Today, as working people across the country submit their annual tax returns, anger is growing at corporate executives and their enablers in Congress and the White House who have doubled down on increasing the wealth of top executives and shareholders at the expense of everyone else. First they demand tax cuts that leave less money for education, Medicare, Social Security and other critical services. Then they eliminate the jobs our communities rely on.
We see the anger at AT&T, where nearly 14,000 CWA members have voted to strike if they are not able to negotiate a fair contract. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson led the fight to pass the corporate tax cut bill, despite massive public opposition. He promised that if the bill passed, AT&T would invest in its employees and create at least 7,000 new jobs. The bill passed, and instead of creating jobs, AT&T announced that they would be cutting jobs, leaving thousands of families uncertain how they would pay their bills. The one-time $1,000 bonus AT&T handed out to its employees as a result of the tax cut won't even cover the health care cost increases they have proposed at the bargaining table.
We see the anger at American Airlines, where passenger service agents at American's Envoy and Piedmont subsidiaries make poverty-level wages and have to take extreme measures like selling plasma, buying out of date food and borrowing against retirement accounts to cover everyday living expenses. These agents have spent years at the bargaining table trying to negotiate family-supporting wages, and are now leafleting at airports to make sure that passengers know that American has been turning its back on its employees.
We see the anger in West Virginia and Oklahoma and Kentucky and other states where teachers and other public workers are fighting back against years of tax cuts that Republicans claimed would lead to growth but only put more money into the pockets of the already wealthy.
We see the anger at the ballot box, with working people supporting candidates across the country who have committed to rolling back corporate tax cuts and enacting legislation that would stop rewarding companies that send jobs overseas.
Working people are angry, we are organized and we are fighting back.
About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents 700,000 working men and women in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, public service and manufacturing.