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Apr 20, 2023 - Big Contract Win for IUE-CWA Members at GE and other news

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Bargaining Update

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General Electric (GE)

On Tuesday, an overwhelming majority of IUE-CWA members at General Electric (GE) voted to ratify a two-year extension of their national collective bargaining agreement with the company. Under this extension, the workers secured a 12 percent general wage increase and successorship language that will preserve 85 years of hard-fought gains through GE’s planned spin-off into two separate companies. The workers also retained their existing healthcare, retirement, and other benefits without any concessions. The contractual gains, including the unprecedented general wage increase during a cost of living crisis and the successorship clause, which will protect the workers’ contract rights and union recognition after GE splits in 2024, are a testament to the members’ consistent mobilization throughout the bargaining. Now that the extension has been ratified, the workers are determined to continue to mobilize as they are set to return to the table in 2025 to fight for a fair contract on a stronger footing.


New Jersey State Workers

Workers who are employed by the State of New Jersey, members of CWA Locals 1031, 1032, 1033, 1036, 1037, 1038, and 1040, are actively engaging in a massive mobilization effort to build strength at the bargaining table and secure a fair contract that reflects their value. More than 12,000 of them from all seven locals have signed a petition demanding respect and dignity through a good union contract, and last week, several members held a demonstration outside of three work locations to show their unity and solidarity for their bargaining team. They are fighting for significant salary increases that recognize the current economic climate; affordable quality healthcare, especially in light of the pandemic; and to modernize their workplaces in order to recruit and retain a talented workforce so they can provide the services New Jersey residents deserve.

New Jersey State Workers
CWA members employed by the State of New Jersey held a demonstration outside of three work locations to show their solidarity for their bargaining team and their unity in demanding a good union contract.


Airline Workers Fight for a Fair Contract and Safety on the Job

American Airlines passenger service agents, members of the CWA-IBT Association, are continuing to negotiate for a fair contract. The bargaining committee met with management last week for their latest round of bargaining. The bargaining team is fighting hard to address critical issues on the table and is receiving ongoing support from members who are signing petitions and blanketing social media with solidarity selfies. Their strong mobilization demonstrates that the workers are willing to do what is necessary to win a fair deal and protect their rights.

Across the country, airline workers, including CWA passenger service agents and AFA-CWA Flight Attendants, are mobilizing to urge U.S. Senators and Representatives to support the bipartisan Protection from Abusive Passengers Act, new legislation that includes real consequences for those convicted of assault against crew members, ground service agents, or passengers. The legislation would create a national banned passenger list for abusive passengers to hold offenders accountable. A 2021 survey of 5,000 Flight Attendants found that over 85 percent of all respondents had dealt with disruptive passengers. This disruptive behavior also is rampant within the airport at gates, ticket and reservation areas, and other on-the-ground airport locations. With great frequency, passenger service agents have been the targets of violence and disruptive behavior in their workplace as they carry out their responsibilities.

Support airline workers by calling your Members of Congress and urge them to cosponsor the Protection from Abusive Passengers Act. For the U.S. House, call (202) 952-9215. For the U.S. Senate, call (202) 335-8715.

Worker Power Update

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Texas State Employee Union/CWA Members Hold Rally to Demand Better Working Conditions

Texas State Employees Union

Last Wednesday, over 200 members of the Texas State Employees Union (TSEU), CWA Local 6186, and their supporters held a rally in Austin, Texas, demanding pay raises, cost of living adjustments, and increased funding and staffing. Following the rally, the members headed into the State Capitol to speak to their representatives and express their concerns and demands.

Their actions come on the heels of a new report released by the TSEU and Every Texan, a nonprofit organization that advocates for equitable policy solutions, highlighting the conditions in Texas state agencies with historically high turnover. The report, “Low Pay and High Turnover in Texas State Agencies and Universities Cost Us All,” is based on a survey of hundreds of state employees and provides an insight into the devastating consequences of low pay and high turnover for Texas state employees and those they serve.

“It is you that makes this state run, not the legislature," said CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings Jr., who spoke during the rally. CWA Public, Healthcare, and Education Workers Vice President Margaret Cook also joined the rally and lobby day along with elected officials and other union leaders and prominent supporters who stood in solidarity with the workers.


