Sep 21, 2017 - New Bill Brings Back Preexisting Conditions, Age Tax | Communications Workers of America

Sep 21, 2017 - New Bill Brings Back Preexisting Conditions, Age Tax

September 21, 2017

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URGENT: Call Your Senator to Oppose New Health Care Repeal Bill

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After so many failed attempts to gut health care, the Republican leadership can't seem to help itself: They've introduced yet another health care repeal bill, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Call 1-888-966-9836 or click here now to tell your Senator to oppose the new health care repeal bill.

Republicans have been campaigning on "repeal and replace" for seven years, but they have never come up with an actual plan to replace the Affordable Care Act that improves access to health care. The new bill, called Graham-Cassidy, is the most shameful proposal yet.

This new health care repeal bill is being sold as a compromise. It isn't. Instead, it’s worse than any of the other bills health care opponents have tried to pass in the last year. It raises costs, gets rid of protections for people with pre-existing conditions, drastically changes how our entire health care system works, and eliminates coverage for millions of Americans.

"Senate Republicans are trying to push through the Graham-Cassidy bill that would make our health care system much worse for working families," said CWA President Chris Shelton in a statement. "It would cut protections for people with pre-existing conditions and allow insurance companies to make their health care so expensive that ordinary Americans couldn’t afford it. It would put an 'age tax' in place, requiring older Americans to pay thousands of dollars more, it would make health care bargaining much more difficult, and it would slash the Medicaid program."

Repeal is on a deadline and health care opponents know it. They want to ram this bill through the Senate by September 30th, so they can pass it using legislative tricks.

Call 1-888-966-9836 or go to https://cwa-union.org/call-senate-stop-latest-assault-on-health-care to get in touch with your United States Senators today to let them know it's time to stop the attacks on health care.


Bargaining Update

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AT&T Mobility

The Fairfax Times featured a story about AT&T Mobility workers' fight for a fair contract, including comments from Jeff Schmidt, a retail sales consultant in Fairfax, Va.:

Schmidt joined a group of 10 AT&T employees, including seven retail workers, two call center workers, and a technician, from around the U.S. on Sept. 6 to brief members of Congress on their dispute with their employer.

"We asked them to call [AT&T CEO and President] Randall Stephenson or send him a letter to ask them to come back to the bargaining table and give their workers a fair contract," Schmidt said. "They're not providing information to our bargaining team so we can negotiate a fair contract, and it goes from wages to our benefits, days off, things like that. They’re not offering really anything for us."

The workers met with Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in person and talked to staffers for several other congressional representatives, including Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.).

"That’s not acceptable," the Vermont senator wrote. "I stand with the CWA union members and all workers across the United States."

Read the full story here.


Pickup Tour to Keep Good Jobs in the U.S. Makes Final Stop at the U.S. Capitol

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At the final stop of the 2017 Midwest Pickup Tour, CWAers and CWA President Chris Shelton, Senator Bernie Sanders, and other activists and union members called on President Trump to keep his campaign promise to stop the offshoring of U.S. jobs.

"It's time that wealthy corporations stopped sending jobs overseas and abandoning our communities," said Shelton. "It's time that elected officials keep their promises. President Trump can sign an executive order today that stops telecom companies and other companies that send good jobs overseas from getting federal contracts. He could have done that seven months ago. Instead, major U.S. companies continue to get taxpayer-funded federal contracts and send our jobs overseas."

Shelton also urged Members of Congress to pass the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act, bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House and Senate that would require that U.S. callers be told the location of the call center to which they are speaking; offer callers the opportunity to be connected to a U.S.-based center if preferred; and make U.S. companies who offshore their call center jobs from the U.S. ineligible for certain federal grants and taxpayer-funded loans.

The Pickup Tour began in Indianapolis in August. The 2,531-mile tour made campaign stops at eight cities in Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, rallying thousands of voters to demand that President Trump keep his campaign promise to stop offshoring and to deliver more jobs and better wages.

To date, President Trump has yet to sign a single executive order to raise wages or to stop offshoring by federal contractors who receive more than $1.3 trillion in taxpayer dollars every year.

The Pickup Tour was organized by CWA, Good Jobs Nation, and Our Revolution to hold President Trump accountable to use his executive powers to create good union jobs in the U.S., and to push for passage of the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act. Earlier this year, Good Jobs Nation and Public Citizen issued a report that revealed that 56 percent of major federal contractors, including Verizon, GE, and United Technologies, engage in shipping American jobs overseas.


At the final stop of the 2017 Midwest Pickup Tour, CWAers and CWA President Chris Shelton, Senator Bernie Sanders, and other activists and union members called on President Trump to keep his campaign promise to stop the offshoring of U.S. jobs.


Call Center Legislation Update

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CWA's push to pass legislation to protect U.S. call center jobs and crack down on U.S. companies that offshore their call center jobs has gained momentum in the recent weeks:

Georgia

Georgia State Reps. Sheri Gilligan and Trey Kelley visited an AT&T wireless call center in Cedartown, Ga. Gilligan is sponsoring legislation in the Georgia State House to protect U.S. call center jobs.


Gilligan, second left, and Kelley, far right, join CWAers from Local 3212, including Amanda Gibson, Jennifer Baldwin, Christine Alexander, Anthony Landrum, and Local President Caleb East.

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West Virginia

Delegates from Jackson County at the WV Federation of Democrat Women's Annual Conference signed thank you cards to Senator Joe Manchin for cosponsoring the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act to keep good call center jobs in the U.S.

The delegates also held informational picketing and rallied in support of the CWA Local 2006 AT&T workers at the call center located across the street from the hotel.

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Members of Local 2006 at the AT&T call center in Triadelphia, W. Va., signed thank you cards for Senator Manchin and Congressman Joe McKinley for cosponsoring the bipartisan call center legislation.

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Ohio

Renee Rouser, a CWA Local 4320 steward and legislative-political activist in Ohio, testified to the Ohio House of Representatives Economic Development, Commerce, and Labor Committee in support of H.B. 245, the Consumer Protection Call Center Act of 2017. Rouser, along with Reps. Michelle Lepore-Hagan and John Boccieri, two of the bill’s sponsors, participated in the Youngstown stop of the Midwest Pickup Tour.


New Jersey CWAers Ready to Elect Phil Murphy for Governor

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With less than 50 days until the November election, CWA members across New Jersey are pushing forward with phone banks and door-to-door canvassing in support of CWA’s endorsed candidate for New Jersey governor, Phil Murphy. The general election is November 7th.

More than 500 shop stewards gathered for a one-day election kick-off event and reviewed mobilization plans for a massive get-out-the-vote effort to elect Phil Murphy governor.

After eight disastrous years of Governor Chris Christie and an enormous amount of damage to the state, CWA members are supporting Phil Murphy because he will protect working families and defend strong public services.

"Phil Murphy is committed to making our state’s political and economic systems once again responsive to the needs of middle-class and working families," said CWA NJ State Director Hetty Rosenstein.

Stewards are talking to their co-workers, asking for commitments to vote in the November election, and signing up members at their worksite for door-knocking and phone bank shifts. CWAers will be knocking on doors every Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and working the phones during weeknights in phone banks.

To find out how to get involved in the election, contact your Local.


CWA members across New Jersey are mobilizing to elect Phil Murphy for governor.