Jul 14, 2016 - CWA Endorses Hillary Clinton

July 14, 2016

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CWA Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

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CWA whole-heartedly endorsed Secretary Hillary Clinton for president of the United States on Monday.

Clinton has walked with us on the Verizon picket line. She supports the call to get big money out of politics. She is committed to ending special treatment for Wall Street and the 1 percent. She wants to help students end the cycle of education debt. She has a solid record on the issues that are critical for working families: bargaining rights and the right to organize, family and medical leave, closing tax loopholes that benefit the 1 percent at the expense of our communities, secure health care and retirement benefits, and equal pay legislation. She has reaffirmed her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, both now and in a possible lame-duck session of Congress.

Donald Trump has also been telling us exactly what he would do. He supports "right to work" laws that weaken workers' bargaining rights. He thinks the minimum wage is too high and that workers who want good jobs should accept lower wages. He dismisses the need for equal pay for women. He talks a good game about bad trade deals but manufactures his fancy ties offshore.

Clinton said she was honored to have earned CWA's endorsement. "For decades, the CWA has connected Americans to each other – and along the way, they've helped build the American middle class," she said.

Clinton added, "I will do everything in my power to defend American jobs and American workers. Any trade deal must meet three tests to earn my support: It must create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security. I do not believe that the Trans-Pacific Partnership meets this high standard. That's why I oppose the TPP – and that means before and after the election. Above all, we must make sure unions have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House. Because when workers are strong, families are strong – and when families are strong, America is strong."

Read more about our endorsement:

The Washington Post: Clinton picks up progressive endorsements ahead of joint appearance with Sanders in New Hampshire.

CNN: Sanders groups, supporters begin to coalesce around Clinton.

The Huffington Post: Labor Union That Endorsed Sanders Says It Backs Clinton Now.


Rep. Peter DeFazio Introduces Wall Street Speculation Tax

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Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) this week introduced legislation to implement a small tax on transactions of stocks, bonds and derivatives to discourage the same speculative financial trading that led to the 2008 Wall Street collapse.

According to the Joint Committee for Taxation, the tax would raise $417 billion over ten years, which could be used to fund national priorities like free higher education or job-creating infrastructure repair.

At a news conference on Capitol Hill, CWA President Chris Shelton and leaders of financial reform groups joined De Fazio and applauded the legislation.

"We're proud to join with Congressman DeFazio in putting working families and Main Street first by setting a small fee on the billions of dollars of Wall Street trade that happens every day. Not only would this raise more than $400 billion to help families and communities, but it would also put the brakes on risky Wall Street behavior that threatens our economy," said Shelton.

"Thanks to the reckless greed of Wall Street over the past few decades, the American economy is a grossly unbalanced playing field," said Rep. DeFazio. "The only way we can level it is if we rein in reckless speculative financial trading and curb near-instantaneous high-volume trades that create instability in the stock market and our national economy. These financial practices have no intrinsic value, and exist to make a quick buck for already-wealthy speculators. If we want to give middle-class families a fair shot at a strong economy that works for all Americans, we need to put Main Street first."

The legislation is supported by CWA, the AFL-CIO, Americans for Financial Reform, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Public Citizen.

Learn more about the Take On Wall Street Coalition here.


CWA President Chris Shelton and leaders of financial reform groups joined Rep. De Fazio at a news conference on Capitol Hill to stand in support of his Wall Street Speculation Tax legislation.


Bargaining Update

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Catholic Health System

CWA Members of Local 1133 and 1168 are mobilizing for fair contracts at Catholic Health in the Buffalo, N.Y. area. About 2,200 nurses, technologists, service and clerical workers – members of Local 1333 – just voted by a 96 percent vote to authorize a strike if fair contracts aren’t reached. The CWA members work at Mercy Hospital.

Members of 1168 who work at Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus, will vote on strike authorization on July 25. They rallied outside Catholic Health corporate headquarters this week, putting management on notice that workers are tired of giveback demands and inadequate staffing for quality patient care.


Deborah Arnet, President of CWA Local 1133, talks to the media after members voted to authorize a strike at Catholic Health.

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AT&T West

Bargaining continues at AT&T West. The CWA team continues to review management proposals and has presented our own comprehensive package to the company.


Members of CWA Local 9410 in San Francisco mobilize for a fair contract.