Take Action to Support Julie Su, a Labor Secretary Workers Deserve

Affirming his commitment to prioritizing the interest of working families, President Biden has nominated Julie Su, a proven defender of workers’ rights, to serve as the next Secretary of Labor. Su has a long record of standing with workers and a deep understanding of the issues we face. From her beginnings protecting immigrants and other vulnerable workers, to fiercely combating wage theft and the abuse of low-wage workers in California, to her leadership of the Department of Labor with then-Secretary Marty Walsh, Su has distinguished herself as a principled fighter for the basic rights of every worker. She is the most qualified candidate to be Secretary of Labor and the best choice to advance the agenda for an inclusive economy.

Unfortunately, corporate lobbyists and wealthy special interests are spending big to block Su’s confirmation when it comes up for a committee vote in the Senate. We cannot let that happen. Add your name to this petition to show you support Julie Su, a Labor Secretary who will fiercely defend workers.


CWA District 7 Activists Build Support for Pro-Worker Legislation in Colorado

CWA District 7 Colorado Lobby Day

A delegation of CWA District 7 members, including members from CWA Local 7799 and Colorado Drivers United (CWA Local 7777), participated in a lobby day late last month at the Colorado State Capitol, where they met with their elected representatives about CWA legislative priorities, including securing passage for pro-worker legislation such as the Public Employee Workers Protection bill and the Gig Worker Transparency bill.


CWA Video Exposes Irony Behind Hedge Fund’s Attacks on FCC

On April 6, CWA launched a new video showing the irony of hedge fund Standard General’s coordinated attacks against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In February, the FCC’s Media Bureau refused to rubber stamp Standard General’s proposed takeover of TEGNA, the nation’s second-largest local broadcast station owner.

In response, Standard General spammed local newspaper readers by publishing the exact same op-ed in several publications, including six papers owned by another hedge fund, Alden Global Capital. Pushing the hedge fund's views in this way is a perfect illustration of what happens when local media outlets are taken over by a handful of wealthy and powerful owners with no connection to the communities they are supposed to serve.

The NewsGuild-CWA and NABET-CWA have condemned the TEGNA takeover and petitioned the FCC to reject the deal.

Standard General TEGNA Video Screenshot


CWA District 7 Hosts a Virtual Town Hall to Build Support for Pro-Worker Legislation That Will Ban Mandatory Anti-Union Meetings in Minnesota

CWA and other labor partners in Minnesota are mobilizing to build support for new legislation that will ban mandatory anti-union “captive audience” meetings that employers use to prevent workers from forming unions.

Last Thursday, CWA District 7 hosted a virtual town hall to educate members and the community about and build support for this critical pro-worker legislation. “[W]e have an incredible opportunity in Minnesota to pass a bill that would ban anti-union captive audience meetings,” said CWA District 7 Vice President Susie McAllister, who opened up the town hall. CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, who also spoke during the town hall, reiterated, “[I]f we can pass this bill, it will make it much easier for more workers to organize with CWA to help grow our union and create more good jobs in Minnesota…I really know that when we do it here in Minnesota, it will catch on and grow across the country.”

The legislation, which makes it illegal to retaliate against workers who decline to participate in meetings that are designed to intimidate workers and weaken their organizing efforts, is co-sponsored by State Representative and AFA-CWA Local 27048 member Kaela Berg, who joined the town hall and spoke to the participants. “[W]e are seeing an all-out attack on our democracy nearly every single day in this nation. And so ensuring that our workers have the right to organize, and ensuring that our workers are not going to be harassed on the job for living their values, sharing their values with each other, and fighting for their fundamental right to organize a union...that is what we are protecting with this bill,” Berg said.

Organizing Update

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The Trevor Project

Last Friday, workers at The Trevor Project, an organization that works to end suicide among LGBTQ+ young people, won voluntary recognition after an overwhelming majority of them signed cards indicating their desire to form a union with CWA. Their union, Friends of Trevor United/CWA (FTU/CWA), includes over 300 employees who are passionate and dedicated to the organization and its goals of supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the organizing campaign, the workers showed incredible solidarity to build support for their union by mobilizing online, meeting with elected officials, and engaging with the media, the communities they serve, and the broader public. The workers are looking forward to bargaining for a fair contract that will create a formal grievance structure and safeguards around layoffs, raise workers’ pay, and grant access to best-in-class healthcare, including gender-affirming services.