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Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority Employees Support Union in Record Numbers

Motivated by anti-union legislation & management’s treatment of workers, union support at FKAA reaches record levels

FLORIDA KEYS – Motivated by anti-union legislation passed by the Florida legislature and by their treatment on the job by management, employees of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority are supporting their union in record numbers. The Communications Workers of America (CWA), which represents FKAA employees on the job, reported today that over 60 percent of the FKAA workforce are now dues-paying members and have signed membership forms required by the 2023 legislation, SB 256.

“Knowing that they might lose their union representation because of the new law has really motivated the FKAA employees to support CWA,” reported Chris Walterson, President of CWA Local 3122. The biggest factor that has resulted in increased support for CWA by the workers is how the workers are being treated on the job by management. “CWA has a contract with FKAA, and we expect FKAA management to abide by that contract,” Walterson said. “Whether it’s unilaterally making changes to policies and procedures, or firing employees without cause, or refusing to follow the grievance procedure that they agreed to in our contract, management is showing the workforce that they need a strong union voice on the job and that they need to show solidarity with one another.”

Adopted by the state legislature in 2023, SB 256 requires unions representing public sector employees in Florida to demonstrate that 60 percent of employees are paying dues and have signed “membership authorization forms” imposed by the law. Public sector unions which cannot demonstrate that 60 percent of represented employees are paying dues and have signed the required form face decertification by the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission. Litigation over SB 256, including a lawsuit filed by CWA in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is pending.

“We recently passed 60 percent paying dues and signing the form, and our support is growing,” said Walterson. “A lot of the mobilizing work is being done on the ground by the FKAA workers themselves, which is a great sign for us going forward.”


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. @cwaunion

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