Aug 31, 2017 - Help CWA Families Affected by Hurricane Harvey

August 31, 2017

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Relief for CWA Families Devastated by Hurricane Harvey

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CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings joins volunteers at the Houston Convention Center, unloading supplies to aid the more than 10,000 people staying there.

CWA President Chris Shelton is urging CWA locals and members to help CWA members and their families in Texas who are suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey:

"CWA is getting more information about our members and their families who are among the tens of thousands left devastated in Texas by the storms and flooding of Hurricane Harvey."

"As our District 6 locals continue to check on members, we're hearing that many people remain trapped in their homes, unable to get out because of high water and downed electrical wires. Many businesses are closed with no set date to reopen. CWA families need our help now."

"District 6 has established the CWA Harvey Hurricane Solidarity Fund to make sure that CWA members get the help they need. A committee of CWA local leaders from Texas, established by District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings, will oversee the fund, with the assistance of Administrative Director Judy Graves."

"CWA's Disaster Relief Fund also will be used to help our members hurt by Hurricane Harvey. It will take many months for CWA families in Texas to start recovering from the destruction of Hurricane Harvey. Let's help as much as we can."

You can donate to the solidarity fund here.

Online donations are preferred, but you can also send a check payable to CWA Harvey Hurricane Solidarity Fund to the CWA District 6 office at this address:

CWA Harvey Hurricane Solidarity Fund
c/o Judy Graves
The Parkway, Building One
4801 Southwest Parkway, Suite 115
Austin, Texas 78735

Donations are not tax deductible.


A Labor Day Message from President Shelton: We're Not Going Away

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It's Labor Day, and that means another round of media stories claiming that unions have no place in our global, high-tech economy world. Now, that's really fake news.

CWA and our entire labor movement are more united, more prepared, and more determined than ever.  

CWA members are determined to counter the corporations and Wall Street players who have rigged our economy and the political process against working families. We're determined to stop these forces that send our jobs overseas, cut our pay and benefits, disregard safe working conditions, and scheme to block ordinary working people from having a voice on the job and in our democracy.

Read President Shelton's full message here

 


Local 7103 is CWA Strong

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CWA Local 7103, based in Sioux City, Iowa, represents about 250 workers at AT&T Mobility, DIRECTV, and CenturyLink, as well as public sector employees at Council Bluffs Schools, the City of Council Bluffs, Sioux City Public Library, and Woodbury County roads.

The local is fighting hard against a Republican governor and state legislature that are determined to gut workers' rights. In 2016, Republicans took control of both chambers of the state legislature, which marks the first time they have controlled both the state legislature and the governor’s office since 1998.

Already, the Republicans have passed a draconian bill, House File 291, to strip collective bargaining rights from public workers. In addition to banning workers from bargaining on anything other than base wages, the legislation requires unions to be recertified prior to every contract negotiation and institutes other extreme provisions to take away workers' rights. In addition to the new anti-union laws, Iowa is a "right-to-work" (for less) state.

Despite these challenges, Local 7103 President Corey Davis says that the CWA STRONG program is helping the local grow and flourish.

"The challenges we face here in Iowa have awoken a sleeping giant," said Davis. "Our members know that if they don't stand up and fight back now, they won’t have anything left to fight for. Members are standing together and organizing to fight for the people we represent – and we're just getting started."

Recently, with assistance from Local 7103 members from AT&T, CenturyLink, and DIRECTV, the local signed up 54 new members in two hours at Council Bluffs Schools. The local has more than tripled its membership there.

Davis says that the key to the local's success is reaching out to people individually. "We can send out emails or letters, but one-on-one face-to-face contact is really what gets the results."

In addition to recruiting new members, the local is actively recruiting new stewards and activists from all of its different work groups and holding organizing trainings in September.

The local was also honored with an award at this year's CWA convention for signing up 100 workers in either one or both of the past two years, an especially impressive feat for a local of its size.


With assistance from Local 7103 members from AT&T, CenturyLink, and DIRECTV, the local signed up 54 new members in two hours at Council Bluffs Schools.


Bargaining Update

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Nyack Hospital (New York)

Members of CWA Local 1103 at Nyack Hospital voted to authorize a strike – by an overwhelming 93 percent vote – if a fair contract can’t be reached. The contract expired June 30. Negotiations are continuing.

The 130 workers are technicians and technologists in many medical specialties, from surgery and physical therapy to nuclear medicine and radiology.

CWA Local 1103 President Kevin Sheil said, "This overwhelming vote sends a strong message of solidarity to Nyack's management that workers are united and serious about our goal to reach a fair agreement. That will only happen when Nyack addresses some very critical issues."

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Air Wisconsin

Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants, represented by AFA-CWA, filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB) to press forward on contract negotiations for nearly 300 Flight Attendants.

"Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants deserve a contract that reflects the contributions Flight Attendants have made to ensure a stable, successful future for the airline. We look forward to securing a contract that values our role as first responders in the cabin," said Ernie Lazernick, AFA Air Wisconsin President.

Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants began negotiations in January 2016. Filing for federal mediation with the NMB is the next step in negotiations under the Railway Labor Act prior to any request for a release to strike.


New Report: AT&T is Top Job-Cutter Among Tax-Dodging Firms

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A new report reveals that AT&T is the top job-cutter among the biggest tax-dodging corporations in the U.S.

The report, conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies, analyzes the job creation records of profitable U.S. corporations that have been paying an effective tax rate of less than 20 percent. The Institute reveals that lower corporate tax rates benefit top executives – not workers.

