Dec 7, 2017 - Speaker Ryan Wants to Cut Medicare and Social Security

December 7, 2017

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If Corporations Get a Tax Cut, We Want a Raise

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CWA wants to make sure that the nation's biggest employers actually give working families the average $4,000 wage increases the Trump administration claims will result from cutting the corporate tax rate.

CWA has reached out to all its major employers like AT&T, Verizon, General Electric, American Airlines, NBC Universal, and others, to call on them to commit to that raise in writing by Dec. 1.

As of December 7, no employers have responded, and there have been many reports that CEOs plan to use the tax cuts to buy back stock and reward investors – not to give workers a raise and stop offshoring good jobs.

CWA will keep pressing the issue to make sure that employers are held accountable for their promises if the Republican tax bill becomes law.

Sign the petition to tell CEOS you want them to guarantee the wage increase in writing.

Lots of media were on hand as CWAers and allies protested the Republican tax plan outside the district offices of Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). The bill would add at least $1 trillion to the deficit, give permanent tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, and encourage corporations to send more jobs overseas. Meanwhile, working families with the bill are stuck with the bill.


CWAers and allies in Missouri, left, and Texas protest the Republican tax plan.

Check out the action outside Sen. Blunt’s office in Kansas City.

Watch this video by the Texas Organizing Project of the Dallas demonstration.

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CWA President Chris Shelton authored an op-ed that appeared in newspapers across the country on how the Republican tax scam will hurt working people and increase the deficit by more than $1 trillion:

Republicans are on the brink of passing a massive tax overhaul, and it’s looking like the biggest con of the Trump era so far. And that’s saying a lot.

The legislation being jammed through by the House and Senate Republicans is a tax giveaway to corporations and the richest 1 percent, paid for by working and middle-income families.

Across the board, working people will be hurt by this plan, whether by the new incentives to corporations to send U.S. jobs overseas, the loss of the medical expense deduction, new taxes imposed on education benefits, the inability to deduct interest on student loans, the loss of state and local tax deductions, or the forced budget cuts to Medicare, transportation, health care and other critical programs.

Of course, many economists are skeptical and predict that corporations will use the money from the tax cuts to buy back stock and give CEO's and executives big raises, not raise working people's wages or add jobs.

Economists are equally skeptical about the wild claims of economic growth. Analysis by the bipartisan Tax Policy Center found that anemic growth in the U.S. GDP would be more than offset by a massive loss of revenue, increasing the deficit by $1.27 trillion over 10 years.

Read the full piece here.

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Republicans are Already Plotting to Cut Medicare and Social Security

In case you're wondering where Republicans in Congress will direct their attention in 2018, Speaker Paul Ryan revealed this week that they will be focusing on cutting Medicare and Social Security next year to help pay for the GOP tax bill.

The Washington Post reports:

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both federal health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America's deficit.

"Frankly, it's the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements – because that's really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking."

Ryan said that he believes he has begun convincing President Donald Trump in their private conversations about the need to rein in Medicare, the federal health program that primarily insures the elderly. As a candidate, Trump vowed not to cut spending on Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.

Read the full piece here.


CWAers rallied with other union members in front of Rep Dan Donovan's (R-NY) office to urge him to continue to vote against the Republican tax bill.


Local 3509 is CWA STRONG

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When Mike Hodges became its president six and a half years ago, Local 3509 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, had only 73 members, 56 non-members, and two members from AT&T Mobility. As a result of hard work on both internal and external organizing, the local now has 179 members and only 23 non members at AT&T, and has achieved a 93% AT&T Mobility membership.

Hodges knew that in order to properly represent the members, the local needed dedicated leaders to create a solid core to rebuild and organize.

The local's success in pursuing a grievance to get an employee reassigned to a different location to care for an ailing family member made members feel like the union could help them if they stood together to support one another. As members were able to see that the union had their back, members started participating more in the local.

Local 3509's members are now represented by a coalition of four officers and 14 stewards.

"We believe that you cannot have a successful external organizing campaign unless you first have a very strong organized local," says Hodges. "With hard work, perseverance, and motivation, we have built Local 3509 into a dedicated and focused group of officers and stewards. This is the driving force behind our continued success organizing internally, which is now being focused externally to help organize others."

The local's first opportunity to organize new members came with AT&T's acquisition of DIRECTV.

When statewide DTV field tech organizing began, Local 3509 jumped in and helped lead the statewide effort, sending members to help locals in other locations reach a majority sign up quickly. The local's team of volunteers successfully organized the DTV techs in its area.