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OFS

CWA members from Locals 3263 (Norcross, Ga.) and 1400 (Sturbridge, Mass.) voted overwhelmingly to ratify a four-year agreement covering about 300 workers at OFS, a leading manufacturer of fiber optic cable and products.

The tentative agreement provides for annual general wage increases that will be retroactive to the expiration of the past contract, and maintains all levels of benefits for active and retired members.


Democratic Party Rejects Pro-TPP Platform Language

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The Democratic Party has repeatedly rejected requests to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – and has done so again in the party platform adopted this week.

CWA and allies – Public Citizen, Citizens Trade Campaign, Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch and many others – stand together in our opposition to the TPP and welcome the Democratic Party's platform language that reinforces the failure of the TPP to meet the "high standard" approved this week.

Democratic presidential presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton criticized the TPP at a rally this week where Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed her. "We're going to say no to bad trade deals and unfair trade practices including the Trans-Pacific Partnership," Clinton said.

The Democratic Party strengthened language initially proposed by the platform drafting committee, clarifying a vision for international trade that puts working families ahead of corporate profits – the polar opposite of what the TPP represents.

The approved platform is a clear indication of just how much of a non-starter the TPP is within the Democratic Party and the country as a whole. The TPP's prospects of ever being enacted, already very slim, today got even slimmer. All of us will continue fighting together to ensure that the TPP has no future.


Divide Between Our Communities is Deadly and Threatens Every Part of Our Society

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Statement by CWA Vice President Claude Cummings, chair of the Executive Board Committee on Human Rights, following last week's shootings:

We can look upon the tragic deaths in Minnesota, in Louisiana and in Dallas last week with sadness, anger, grief, confusion and certainly compassion, but it's not nearly enough. This is more than a gut check, it's a soul check.

Our souls are being tested by a sobbing young man whose Dad was shot and killed at point blank range while being pinned to the ground by police officers. We're tested by an extraordinary woman with the poise and presence of mind to carefully document her boyfriend being shot dead by a police officer for driving with a busted tail light. We bear the solemn duty to find out not just how but why five Dallas police officers were gunned down and murdered in a coordinated attack.

Fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers are being killed and their families crushed.

As I stated last year at the CWA Convention prior to introducing our Committee on Equity, police officers go to work each day shouldering the burden of risking their lives to save ours and keep us all safe. Too many are falling. At the same time, some others are somehow making horrible, deadly choices that take the lives of those they’re sworn to protect.

Leaders at every level – government, labor, business, the faith community – need to put concerns about politics, personalities and public images aside and acknowledge what is obvious and deadly. Any divide, any hostility between our communities and law enforcement is dangerous, is deadly and threatens every part of our society.

Meeting our responsibility to deal straight up with this crisis, stop these killings and restore respect and trust between police officers and those they are charged with protecting won’t so much reflect on our careers or reputations, it will be a measure of our moral strength and courage.


CWA Seeks OSHA Standard on Workplace Violence for Healthcare, Social Workers

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CWA and seven other labor organizations have petitioned the U.S. Labor Department to develop an OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention Standard covering healthcare and social workers.

Workers in these sectors suffered more than half of all workplace violence incidents in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the problem is getting worse.

CWA President Chris Shelton said that CWA strongly is urging OSHA to develop a comprehensive workplace violence standard for healthcare and social assistance workers. "Our members deserve to go to work every day and be safe."

CWA public and health care workers in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Iowa, Mississippi, Texas, California, Oklahoma and other states are at growing risk of workplace violence, and need this additional level of protection.

Read more here.


Netroots Nation Panel Takes on Wall Street and the Big Banks

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At Netroots Nation in St. Louis this Saturday, CWAers and financial reform activists will talk about the next steps of our campaign to take on Wall Street and the Big Banks. The panel will discuss innovative programs to engage millions of Americans, and passing key legislation to help fix our financial system and make it work for ordinary Americans.

The panel features Senator Tammy Baldwin; Jon Green of Take on Wall Street; Brenda Goins, a bank worker and member of the Committee for Better Banks; Jessica Ramirez, CWA’s campaign lead; Bret Thompson, online director for Public Citizen's Congress Watch Division; and Renata Pumarol, communications director for New York Communities for Change.

The panel will be livestreamed from Breakout Room B here. Follow along this Saturday, July 16, at 1:30 p.m. CDT.

Netroots Nation is an annual gathering of thousands of progressive bloggers, newsmakers, social justice advocates, labor and organizational leaders, grassroots organizers and online activists.