Ratification Vote Soon; Pact Improves Pay, Job Security,
AFA-CWA Flight Attendants at United Airlines are preparing to vote on
a tentative agreement reached with United last weekend through expedited
mediation. Covering 15,000 Flight Attendants, the agreement makes
significant strides in pay, protections against involuntary furloughs
and increased work schedule flexibility.
The union defeated hundreds of concessionary proposals from United,
including changes to healthcare and pay protections.
Under the agreement, Flight Attendants' wages at United would return
to pre-bankruptcy levels, with 17.5 percent pay raises over three years.
Flight Attendants would immediately get a 10 percent wage increase and a
$5,000 signing bonus.
"For 10 years, United Flight Attendants have been fighting just to
hang on, just to minimize the damage, just to live to fight another
day," said AFA-CWA President Veda Shook, praising members' determination
in defeating United's concessions. "This agreement provides restoration
of wages, flexibility and quality-of-life improvements. It resets the
industry negotiations and gets us moving forward."
Greg Davidowitch, AFA-CWA President at United, said, "Despite many
obstacles and challenges, we remained undeterred from our number-one
goal of reaching an agreement that addresses immediate needs and serves
as a stepping stone to a single contract with our flying partners from
Continental and Continental Micronesia. We are not done. This is just
the first step toward the contract Flight Attendants are due."
AFA-CWA is mailing the agreement to every member's home and preparing
for membership meetings at 14 locations in the United States and
Locals Prepare for Ratification Votes; Results to Be
Announced in February
A long campaign of solidarity for NABET-CWA members at NBC Universal
has paid off, as the union and company reached a tentative agreement
this week with wage and job security improvements. The last contract
expired March 31, 2009.
"Our members have waited three years to have a decent contract offer
on the table," NABET-CWA President Jim Joyce said. "Through their
solidarity and the diligence of the union's negotiating committee, we
were able to obtain significant improvements from NBC's previous offer
Joyce added, "I am confident that now, one year after the Comcast
merger, and with this contract in place, as NBC Universal horizons
expand, our members' work opportunities will expand."
The tentative contract, which would run through March 31, 2015, is
the result of numerous bargaining sessions over the past three weeks in
New York, and has the unanimous recommendation of the union's bargaining
team, Joyce said.
The contract applies to about 2,500 staff and daily-hire employees
working as broadcast technicians, newswriters, building, air
conditioning and plant maintenance personnel, staging services personnel
and couriers at various NBC network and local TV station operations in
New York, Chicago, Burbank and Washington D.C., as well as NBC News and
NBC Sports. The new contract will run through March 31, 2015.
The contract offers a total of 8 percent in wage increases over the
next three years, in addition to a signing bonus upon ratification. In
the area of job security, the contract provides numerous layoff
protections for staff employees, and calls for the conversion of a
number of daily-hire jobs into full-time staff positions.
NABET-CWA locals will be holding membership meetings in preparation
for ratification votes over the next few weeks. Joyce said votes will be
tallied by Feb. 10.
CWA Helps Coordinate as Statehouse Draws Thousands of
CWA Local 4900's Coleen Martin and Angie Schritter work the union
"help desk" inside the Indiana statehouse as part of the campaign to
defeat "right-to-work" legislation.
With a campaign that is flooding the Indiana statehouse with
thousands of activists every day, CWA and other unions are determined to
stop Republican leaders from ramming an anti-union "right-to-work" bill
through the legislature.
Union members with clipboards are positioned at entries in the
capitol, where long lines of activists stretch down the street.
Volunteers sign in visitors and direct them to the "help desk," a table
staffed with activists armed with laptop computers. They help visitors
identify their representative and suggest other lawmakers to visit who
are wavering on the issue.
"We're really focusing on educating people about the issue and how to
lobby for it," said CWA Local 4900's Angie Schritter,
Legislative-Political Action Team coordinator. "We talk to them about
the facts about 'right-to-work' states, the fact that wages are lower in
those states, that on-the-job injuries and fatalities are significantly
higher, that even infant mortality rates are higher."
As hundreds of activists visit various Indiana statehouse offices
each day, "It's driving some of the office staff crazy," Schritter said.
"We are sending a very strong message."
IUE retirees and Local 4730 members, with sign, are among other
CWAers helping fight the anti-union bill.
Based on the fire marshal's estimates during the first week of
January, Schritter said 3,000 is the fewest number of people who came
through the capitol. Typically, 5,000 to 7,000 people arrived daily,
from union members and allies to people who wish they had the chance to
join a union.
"I had a 73-year-old grandfather here today and he said, 'I'm doing
this for my grandkids,'" Schritter said.
The capitol was filled to the brim the night of Jan. 10, as Gov.
