Worker Power Update
CWA Members Join Thirst Strike Led by Rep. Greg Casar to Take a Stand for Workers’ Rights to Water Breaks
On Tuesday, CWA members from Texas joined Congressman Greg Casar (D-Texas) and renowned labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., to hold a rally announcing a thirst strike to highlight the lack of protections for workers during extreme heat waves. The action was organized in response to a law signed by Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) last month that will remove mandated breaks for workers to drink water and rest in the shade. CWA Local 6143 President Geronimo Guerra and Local 6143 members Charles Fuentes and Katie Garcia, as well as AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson, joined lawmakers and community leaders at the event. The participants called on President Biden and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to swiftly implement a nationwide workplace heat standard to ensure workers across the country have better protections against excessive heat and other adverse climate-change impacts.
CWAers Speak to the Need to Regulate AI in the Workplace as Senate Introduces No Robot Bosses Act
Last week, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced the No Robot Bosses Act. The bill would protect workers from employers using artificial intelligence or automated decision systems to make employment decisions related to hiring, firing, or disciplining workers.
While workers across the economy have been impacted by unjust or even discriminatory employment decisions by AI algorithms, CWA members have spoken out, protected by their union contracts. In May, CWA Local 3519 Vice President Ylonda Sherrod participated in a White House listening session on the use of automated technologies by employers to surveil, monitor, evaluate, and manage their workers.
Sherrod, who currently works as a Sales and Service Representative at AT&T Mobility, shared her experience: “It is unfair that AI is being used to replace the invaluable experience of human workers. It’s even worse that us workers are basically training our replacements. Company investments into more AI feels like a major threat to my job security as companies don’t have to ensure safe working conditions, livable wages, or affordable healthcare for AI in the same way that they have to for employees.”
Read more about Sherrod’s story in The New York Times.
CWA Hosts Labor Fundraising Event for Congresswoman Val Hoyle
Last week, Congresswoman Val Hoyle (D-Ore.) attended a labor fundraising event hosted by CWA. During the event, which was held at the CWA headquarters in Washington, D.C., CWA leaders, including President Claude Cummings Jr. and AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson, spoke about Hoyle’s record of championing workers’ rights throughout her career and emphasized the importance of keeping her in office.