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CWA e-Newsletter: Mar. 20, 2014

CWA e-Newsletter

Want to be in next week's CWA Newsletter? Send your stories and photos to blog@cwa-union.org or @CWANews. Follow the latest developments at www.resistancegrowing.org.

CWA Tele Town Hall Call TONIGHT!

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Tonight's CWA Town Hall Call starts at 7:30 p.m. ET. We'll be hearing from activists who in very different ways are building our union and building our movement. We'll have reports on organizing, bargaining and safety and health, but the common theme is how these activists are building alliances to turn back a broad attack on workers' rights, whether in the states or communities.

CWA President Larry Cohen also will join us on the call. Will you?

We'll be dialing you tonight, but you can also listen to the town hall online at www.cwa-union.org/cwalisten.


CWA 7777 Members in Tough Fight with SuperShuttle Management

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On tonight's town hall call, we'll hear from a member of CWA Local 7777 who will talk about the determination of SuperShuttle drivers at Denver International Airport to get a fair contract.

You can help. Click here to send a message to SuperShuttle parent Veolia Transportation, which is part of the French-owned Veolia Transdev.


Cohen: It's Time to Keep Score on Trade Deals

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CWA President Larry Cohen continues to spotlight what's wrong with the one-sided trade deals that the U.S. has been negotiating for the last 20 years.

In an appearance on The Ed Schultz Radio Show, Cohen reminded listeners that the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement was great for the financial sector, but working families "have almost nothing to show for it."

Listen to the full interview here

And check out President Cohen's latest blog on the Huffington Post.


New York State Can Lead on Campaign Finance Reform

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Members of CWA Local 1103 leaflet commuters in State Senator Gregg Ball's district, urging support for campaign finance reform.

CWA activists and coalition allies have been working hard to bring campaign finance reform to New York State. For the first time, Governor Cuomo has included campaign finance reform in his proposed state budget, an important step. The New York State Assembly also continued its long-time support of public financing that would use state funds to match campaign contributions from small donors in its version of the budget. The State Senate's budget also references a new campaign finance system, including public financing.

CWA activists and allies in New York State are rallying and calling their state senators, pushing the Senate to pass public financing in the final budget that's due April 1. Governor Cuomo must also prioritize the reforms. This week, members of CWA Local 1168 have been getting calls into the office of State Senator Mark Grisanti (R) to correct misinformation he cites to oppose public financing.

"We're telling Senator Grisanti that we're health care workers from his district and we care a lot about this issue. We know that hospitals and the nursing home industry make big contributions, and we want our concerns about patient safety and working conditions heard as well," said Sarah Buckley, legislative-political action director, Local 1168.

CWA Local 1103 members leafleted train stations in Senator Gregg Ball's district, asking constituents to contact the Senator to urge his support for public campaign financing.

Public financing gives ordinary citizens a greater voice in the political process because they won't be shut out by big contributions from wealthy and corporate donors. Candidates who opted to rely on small donations from individuals would be eligible for a 6 to 1 match. There would be real limits on amounts each donor could give and funds budgeted to enforce the rules.

Small donor matching in NYC has successfully boosted accountability, improved transparency, cut down corruption and lifted up the voices of ordinary citizens, setting the stage for new-Mayor Bill de Blasio's election over other candidates favored by corporate interests.

Learn more at http://fairelectionsny.org/.


Why We Need to Pay Attention to McCutcheon v. FEC

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If we don't get big money out of politics, the fat cats will run the show.

Credit: Photo by Greenpeace.

Any day now, the Supreme Court will issue its decision in the McCutcheon v. FEC case. That case threatens to make the influence of super wealthy donors in our elections and our democracy even greater.

Many court watchers are predicting that the court will likely eliminate the cap on the total amount of money one donor can give to PACs, candidates and campaigns – also known as "aggregate contribution limits." That would open the door for the 1 percent to pour millions upon millions of dollars into every election cycle, maybe as much as $3.6 million, maybe even more. Right now donors are limited to a total aggregate contribution of $123,000.

As soon as the decision lands, CWA activists and allies will be hitting the streets to rally against the corrupting influence of money in politics. The challenge is that we don't know when the justices will make up their minds.

In order to mobilize thousands of activists quickly, we're encouraging CWAers to visit www.moneyout-votersin.org. Click here to check out the map of rally locations, and sign up to attend an event or create a new one in your community.

Already many Democracy Initiative allies including Public Citizen, People for the American Way, Food and Water Watch, Our Time, Moveon.org, Common Cause, Sierra Club, CWA, Public Campaign, Story of Stuff, Demos, USAction and US PIRG are working to organize events around the country on the day of the ruling. More than 130 events are now in the works.

We're not wavering in our fight to get big money out of our politics. Join a rally, and make sure the Supreme Court hears you loud and clear.

Check out this breakdown of why getting big money out of politics matters.


Make Your Voice Heard On April 28

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In the immortal words of Mother Jones: "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living."

On April 28, CWA and the U.S. labor movement will once again observe Workers' Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew our efforts for safe workplaces.

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"As we remember those who have become injured, ill, or killed on the job, we will also renew our fight for strong workplace safety and health protections," said CWA President Larry Cohen. "Too many job hazards remain unregulated and uncontrolled resulting in the continued occurrence of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. As a result, every year thousands of workers are killed and millions are injured or become ill because of their jobs. Therefore, we must work even harder to ensure employers are providing our members with safe and healthful working conditions. To be successful, our efforts must involve allied worker centers, as well as environmental, environmental justice, and human and civil rights organizations."

The theme this year is "Safe Jobs Save Lives: Make Your Voice Heard." We're asking CWAers to band together to organize actions highlighting the promise of safe jobs for all Americans. Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act four decades ago, but each and every day, CWA and our allies continue to fight to curb workplace injuries and illnesses. Our work isn't done.

Find 2014 Workers' Memorial Day materials at www.aflcio.org/WorkersMemorialDay.


Fast For Families Across America

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Mark your calendar: Fast for Families will be back in Washington, D.C., following a year-long campaign to gain comprehensive immigration reform.

Over the past several months, advocates have embarked on a nationwide road trip – Fast for Families Across America – to visit more than 100 congressional districts and engage ordinary Americans in a dialogue about our broken immigration system. At every stop, activists have encouraged communities to fast and pray. And they've pushed members of Congress to act on comprehensive immigration reform.

On April 8, the bus tour will swing through Chantilly, Va., just outside Washington, D.C. CWA President Larry Cohen will join CWAers and other activists in rallying outside the home office of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.).

The next day, April 9, activists will return to the National Mall, sending a strong message to Representatives and Senators at the U.S. Capitol.

To get the latest on these events and find a bus tour stop in your state, visit http://fast4families.org/.

And be sure to watch this inspirational video of the bus tour taking its message to California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Texas. 


Take a Stand and Support Customer Service Workers in Morocco

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The Union Marocaine du Travail (UMT) is demanding the reinstatement of these leaders who were fired by Total Call call center in Casablanca, owned by a French telecom group.

On February 13, the Total Call call center in Casablanca, which is owned by the French telecom group Iliad, fired five leaders of the Union Marocaine du Travail (UMT) just one day after they officially registered as a local union in the company in accordance with Moroccan law. Among those dismissed were Mostafa Berrchid, El Mehdi Nasseur and Kamal Souker – union leaders who spoke at the CWA-UNI Global Union Customer Service Conference just last month.

Ron Collins, CWA chief of staff, said that CWA and UNI unions from around the world, representing customer service professionals, "are standing with their Moroccan brothers and sisters who want the respect and bargaining rights that come with union representation."

Sign this petition demanding their immediate reinstatement.