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Mar 16, 2023 - First Group of eBay Workers Join CWA and other news

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Worker Power Update

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Repealing Right to Work and Restoring Worker Freedom in Michigan

Thanks to the hard work and commitment of CWA activists and other labor activists in Michigan and across the country, on Tuesday, the Michigan Senate voted to repeal the state’s decade old so-called “right-to-work” law that has weakened workers’ power. “Right-to-work” laws prohibit agreements that ensure workers covered by a contract pay for their share of the costs of work done on their behalf by the union. That means that some workers reap the benefits the union provides without paying dues.

CWA activists have been on the forefront of the fight to repeal this law and restore workers’ freedom and power. During the 2022 midterm elections, CWAers mobilized with the rest of the labor movement to re-elect labor champion Governor Gretchen Whitmer and ensure that pro-worker Democrats held the majority of the seats in the state legislature. Following the election, CWA activists continued to participate in phone banks and lobby meetings and actively mobilize to get their state representatives to support the repeal of the state’s “right-to-work” law.

Last week, CWA District 4 held a virtual town hall where over a hundred participants tuned in to hear from state lawmakers and CWA leaders. CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens and CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton, who spoke during the townhall, thanked and acknowledged State Representative Regina Weiss and State Senator Darrin Camilleri for their leadership in sponsoring the repeal legislation.

Michigan Activists
CWA activists in the gallery of the Michigan State Legislature during the vote to repeal the “right-to-work” law.


Building Broadband Better in Connecticut

Last Thursday, David Weidlich, president of CWA Local 1298, testified at a Connecticut House Labor and Public Employees Committee hearing in support of legislation introduced by Senator Julie Kushner and State Rep. Manny Sanchez to attach strong labor standards language to Connecticut’s broadband funding budget. The measure would ensure that public dollars benefit the public good by requiring that all federally-funded broadband deployment across the state be subject to prevailing wage requirements and carried out by high-road employers and a directly employed workforce. During the hearing, Weidlich encouraged the committee to support the bill, underscoring the importance of using local, highly-trained workers to ensure the state maximizes this historic investment. Upholding high standards in broadband deployment and supporting good jobs across the state, Weidlich explained, would curb hiring of out-of-state subcontractors, whose subpar work not only results in poor-quality internet service, but also threatens the safety of workers and communities.

“Public dollars should be used to fund high-quality networks – which require the use of a well-trained workforce,” Weidlich said. “Typically, these [low-road] contractors are non-union, lack adequate safety training, have very high turnover, and undermine the wages and standards established by union-represented telecom employees through collective bargaining agreements. The result is a disturbing record of accidents that cause damage to utilities, public property, and homes while presenting serious risks to workers and public safety.”


CWA Member Participates in White House Roundtable Highlighting the Importance of Respecting Workers’ Right to Organize

On Friday, CWA Local 2108 member Autumn Mitchell, a Quality Assurance tester from Microsoft’s Zenimax studio, participated in a White House roundtable hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. The roundtable highlighted forward-looking companies that are respecting their workers’ right to form unions and included union members and executives from Microsoft, Ford, Orstead, and Siemens. “When Quality Assurance workers at Activision announced they were joining CWA, they were threatened, intimidated, and illegally denied raises. Nothing like that happened when we decided to organize at Zenimax. I have a lot of respect for Microsoft’s leadership for taking a different approach and continuously working with us in good faith. I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure on them to act just like all of the other tech and video game companies. But they made a commitment to trust us to make the decision that was best for us and they stood by that commitment,” said Mitchell.

Autumn Mitchell at White House Roundtable
CWA Local 2108 member Autumn Mitchell (left), a Quality Assurance tester from Microsoft’s Zenimax studio, participated in a White House roundtable hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.


