase awareness about the greedy and shameful acts of NMV and the Besse Forest Products Group, who own the facility.
Worker Power Update
CWAers Mobilizing in Georgia to Strengthen Our Power in the Senate
Across the country, in advance of the critical 2022 midterm elections, CWA members engaged in an intensive, grassroots effort that paid off, electing pro-worker candidates in several key races. We were successful in holding on to a pro-worker majority in the U.S. Senate and with the upcoming run-off election for Georgia’s Senate seat, we have an opportunity to strengthen our power by reelecting Senator Raphael Warnock.
CWA members have been on the ground continuing to mobilize and turn out voters across the state. Earlier this week, CWAers from across the country participated in a virtual phone bank to build support for Sen. Warnock. They were joined by Georgia Congresswoman Nikema Williams, who spoke to the activists and encouraged them to keep fighting.
There is another virtual phone bank today at 6 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. CT/ 4 p.m. MT/ 3 p.m. PT. Join your fellow CWAers to phone bank together and reelect one of our labor champions.
CWAers from across the country participated in a virtual phone bank to build support for Sen. Warnock. They were joined by Georgia Congresswoman Nikema Williams.
CWA Airline Agents Meet with Secretary Buttigieg Ahead of the Busy Travel Season
A group of CWA airline customer service workers met with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during his visit to Chicago to highlight infrastructure investments at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The workers used the opportunity to provide insight into the critical duties they perform and discuss their concerns about staffing and wages.
The workers also relayed their concerns about ongoing incidents of verbal and physical abuse against agents who are on the frontline assisting passengers and ensuring flights are boarded safely. The workers hope to continue these discussions and put workers’ voices front and center as union members, airlines, elected officials, and relevant government agencies work together to find permanent solutions.
A group of CWA airline customer service workers met with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
IUE-CWA Diversity Ambassadors Build Power
Last week, a group of IUE-CWA activists came together in Greensboro, N.C., to discuss how to promote inclusion, acceptance, and diversity within their union and beyond. The IUE-CWA Diversity Ambassadors Program brings members from all walks of life to explore ways to expand leadership roles, promote workplace health and safety, and build mobilization. The participants had an opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other. The group of phenomenal leaders left re-energized to go back to their local unions and advance diversity and inclusion to strengthen our union. IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew attended the gathering and spoke to participants about the power of diversity.
CWA Member Honored for Native American Heritage Month
November marks Native American Heritage month. As part of its yearly celebration of the diverse contributions Native American leaders and activists have made to the labor movement and toward expanding the rights of working people, the AFL-CIO featured CWA Local 7019 Shop Steward Marty Bowman. Bowman lives in Window Rock, Ariz., and has worked for Navajo Communications and Frontier Communications for 30 years, currently as a services and sales technician. He was instrumental in organizing his co-workers in the self-contained bargaining unit on the Navajo Nation and was elected to the first bargaining committee for the unit. He lives and speaks the Navajo tradition every day of his work and family life. Bowman exemplifies the spirit of the Navajo tradition on the reservation and currently serves on the local school board. He also coaches and assists with Native Youth Sports including football, baseball, and basketball.
Additionally, AFA-CWA has released a new pin in recognition of Native American Flight Attendants and their contributions and influence to the history, culture, and achievements of the nation. More information can be found here.