Oct 31, 2013
Keeping GE in West Burlington Honest
At a community forum in West Burlington, Iowa, coalition members including activists from CWA, CCI Iowa Action Fund and other groups call on GE to keep its promises on jobs.
At a community forum in West Burlington, Iowa, 60 people, including union and community activists, elected officials, and others talked about ways to keep GE accountable and to remind the company: Keep your promise to the community. Invest in West Burlington. Don't take our money and run!"
In 2010, GE threatened to shut the plant if workers didn't come up with $8 million in concessions, some being forced to take pay cuts of 30 percent. In addition, GE got $2.4 million in tax incentives in return for agreeing to keep the plant open for at least five years.
The West Burlington community is organizing to make sure GE is held accountable and keeps the plant going.
Union and community partners include Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund, CWA and IUE-CWA, Iowa Federation of Labor, Iowa Policy Project, Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, Des Moines/Henry County Labor Council, and Iowa Citizen Action Network.
CWA and ver.di leaders met in Berlin to talk about the next steps in the campaign to support T-Mobile US workers in their fight for organizing and bargaining rights.
Below: ver.di members in Germany have held many actions to support their T-Mobile US colleagues.
T-Mobile US Action
United Students Against Sweatshops activists and students at Wichita State University, Kan., are calling on the university to make their campus "sweatshop free" by cutting all ties with T-Mobile US and affiliating with the Workers Rights Consortium.
Students delivered a letter to University President John Bardo.
USAS activists at the College of Charleston also are pushing college administration to support workers' rights and stand up for T-Mobile US workers.
CWA President Larry Cohen and senior staff met with leaders of ver.di this week on the campaign. Next week T-Mobile workers and ver.di activists from Berlin will meet in Charleston, S.C., with T-Mobile US workers as part of their partnership program.
Child Care Providers Demand Fair Wages
Outside DHS, 100 child care providers and their allies rallied for a fair contract.
Below: Kids joined workers at the protest.
One hundred child care providers, represented by CWA Local 1037, rallied outside the New Jersey Department of Human Services to demand a fair contract and wages on Tuesday.
Workers have spent more than a year negotiating their second contract with DHS with little success. So they decided to launch the Better Beginnings campaign – building a coalition of working parents, union members, faith-based groups and community supporters – to help advance their cause and the health, well-being and promising future for New Jersey children.
The protesters delivered a petition, demanding a fair contract for the more than 2,000 home child-care providers, to Commissioner Jennifer Velez. Her office refused to accept the petition.
But a number of small businesses – up and down South Warren Street in Trenton, right next to DHS – put signs in their windows supporting Better Beginnings.
These workers are independent contractors, paid through DHS. As independent contractors, they're prevented from accessing workers' compensation, unemployment, social security retirement or even basic health care coverage. And according to a report by the Rutgers Center for Women and Work, more than half of the home-based child care providers surveyed lived in households earning less than $25,000 a year – despite providing on average nearly 39 hours a week of care.
Don't mistake them for babysitters. Rutgers found that this is a highly experienced and well-trained group, with an average of 12.5 years providing child care. A vast majority of providers reported at least one training, such as learning to care for children with special needs, in the past year. Some of have degrees in education and early childhood development.