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CWA e-Newsletter: July 18, 2013

CWA e-Newsletter

Send tips to or @CWANews. Follow the latest developments at

CWA Town Hall Call Tonight!

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Activists from Massachusetts Jobs with Justice support an unjustly fired T-Mobile worker at the T-Mobile shareholder meeting.

Get on the CWA town hall call tonight and get the inside story on what really happened on the NLRB and Senate rules. We’ll also have an update on support for Cablevision workers in New York, plus reports from activists on our T-Mobile campaign, Frontier Communications bargaining and the consumer coalition in San Francisco.

You will be connected to tonight's CWA Town Hall Call by a phone call you receive around 7:30 p.m. EDT, or listen online at

Coalition Keeps Fighting to Fix the Broken Senate and Ensure Confirmation of Democratic NLRB Members

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Finally, there was action in the U.S. Senate this week on nominations to several important executive branch positions.

First up was Richard Cordray, who, after a two-year wait, was confirmed as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by a 66-32 vote.

Today, the Senate voted to confirm Tom Perez as Secretary of Labor by a 54-46 vote.

The Republican minority has blocked confirmations of Cordray, the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of Labor and the head of the Export-Import Bank, among others, but its strongest attack was waged against Democratic nominees to the National Labor Relations Board.

Majority Leader Harry Reid won agreement from the Republican minority that nominations to the NLRB will get to the Senate next Thursday, July 25, and that a full, functional Board will be confirmed before the Senate leaves for its August recess.

The White House has put forward two new Democratic nominees, to replace Sharon Block and Richard Griffin. CWA President Larry Cohen praised Block and Griffin as extremely qualified and criticized the relentless attack waged against them by Republicans for no reason other than "they answered President Obama's call to serve."

Cohen said that the Senate's action "does raise the question of the seven nominations: why were two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board singled out?"

Senator Lindsay Graham, one of the loudest opponents of the NLRB, has said he will likely vote to confirm the new NLRB nominees.

"President Obama will nominate two good candidates to the NLRB who will stand up for the workplace rights of 80 million working Americans. We also commend Majority Leader Reid and most of the Senate Democratic majority for standing with President Obama and working to move all these nominations forward," Cohen said.

"Our main goal was to move all these nominations forward, and this agreement encourages us that we can move toward a 21st century democracy when we build a broad coalition like Fix the Senate Now to mobilize Americans and make sure their voices are heard."

Listen to President Cohen on the Ed Schultz radio show.

CWA Tom Perez Will Be Strong Advocate for Working Americans

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CWA issued this statement on the confirmation of Tom Perez as Secretary of Labor:

The Communications Workers of America commends the Senate for its confirmation of Tom Perez to head the U.S. Department of Labor. This exceptional nominee was forced to wait far too long for the Senate to act but CWA is encouraged that some nominations now are moving forward.

Perez is a strong advocate for working Americans and will ensure that job safety and health, wage and hour provisions and other safeguards for workers are enforced. Working families, through no fault of their own, were hit hard by the economic crisis, and millions of workers still face a tough road as they look for work or to improve their economic standing. Perez will not only safeguard workers' rights but he will push for greater opportunity in the workplace and economic justice for all.

Throughout his career in public service, whether at the U.S. Department of Justice or Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Perez has focused on protecting Americans from discrimination in the workplace, in the voting booth and in their dealings with financial institutions.

As chair of the board of CASA de Maryland, a key CWA ally in the fight for democracy and economic justice, he worked to expand opportunity for all.

That is the Secretary of Labor that working Americans deserve.

Bargaining Update

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Frontier Communications West Virginia

Bargaining continues for a new contract with Frontier Communications covering 1,600 members of CWA Locals 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 in West Virginia.

CWA Frontier members joined a town hall call this week with CWA President Larry Cohen, District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney and the CWA Frontier bargaining committee.

Activists are stepping up mobilization with a big action today at Frontier headquarters in Charleston that had managers seeing not red, but a sea of CWA signs in the parking lot. Rallies are planned for this Saturday, July 20, in Fairmont, and Saturday, July 27, in Charleston. CWAers, union supporters, elected officials and others will attend. Frontier workers are determined to "Hold the Line" in the first major contract negotiations since Verizon sold its West Virginia properties to Frontier. The contract expires Aug. 2

Visit their Facebook page.

UPTE/CWA Local 9119

Bargaining continues for new contracts covering research technicians and health care professionals at the University of California.

Read more about UPTE's contract fight here.

Verizon West


Members of CWA Local 9588 in Pomona Yard mobilize while bargaining for a fair contract covering 5,000 members at Verizon West continues.

Organizing Update

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Technicians employed by Bally's, the gaming company, voted for representation by CWA Local 1105.

The techs fix slot machines in Queens Aqueduct, Yonkers Raceway and Monticello Raceway in New York. Bally's hired the Burke Group to run its anti-union campaign, but workers stood strong, taking over captive audience meetings and calling out management for lying and following a tired, anti-union script.

This is the first group of Bally's employees to organize anywhere in the country. Local 1105 already represents more than 100 workers at Yonkers Raceway.