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Supporters Pledge Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to Support Workers Exercising Their Right to Strike
Today, Call Center Workers United members announced a new solidarity fund with hundreds of thousands of dollars in initial pledges to support workers at Maximus, the nation’s largest federal call center contractor. Maximus workers in call centers across the country have been organizing with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) for better working conditions.
Maximus employs one of the largest federally-contracted workforces in the country under a contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Maximus workers staff call centers that handle Medicare and Affordable Care Act Federally Facilitated Marketplace calls. Approximately 10,000 Maximus workers perform this work at ten call centers in eight states.
Workers at Maximus CMS call centers are organizing to form a union with CWA. Workers at two of Maximus’ largest call centers went on their first-ever strike on the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act in March to protest Maximus’s anti-union campaign and demand pay parity with other federal contractors. In May, workers at some sites staged a two-day strike to call for more affordable healthcare and higher wages. Maximus workers at other call center locations have similarly been organizing to demand changes in their workplaces.
“We need a living wage and affordable healthcare at Maximus,” said Anna Flemmings, a Maximus call center worker in Hattiesburg, Miss. “We need basic improvements to our working conditions for ourselves and our families because no one working for a multi-billion dollar corporation like Maximus should have to worry about how they’re going to make ends meet. It’s time for Maximus to put higher pay in the pockets of its front-line workers and start respecting our right to organize and collectively bargain so that we can support our families and communities in this time of crisis.”
“Maximus workers will continue to fight for better jobs and better lives for their families by using all of the tools available to them, including going on strike when necessary to address problems in their workplaces,” said Sara Steffens, Secretary-Treasurer at CWA. “These workers have shown that they will take action to win justice. CWA members are proud to stand with these courageous workers.”
The solidarity fund will support workers at Maximus call centers in the future should they decide to take direct action without jeopardizing their housing or ability to cover critical expenses like medications.
About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields.