Worker Power Update

CWA Applauds the Historic Confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court

Last week’s confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, on a bipartisan, 53-47 vote, is a momentous step towards ensuring equal justice for generations to come. Since her nomination, CWA members have been calling into Senate offices to demonstrate their strong support for Judge Jackson. Her confirmation would not have been possible had it not been for the hard work millions of working people, including CWA members, did to ensure that we have a pro-worker President and a pro-worker majority in the Senate.

As the first Black woman to be nominated for the nation’s highest court, Judge Jackson brings much needed diversity that is severely lacking in our entire judicial system. We applaud the Senate’s swift action and we thank President Biden for his continued commitment to protecting workers’ rights and to ensuring that the Supreme Court is representative of the makeup and lived experiences of the American people. Read more here.

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NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo Moves to Ban Captive Audience Meetings

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo announced last week that she is asking the NLRB to find captive audience meetings categorically illegal. Captive audience meetings allow companies to force workers who are organizing to form a union to attend mandatory meetings where they are forced to listen to executives and union busting consultants talk about why they shouldn't form a union and why doing so would hurt them. These meetings are a common tactic used by anti-union employers and one of the main reasons why it is challenging for workers to form new bargaining units. Google Fiber workers who recently joined CWA had to deal with these intimidating meetings. Although the workers were brave enough to withstand those meetings and successfully organize, they never should have had to do so in the first place.

Abruzzo served as Special Counsel for Strategic Initiatives at CWA prior to being named NLRB General Counsel by President Biden. She replaced notorious union-buster Peter Robb, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump.

“This license to coerce is an anomaly in labor law, inconsistent with the [National Labor Relations] Act’s protection of employees’ free choice. It is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of employers’ [free] speech rights,” said General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. “I believe that the NLRB case precedent, which has tolerated such meetings, is at odds with fundamental labor-law principles, our statutory language, and our Congressional mandate. Because of this, I plan to urge the Board to reconsider such precedent and find mandatory meetings of this sort unlawful.”

This is a significant step towards reforming our labor laws and allowing workers to organize free from employer intimidation. Read more here.

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CWA Next Gen Presses for More Student Debt Relief

Following last week’s announcement by President Biden to extend the current pause on student loan debt payments until September 1, 2022, CWA Next Generation released a statement applauding the pause on repayments and calling on the Biden administration to permanently cancel all student debt.

“The Biden administration has paused repayments four times and canceled over $15 billion in debt, and that’s a great first step, but it’s a small fraction of the debt crippling millions of American families. Cancellation would help them and would also move our economic recovery forward,” said CWA Telecommunications and Technologies Vice President Lisa Bolton, who directs the Next Generation program.