Organizing Update

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NBC Sports Network

More than 100 broadcast technicians employed by NBC Sports Network on NASCAR events around the country voted overwhelmingly for union representation by NABET-CWA.

The NASCAR technicians organized to achieve fair wages and benefits.

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L.A. Times


An official notice hangs in the L.A. Times newsroom to show that the employees have filed for an NLRB election.

An overwhelming majority of close to 400 newsroom employees at the Los Angeles Times signed cards authorizing union representation by NewsGuild-CWA.

The editorial staff requested voluntary recognition from management and simultaneously filed for an election with the NLRB. They have yet to receive a response from Tronc, their parent company.

"We're excited to take this step toward securing representation by the Guild and ensuring a seat at the table for our newsroom. We're asking management to voluntarily recognize our union so we can begin the collective bargaining process, but we've filed for an NLRB election to prevent any further delay. We're prepared to pull our election petition once management makes the decision to recognize our union," said Anthony Pesce, L.A. Times data journalist and member of the union's Organizing Committee.

Read more here.

 

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NYC Parking Attendants


NYC Public Advocate Letisha James (center) met with Parking Attendants and offered her support in their efforts to organize with CWA Local 1101.


Bargaining Update

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Omni Air International

Flight Attendants at charter airline Omni Air International, represented by AFA-CWA, voted by 78 percent to ratify a first contract. The agreement provides immediate pay raises, defined schedule and work rules, as well as job security with due process.

"Omni Flight Attendants provide safe passage and unique service all over the world as one of America's premier charter carriers. Flight Attendants stood together to achieve a contract that respects our role as aviation's first responders and our contributions to the success of the airline," said Bradley Butterfield, AFA Omni Air President. "This contract will make a real difference in our compensation and it provides a secure future with protections on the job. I am proud of my flying partners and fellow AFA members. This is only the beginning of what we will accomplish together."


Senator Sherrod Brown Addresses CWA Executive Board

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On Tuesday, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) joined CWA's Executive Board meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss the corporate tax cut bill, NAFTA renegotiation, and other key issues under consideration in the Senate that will affect working families.

In his introduction, CWA President Chris Shelton described Senator Brown as a "true union guy," who has enthusiastically supported working families and advocated for policies that keep good jobs in the United States.

Brown noted that the tax plan that Republicans passed in the Senate "greased" the loophole that allows companies to send jobs overseas, which will make the problem worse for workers in Ohio and across the country. He praised CWA's effort to hold companies accountable for the $4,000 raise that supporters of the bill have promised and noted that it was a "good reminder of who [CWA] is fighting for and who you are fighting against."

He said that Senators have had a choice to make on big issues recently, and that the votes show who is going to stand with workers or "with corporations that outsource jobs and corporations that fleece the tax system and big banks that use forced arbitration" to hurt working people. Brown noted that big banks are more profitable than ever, but lobbyists continue to push to roll back regulations that protect consumers and workers. He pledged to keep fighting to help people who are struggling with student loan debt or underwater on their mortgages.

Brown thanked CWA members and retirees for making a difference in so many people's lives. He urged the Board to make sure that CWA members continue to hold NAFTA negotiators accountable for President Trump's promises on trade and said that it is critically important for activists to engage members in discussions of the economic issues at stake in the 2018 elections.


Senator Sherrod Brown joined CWA's Executive Board meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss the corporate tax cut bill, NAFTA renegotiation, and other key issues under consideration in the Senate that will affect working families.


CWA Tells FCC: The U.S. Needs Clear Rules to Protect a Free and Open Internet

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CWA strongly opposes Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai's radical proposal to eliminate essential safeguards that protect an Open Internet. CWA is calling on the FCC to delay the December 14 vote on these rules and go back to the drawing board to adopt clear, enforceable rules that protect a free and open Internet while promoting job-creating investment in broadband networks.

Chairman Pai's proposal abolishes long-standing rules that prohibit Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking content, slowing down Internet traffic, or giving favorable treatment to some websites and applications over others. 

Read the full CWA statement here.


T&T, Wireless Conferences to Be Held in January

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The 2018 CWA Telecommunications and Technologies Conference will be held Jan. 14-16 in Phoenix, AZ. Click here for all conference materials.

The CWA Wireless Leadership Conference, originally scheduled for October 2017 in Puerto Rico, will be held Jan. 28-31 in Orlando, Fla. Click here for registration information.