AT&T managed to get away with an effective tax rate of just 8.1 percent over the 2008-2015 period while cutting more jobs than any other firm in the sample. AT&T had nearly 80,000 fewer employees in 2016 than in 2008, and instead of job-preserving investments, the firm shoveled profits into stock buybacks ($34 billion over the past nine years) and CEO pay. AT&T chief Randall Stephenson pulled in $28.4 million in 2016, more than double his 2008 payout.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is proposing to cut the statutory federal corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent. President Trump wants to slash the rate even further, to just 15 percent. This report shows that lower corporate tax rates do nothing for U.S. workers and fail to create jobs.

Read the report here.


Pick-Up Tour Hits Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio

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The Midwest Pick-Up Tour rolls on, stopping in Racine, Wisc.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Dayton, Ohio, this week with a message to President Trump and other elected officials: "It's time to get serious about saving good U.S. jobs."

In cities across the Midwest, CWAers have joined forces with other unions, activists, community groups, and Good Jobs Nation to call out President Trump for refusing to sign a single executive order to raise wages or put a stop to offshoring by federal contractors who receive more than $1.3 trillion in taxpayer dollars every year. Nearly 140,000 American workers have been laid off in the first six months of Trump's presidency alone.

In Racine, CWA Local 4611 President Charlie Geyer and Vice President Joshua Furlough; Local 4603 President George Walls and Chief Steward Kwami Barnes, and CWA D4 staff representative Clinton Rodgers joined the rally, calling on Members of Congress to support the bipartisan U.S. Call Center Workers and Consumer Protection Act to stop the offshoring of good call center jobs to India, the Philippines, and other countries.

Randy Bryce, a candidate looking to unseat Paul Ryan in Wisconsin's 1st congressional district, State Representatives Cory Mason, and other elected officials pledged support for keeping good jobs in the U.S.

Read more here.

In Kalamazoo, Mich., State Representative Jon Hoadley, CWA Local 4123 President Charles Daniels, CWA D4 staff representative Mike Schulte, and CWA Local 4123 members John Wroe and Sue Mure called on elected officials in Michigan and in Congress to take action now to keep good call center jobs from going overseas. Other speakers included Steelworkers local president Chuck Jones and Good Jobs Nation director Joseph Geevarghese.

Hoadley is introducing state legislation similar to the U.S. Call Center Workers and Consumer Protection Act that would disqualify employers who relocate a call center overseas from receiving state grants, loans, and tax credits.

In Dayton, Ohio, IUE-CWA Local 84755 President Carl Kennebrew led IUE-CWA and CWA activists and Good Jobs Nations allies in a rally outside the office of Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio). Turner supported the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and has not signed on as a supporter of CWA-backed legislation to keep good call center jobs in the U.S.

CWA Local 4322 President Dan Frazier said, "We have heard the talk about bringing back good jobs. Now we need to see the action."

Frazier was followed by Local 4322 member Marvin Thompson, who works at a Dayton call center, and IUE-CWA Delphi retiree Barb Philpot, among other speakers.

Next Stops: Youngstown and Lorain, Ohio.


The Midwest Pick Up Tour rolls on.
Clockwise from top left: CWA Local 4123 President Charles Daniels, left in both photos, with CWAers and call center workers John Wroe and Sue Mure at Kalamazoo, Mich., rally.
Middle: CWAers rally in Racine, Wis., left, CWA D4 representative Clinton Rodgers with Chuck Jones, former Steelworkers local leader.
Bottom: CWA Local 4611 President Charlie Geyer and VP Joshua Furlough, left, Local 4603 Chief Steward Kwami Barnes.


North Carolina CWAers Gather for "Fight Forward" Training

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CWA members from five different locals across North Carolina, including members of the national Women's Committee and the national Civil Rights and Equity Committee, participated in a "Fight Forward" training in Greensboro with CWA Campaign Leads Angie Wells and Cesar Leyva to learn how to build power through local activism and mobilization. The training is designed to give CWAers tools to stem the dangerous assaults on the working class and to move forward toward a more just and equitable society.

"I was afforded the opportunity to be amongst the first to attend the Fight Forward training alongside other members of my local," said Yasmeen Alston, an American Airlines Reservations Agent and Steward for CWA Local 3640 in Winston-Salem, NC. "The training curriculum contained an abundance of informative material and was very enlightening. I have significant confidence that my brothers and sisters across CWA can and will benefit from this training."


CWA members from five different locals across North Carolina participated in a Fight Forward training in Greensboro to learn how to build power through local activism and mobilization.


New! CWA STRONG Facebook Profile Picture Frame

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CWA now has a frame that Facebook users can add to their profile picture. Wear CWA red in your new photo and let everyone who visits your page know that you're CWA STRONG!

Adding the CWA STRONG frame to your profile picture is easy. Just follow these instructions:


Shouldn’t That Be the Hall of 'Dishonor?'

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The Labor Department's Hall of Honor pays tribute to real champions of working people, like the first Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins; Cesar Chavez, who organized farm workers, and many others.

The Hall of Honor recognizes "Americans whose distinctive contributions have elevated working conditions, wages, and overall quality of life for American families."

The latest inductee, former President Ronald Reagan, however, actually belongs in a Labor Hall of Dishonor.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said Reagan was being added because he was president of the Screen Actors Guild.

This is the same Ronald Reagan who, in 1981, fired 11,000 air traffic controllers, banned them from holding any government job for life, and broke their union.

This is the same Ronald Reagan who froze health and safety regulations including asbestos exposure limits and the "right to know" policy that would give workers information about cancer-causing and other hazardous substances they work with; as well as restricting work on other toxic substance standards.

This is the same Ronald Reagan whose appointments to the National Labor Relations Board set back workers' rights for decades.

Inducting Reagan to the Labor Department's Hall of Honor is a slap in the face to working people.

Read more here.