Quality Assurance workers at ZeniMax Media, a video game maker owned by Microsoft, proudly announced the launch of their union with CWA. The group of more than 300 workers is the first in the United States to officially form a union at Microsoft, which is honoring its stated labor principles and staying neutral to let workers at its ZeniMax studio decide for themselves whether they want a union. The union and Microsoft agreed to a free and fair recognition process: workers can indicate if they want to join the union by signing an authorization card or voting using an online platform. The vote will conclude at the end of the month. The ZeniMax workers' groundbreaking efforts to form a union, of one of the largest groups of tech workers at a prominent studio, adds to the wave of tech and game industry workers who are organizing with CODE-CWA for a better workplace.
Quality Assurance testers at Activision Blizzard in Albany, N.Y., formerly Vicarious Visions, unanimously voted in favor of forming a union with CWA after being denied voluntary recognition. The workers, who remained united and strong throughout the campaign, mobilized to fight back against the company’s attempts to prevent them from holding an election. Their win follows another victory by Quality Assurance workers at Activision’s Raven Software studio in Wisconsin who made history as the first major video game studio workers to win their union election.
The National Relations Board has found merit on an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge filed by CWA against Apple for using illegal tactics to interfere with workers’ organizing efforts at its retail store in Atlanta. The company held mandatory captive audience meetings, unlawfully interrogated employees, solicited grievances, and informed workers that union representation would lead to less favorable terms and conditions. The finding affirms that mandatory meetings to discourage union membership are considered a direct violation of the National Labor Relations Act, which could help set a precedent for future infringements on workers’ rights. Apple Retail Union/CWA is currently waiting to hear from the NLRB on several unresolved ULP charges, including the interrogation of workers and threat to withhold benefits from workers at the Penn Square store in Oklahoma City.
Delta Air Lines
AFA-CWA, along with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, announced a coordinated campaign to support Delta Air Lines Flight Attendants and other workers who are fighting to organize their unions. Delta is the only U.S.-based mainline carrier where Flight Attendants, fleet service, and mechanics are not represented by a union. Delta produced nearly double the profits of other U.S. airlines in pre-pandemic years, and the airline is on a path to record profitability again. “Delta Flight Attendants are the heart of the airline and key to its industry-leading success. They deserve a union contract that leads the industry too,” said Sara Nelson, President of AFA-CWA. “Flight Attendants have been organizing over the course of the turbulent pandemic and have begun officially collecting cards. We’re thrilled to support Delta fleet service workers organizing with the IAM and Delta mechanics organizing with the Teamsters."
Noble Knight Games
A month after announcing the formation of their union, workers at Noble Knight Games in Fitchburg, Wis., won voluntary recognition from the company. The workers, who had already begun voting in a National Labor Relations Board union representation election, actively mobilized to push back against the company’s initial union busting efforts and build support for their union from customers, elected officials, and other community members to put pressure on the company. The group of 60 workers, including those who provide customer service, ship online orders from its warehouse, and work at its storefront, are seeking higher pay, affordable benefits, a healthy work-life balance, fair and transparent policies, and more.
New York Times
Over 1,000 workers at the New York Times, members of the NewsGuild of New York (TNG-CWA Local 31003), walked off the job today due to the company’s failure to bargain in good faith, reach a fair contract agreement with the workers, and meet their demands. The union bargaining committee offered to stay at the table for as long as it took to reach a deal and avert the walkout, but management walked away from the table Wednesday evening and refused to return.
Workers asked readers to stand with them on the digital picket line during the 24-hour work stoppage. “Read local news. Listen to public radio. Make something from a cookbook. Break your Wordle streak,” members across the unit tweeted.
Click here to send a letter to Times management to tell them to give the workers the contract they deserve!
Norse Atlantic Airways
Following a historic pre-hire agreement, company neutrality in union organizing, and a historic card check certification by the National Mediation Board, U.S.-based AFA-CWA Flight Attendants at Norse Atlantic Airways voted unanimously to ratify their first contract. The two-year deal locks in industry leading starting pay and job protections in the U.S., comprehensive healthcare, a 401(k), and other key benefits. Norse Atlantic Airways is a Norwegian, low-cost, long-haul airline with Flight Attendant bases in John F. Kennedy International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Striking Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh (TNG-CWA Local 38061) workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette held a bargaining session with the representatives from the paper on Tuesday for the third time since walking off the job in October. Members of the other striking CWA and Teamsters locals who work at the paper joined the session to show management that they must address all of the unions’ demands to resolve the strike.
"I was disappointed, but not surprised, by the PG's refusal to bargain in good faith Tuesday," said Andrew Goldstein, Post-Gazette unit chair of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh. "Between now and our next bargaining session, we will continue to apply increasing pressure to ensure the company comes to us with legitimate proposals.”
Striking workers continue to encourage advertisers to withhold advertising from the paper and subscribers to cancel their print and digital subscriptions and instead read the news from striking journalists at unionprogress.com.
Worker Power Update
The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) mission is to protect workers’ rights and ensure workers are able to organize, but that mission is in jeopardy. Unless Congress steps in to give the NLRB the funding it needs to function, its ability to protect workers is in danger.
The NLRB has seen a huge uptick in the number of filings for union elections and investigations into labor law violations, but has not seen a funding increase since 2014.
Almost every week, this newsletter has stories about workers who want to organize to join CWA but are faced with relentless, often illegal, opposition from billionaire CEOs who are trying to crush these efforts. In fact, employers are charged with violating the law in 41.5% of all union elections. Workers already face long delays after filing unfair labor practice charges, giving bosses time to bust the union before any action can be taken to hold them accountable. Without increased funding, the NLRB won’t be able to monitor union elections and investigate violations of the law.
It is critically important for Congress to take action to fully fund the NLRB in the coming weeks. Click here to send a message to your Senators and Member of Congress today.
CWAers Mobilize to Win in Georgia
The intensive, grassroots efforts CWA members have been engaged in ahead of the critical 2022 midterm elections continue to pay off. This week, Senator Raphael Warnock won reelection for Georgia’s Senate seat in a runoff election. His victory, which further solidifies the pro-worker majority in the U.S. Senate, would not have been possible without the thousands of activists, including CWA members, who mobilized and built support for his campaign. CWA activists across the country also have actively engaged in this critical race by participating in multiple national phone banks and reaching out to Georgia voters.
CWA activists in Georgia and across the country mobilized on the ground and virtually to build support for Senator Raphael Warnock, who won reelection this week.
IUE-CWA Activists Push for Key Pro-Worker Legislation
IUE-CWA activists traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with their Senators and Representatives in Congress about the need to protect jobs from outsourcing, to ensure tax code benefits for union members and working families, and to hold corporations accountable by fully funding the National Labor Relations Board. The activists shared powerful stories and experiences with their representatives and advocated for the passage of several key CWA-supported pieces of legislation.