Mitch Daniels gave his State of the State address. TVs were set up in
overflow rooms, but it was almost impossible to hear with the huge
crowd, many of whom angrily booed their governor and the Republicans for
Many Democrats skipped the speech, and have been refusing to show up
to legislative sessions, denying the Republican majority the quorum it
needs to pass the bill, which has been approved by House and Senate
committees. Last year, Democrats fled Indiana for five weeks to block
the bill in the 2010 session.
"After the speech, the Democrats who did attend got up and left
immediately to absolutely roaring applause," Schritter said. "They came
through and shook everyone's hands. It was great. Then the Republicans
got up to leave and the boos were unbelievable."
Although she couldn't see inside the chamber, she heard that "quite a
few Republicans" didn't stand and cheer when Daniels talked about right
to work. "We are definitely having an impact," she said. "We know there
are Republicans who don't want to support this bill, but they are afraid
to go against their leadership. We are appealing to them to do the right
Among the broad support for workers, NFL players, who are union
members themselves, are calling on Republicans to kill the bill.
"'Right-to-work' is a political ploy designed to destroy basic workers'
rights. It's not about jobs or rights, and it's the wrong priority for
the NFL Players Association said in a statement last week (PDF).
Daniels and Republican leaders are anxious to pass the bill so the
controversy will die down before Indianapolis hosts the Super Bowl on
As the CWA Newsletter was being published Jan. 12, union activists in
their favorite NFL gear were preparing for a march from the statehouse
to the Colts' stadium.
Focusing on ways to return jobs to the United States, a White House
forum on "insourcing" this week highlighted the return of 400 US Airways
reservations jobs to Winston-Salem, N.C., Phoenix, Ariz., and Reno, Nev.
CWA, which represents US Airways agents along with the Teamsters,
negotiated for the return of reservations work; another 300 jobs were
returned to the U.S. about 18 months earlier.
U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), who is sponsoring bipartisan
legislation to keep U.S. call center jobs from being offshored, asked
President Obama to include the bill in the forum's work going forward.
a letter to Obama, Bishop noted the half-million call center jobs
that have been lost over the past four years, according to the Bureau of
Labor Statistics and the American Teleservices Association. "These job
losses are a direct consequence of corporate practices and incentives
that encourage continued off-shoring and outsourcing...and also placed
consumers' personal information at risk to security breaches," he wrote.
He said he and other lawmakers are working with CWA and allies "to
identify new incentives and expand accountability and transparency in
the call center industry."
Forum participants included CWA Chief of Staff Ron Collins. "To those
who say they must ship call center jobs overseas because of cost, we
challenge them to look at U.S. companies that are bringing jobs back to
the U.S.," he said.
Collins said Bishop's bill "doesn't stop a corporation from moving
jobs overseas. But it makes it clear that corporations must make a
choice. Corporations that don't want to keep good jobs here in the U.S.
won't be able to benefit from federal grants and guaranteed loans. No
more handouts from the taxpayers for those who choose not to keep good
jobs in the U.S."
CWA Legislative-Political Action Team activists are distributing and
collecting postcards from CWAers that call on members of Congress to
support H.R. 3596, the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection
Act. Activists also are sending op-eds and letters to the editor to
local newspapers and are reaching out to their members of Congress to
build support for the bill.
Learn more at
Registration is open for the 2012 CWA/USW Health and Safety
Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., March 5-9. This year's conference, hosted
jointly every other year by CWA and the Steelworkers, focuses on
identifying workplace hazards and will offer workshops on hazard
mapping, heat stress, ergonomics, hazardous materials and other topics.
Space is limited for the conference and training, so local safety and
health activists are urged to register as soon as possible. Online
registrations will be completed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Participants have the option of attending only the first day,
attending the first three days, or staying the full week:
- For the Monday, March 5, union plenary session and CWA activist
meeting, the fee is $75.
- For Monday's events plus two days of training Tuesday and
Wednesday, the fee is $200.
- For the full week, with four days of training, the fee is $400.
A free continental breakfast will be provided each day at the Westin
Pittsburgh Convention Center Hotel. The hotel rate is $125 plus tax for
a single/double room per night. There is a $10 charge for each
Click here to register for the conference only. To make hotel
reservations by phone, call the Westin at (412) 281-3700 and identify
yourself as attending the CWA/USW 2012 Health, Safety, and Environment
Click here to book a hotel room online.
If you have questions, contact CWA Safety and Health Director Dave
email@example.com or by phone at (202) 434-1160.
The next issue of the CWA News will focus on workplace safety and
health issues. Does your local have a story idea? Please let us know by
To get better pay, benefits and working conditions, former Alltel
workers at AT&T Mobility are continuing to join CWA through majority
sign-up. The latest are 15 network technicians in Montana.
A month earlier, over 100 former Alltel workers at AT&T Mobility
joined CWA in New Mexico, Colorado, and Minnesota.
In Washington, D.C., 10 workers at the non-profit organization
Washington Empowered Against Violence gained TNG-CWA representation in
an NLRB election.