Last week, CWA filed an unfair labor practice charge against TCGPlayer, an online marketplace for trading card games and subsidiary of eBay, for violating federal labor law. Within the past two weeks, multiple TCGPlayer supervisors and managers, including CEO Chedy Hampson, have patrolled the floor of the authentication center, taking note of employees who have worn any clothes or insignia identifying them as supporters of TCGunion-CWA. “It’s clear the actions of TCGPlayer management are inconsistent with their proclamation of being among the best workplaces in New York State. Instead of respecting TCG workers’ protected right to choose to join a union or not, management has chosen to directly violate their labor rights,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “If TCGPlayer wants to live up to its core value of ‘community for all,’ they must respect their workers’ rights and allow a free and fair election to happen without interference.”
AT&T Mobility and DirecTV (Black)
Contract negotiations for the AT&T Mobility and DirecTV Black contracts have begun. The current agreement, which expires on February 10, covers employees across the southeast in CWA District 3. The bargaining committee is determined to address the various issues members have raised concerns about including compensation, benefits, job security, and work-life balance. The members have been actively mobilizing to strengthen their power at the bargaining table and improve their working conditions. Learn more and sign up for updates. For AT&T Mobility click here. For DirecTV click here.
AT&T Mobility and DirecTV workers in CWA District 3 shared selfies on social media to show their support for a fair contract.
Last week, CWA mailers, typographers, and journalists, along with members of the Teamsters and Pressmen’s Union GCC/IBT, marked over 100 days on strike at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with a rally outside the City-County Building. They were joined by union members, community stakeholders, and other supporters. The workers are also receiving an outpouring of solidarity online and from elected officials such as Congressman Chris Deluzio, who spoke on the house floor in support of the striking workers.
The striking NewsGuild-CWA journalists won a major victory last Friday when Judge Geoffrey Carter, a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge, ruled overwhelmingly that Post-Gazette management and representatives have bargained in bad faith since 2017 and, in doing so, violated the National Labor Relations Act. The Post-Gazette was ordered to end the impasse that the company unilaterally declared in July 2020, to undo changes to working conditions that the company imposed in 2020, to restore the union contract, and to begin bargaining within 15 days of the union’s request to do so. Additionally, the judge ordered the Post-Gazette to compensate workers who lost wages or benefits caused by the illegal imposition of conditions in 2020.
Block Communications, the Post-Gazette’s parent company, is also facing an unfair labor practice charge filed by the Toledo NewsGuild, TNG-CWA Local 34043, on behalf of a reporter at the Toledo Blade, another newspaper owned by Block, who was allegedly forced to perform work for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The charge claims that Block forcing an employee to cross a picket line explicitly violates the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement currently in effect.
The NewsGuild-CWA is also raising concerns about Block Communications' announcement that it is purchasing Pittsburgh City Paper. TNG-CWA President Jon Schleuss has asked the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the consolidation of Pittsburgh’s local news market. “It will harm the community by reducing points of view on key issues,” writes Schleuss in a letter to the DOJ. “It will also distort the local labor market for news workers by restricting the mobility of news employees,” he added.
Striking CWA members at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and supporters participated in a rally in downtown Pittsburgh to mark a 100 days on strike and celebrate their latest victory.
Worker Power Update
CWAers Fighting for Broadband Access and Good Jobs Win Big in New York, Speak Up About the Need to Prioritize the Public Good
CWA activists across the country have been fighting for rules and regulations that ensure that companies who use taxpayer funds from stimulus packages such as the American Rescue Plan to expand broadband access pay prevailing wages, follow strong labor standards, and create more good, union-represented jobs. In New York, CWA members, who successfully mobilized for the inclusion of strong labor protections last year, won a major victory by playing a key role in Verizon’s winning bid to work with Onondaga County to expand broadband access to unserved and underserved locations. CWA supported Verizon’s bid because it hires a highly skilled and well-trained union workforce and has a proven track record of delivering high quality, reliable fiber broadband service. This means more work for CWA members in Central New York.
In addition, Britni Cuington, a CWA member and fiber technician at AT&T, spoke at an event with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, along with representatives from Americans for Financial Reform and other labor organizations, to discuss how we can leverage public money for the public good by moving away from a Wall Street-driven economy and toward one that works for all communities. “As a proud member of CWA and a leader with our broadband brigade, my priority is to advocate for public investments to help working families. Right now, we're working hard to ensure that states start using the funding from the bipartisan infrastructure bill to expand internet access to all and provide quality services by hiring skilled union workers. As funds from the investment bill passed by the Biden administration continue to roll out, states must now set firm labor standards that work in the interests of the public, not Wall Street,” said Cuington.
CWA Arizona State Council Endorses U.S. Senate Candidate Ruben Gallego
CWA’s Arizona State Council endorsed Congressman Ruben Gallego for the U.S. Senate. Throughout his career, Rep. Gallego has been a steadfast supporter of working families and the labor movement. He has done a phenomenal job in Congress representing the interests of CWA members and working people throughout the state. He has been aligned with CWA in the fight for protecting call center jobs, labor law reform, raising wages, and supporting broadband buildout and against unfair trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He has proven time and time again that he will fight for the rights of workers to organize and have a voice on the job. He is also a staunch supporter of legislative efforts to lower the cost of prescription medication and expand access to Medicare. Arizona deserves a Senator like Rep. Gallego, who has a proven track record of championing the rights of everyday working people and standing up to wealthy special interests who seek to exploit workers for profit. Read more here.