CWA Airport Workers Fight for Good Jobs

Last week, CWA airport workers, members of other unions including the Service Employees International Union and UNITE HERE, and supporters joined Senator Ed Markey and Rep. Chuy Garcia at a press conference on Capitol Hill announcing the reintroduction of the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act. The bill is the first legislative proposal of its kind that will set national wage and benefit standards for essential airport and airline workers. “Miami International Airport is one of the largest economic centers in the state and yet my members must take extraordinary measures to support themselves,” said James McKnight, President of CWA Local 3146, during the press conference. “Passing the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act would improve wages for my members and improve their quality of life as they continue to serve on the front lines of the aviation industry.”

Good Jobs for Good Airports Press Conference
CWA Local 3146 President James McKnight spoke at a press conference announcing the reintroduction of the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act.


Good Jobs for Good Airports Lobbying

The bill's introduction capped off a powerful week on Capitol Hill that included a gathering of activists such as CWA Local 3645 President Donielle Prophet (second from right) to lobby members of Congress in support of the legislation.


AFA-CWA Activists Fight for FAA Reauthorization on Capitol Hill

FAA Reauthorization

Over 60 AFA-CWA activists gathered in Washington, D.C., last week for Government Affairs 101 training and meetings with lawmakers. Flight Attendants urged members of Congress to work swiftly to support Flight Attendant priorities in the upcoming FAA Reauthorization Bill, which include establishing a national banned passenger list for violent passengers, improving cabin air quality, establishing cabin temperature standards, stopping flags of convenience carriers, updating aircraft emergency evacuation standards, seatbelts for all ticketed passengers, and more.

Organizing Update

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TCGPlayer (eBay)

Workers at eBay-owned TCGPlayer won their union election last Friday and will become members of CWA Local 1123. TCGPlayer is one of the largest online marketplaces for verification services, card games, comics, and collectible trading cards. It was acquired by eBay in November 2022. The workers are the first group of eBay workers to win union representation in the U.S.

Throughout their organizing efforts, the workers faced an onslaught of attacks and multiple labor law violations from the company. Those attacks have continued. On the first business day after the election, TCGPlayer illegally fired Iris St. Lucy in retaliation for her union activity. “Throughout our union campaign, TCGPlayer management has waged a ruthless intimidation campaign to stop us from joining our union, including holding mandatory meetings with anti-union propaganda and creating a culture of fear among employees," said St. Lucy. “They want to make an example of us, but this egregious action only reveals how terrified TCGPlayer and eBay are of our collective power.”

The union-represented group will include close to 300 non-supervisory workers within TCGPlayer’s authentication center in New York.

Bargaining Update

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As the strike against the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stretches into its sixth month, two striking workers were assaulted on the picket line by a scab truck driver late Saturday night. The unprovoked attack sent one of the strikers to the hospital with a broken jaw, which required surgery. Unfortunately, the workers are out on strike without health insurance due to the actions of the Post-Gazette, which back in October of 2022 refused to pay the additional contractually obligated $19 per employee, per week, and instead made a proposal that could cost workers close to $14,500 more per year in out-of-pocket medical expenses. Some of these workers have not seen a raise in 16 years. Throughout the strike, the Post-Gazette ownership has been wasting money on frivolous litigation and union-busting efforts when they could be paying for the contractually obligated healthcare of their dedicated employees. The striking workers, labor leaders, and elected officials participated in a press conference on Monday, calling for an immediate investigation into the assault on peaceful strikers.

The striking workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are launching the “Today in Pittsburgh Labor” radio show, which will air on KDKA Sundays at 11pm ET, beginning on March 19. The show will cover the ongoing strike as well as other important local news. You can tune in at

Reminder: Sign Up for the Women’s History Month Event Hosted by the CWA Human Rights Department

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In honor of Women’s History Month, the CWA Human Rights Department is hosting a special virtual event on Tuesday, March 21, at 7pm ET, with Ellen Cassedy, a labor leader of the renowned 9to5 Movement. The 9to5 Movement was not only the inspiration for the iconic film and song, 9 to 5, but it is a testament to the fact that anyone can organize—and win. Click here to register.

Women's History Month Event