Communications Workers of America | E-Activist Newsletter

United Flight Attendants Ratify New Contract

A new contract covering 15,000 pre-merger Flight Attendants at United Airlines was ratified this week with a 70 percent approval margin. The agreement, reached in January, includes significant quality of work life enhancements, new job security protections, scheduling and compensation improvements, including an immediate ten percent wage increase and distribution of a $5,000 signing bonus.

"This agreement is good for Flight Attendants and good for the company. It addresses many immediate needs identified by United Flight Attendants and serves as a stepping-stone to single contract negotiations with our flying partners from Continental and Continental Micronesia," said Greg Davidowitch, president of AFA at United Airlines.

Bargaining Begins for CWA Contracts at AT&T Locations



Local 1298 Mobilizes

Above: Local 1298 members demonstrate in New Haven, Conn., for AT&T East contract.

Below: Members of CWA Local 9586 rally for new contract at AT&T West.

Local 9586_AT&T




CWA bargaining teams began separate negotiations with AT&T Midwest, AT&T West, AT&T Legacy and AT&T East on Feb. 29. For links to the individual district bargaining updates and mobilization news, click here.

AT&T Midwest Negotiations

Negotiations with AT&T Midwest opened in Hoffman Estates, Ill., outside Chicago, with the bargaining team escorted to the talks by a caravan of local leaders from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Check out this video.

CWA D4 Vice President Seth Rosen opened the negotiations, stressing that "perhaps the most important question is: will AT&T work with CWA and its members as it develops strategies to meet a changing competitive and technological environment, or will it take the low road of layoffs, cost shifting, and outsourcing?" D4 represents 15,000 workers at AT&T Midwest.

AT&T West Negotiations

In California, CWA members mobilized in Pasadena, San Ramon and Sacramento, holding rallies at lunchtime and after work to stand up for a fair contract at AT&T West. CWA D9 Vice President Jim Weitkamp said for workers at AT&T West, expanding hometown, quality jobs and stopping the outsourcing of work are critical issues, along with countering the attempt by a very profitable company to shift more health care costs to workers and their families, and the inequitable working conditions imposed on some technicians. D9 represents 18,000 workers at AT&T West.

AT&T Legacy Negotiations



Local 3250-AT&T Legacy

In Atlanta, members of CWA Local 3250 hold informational picket for contract at AT&T Legacy.




AT&T Legacy bargaining began in Washington, D.C., led by CWA Telecommunications/Technologies Vice President Ralph Maly. Lois Grimes-Paltrow, CWA bargaining team co-chair, said critical issues include reducing outsourcing and offshoring of jobs, elimination of unfair working conditions and unrealistic work rules, and commission-based pay plans. T/T represents 6,000 workers at AT&T Legacy.

AT&T East Negotiations

In New Haven, Conn., CWA D1 Vice President Chris Shelton opened bargaining for two contracts, covering workers at the core company and the yellow pages unit, as members rallied in New Haven. D1 and CWA Local 1298 represent 4,000 workers at AT&T East.

AT&T is the largest and most profitable company in the communications industry. In 2010, AT&T recorded profits of $19.86 billion on revenues of $124 billion. For the twelve months ending September 30, 2011, AT&T recorded profits of $11.71 billion on revenues of $126 billion.

AT&T Mobility Bargaining Continues Past Contract Deadline in District 6

Bargaining continues for a new contract for 9,300 AT&T Mobility workers in District 6 as negotiators remained far apart on many issues past the Feb. 25 contract expiration date.

CWA's bargaining committee is standing strong, rejecting AT&T Mobility's demands for givebacks in pay, pensions, subcontracting and other areas.

"I am extremely disappointed that the company has retrogressive demands they expect our members to accept while they are refusing to bring work back into the bargaining unit," said District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings. "Unfortunately, the company was not willing to offer an agreement in line with the huge profits that our members have generated for them."

The CWA bargaining team worked through the night reviewing the company's latest proposal.

Click here to sign a petition supporting AT&T Mobility workers in their fair contract fight and to tell AT&T Mobility it's time to negotiate an agreement that supports a fair standard of living.

Cohen: Movement Building for Economic Justice and Democracy



Larry Speaking@Good Jobs Green Jobs

At the Good Jobs Green Jobs conference in Atlanta, CWA President Larry Cohen said labor and environmental groups are building a movement to break down the barriers to democracy. Click here or on picture to view his address.




Achieving workers' rights and economic justice, addressing climate change and creating good-paying, sustainable jobs all depend on fixing our broken democracy, CWA President Larry Cohen told participants, including a large group of CWAers, at the Good Jobs Green Jobs conference in Atlanta last week.

Through the Blue Green Alliance, union and environmental allies are building a movement to achieve those goals. "In labor, we realized we alone would not be able to achieve full bargaining and organizing rights for workers," he said. But all of us standing together, 50 million strong, will be heard.

Strong support from environment groups helped turn back the attacks against collective bargaining rights in Ohio and Wisconsin; CWA, in turn, works with the Sierra Club, National Defense Resources Council, and other green groups on building sustainable communities and meeting green energy goals.

CWA is committed to building a movement to break through these barriers to democracy: corporate money in politics, voter suppression, broken Senate rules and a path to legalization for immigrants.

Click here for video from the conference; Cohen's remarks begin at 11:43 in the video.

Following Atlanta, Good Jobs Green Jobs conferences will be held in Los Angeles on March 15-16; Philadelphia, April 3-4; and Detroit, May 10-11. Click here for more information.

TNG-CWA Local Holds Silent Protest at NY Times




In their fight for a fair contract at the New York Times, members of TNG-CWA Local 31003 held a silent protest that lined a hallway at the newspaper.




Nearly 300 New York Times members of TNG-CWA Local 31003 lined a third floor hallway in silent protest this week as top editors headed to the daily Page One meeting.

The employees, including high-profile reporters, wore Guild buttons and stickers with the local's new campaign slogan: "Without Us, It's Just White Space."

Local 31003 is fighting for a fair contract for more than 1,000 members at the Times who are being threatened with a pension freeze and other wage and benefit rollbacks. Meanwhile, retired company CEO Janet Robinson recently walked away with a reported $25 million severance package, including a $10.9 pension and $4.5 million in "consulting fees."

This week, a financial website reviewed her consulting contract and found that Robinson is being paid roughly $25,000 an hour for giving advice assuming the company asks for it. Either way, she gets the money.

"People are angry, and the silent protest was a way of showing their displeasure," said Bill O'Meara, local president.

Times' reporters at the paper's Washington, D.C., bureau held their own silent protest at the same time as their colleagues in New York, shortly before 4 p.m. Read more at the Save Our Times website,

New CWA, TWU Voice is 850,000 Strong



TWU-CWA Meeting 2-21-12

CWA President Larry Cohen and TWU President Jim Little, left, sign a new partnership agreement between the unions. Looking on are, from left, TWU Secy.-Treas. Paul Gordon, TWU Exec. Vice Pres. Harry Lombardo, and CWA Secy.-Treas. Annie Hill.




CWA and the Transport Workers International Union signed an affiliation agreement that means new opportunities in organizing and mobilizing with the combined strength of 850,000 members.

In a letter to all TWU and CWA locals today, Presidents Jim Little and Larry Cohen said the new partnership "will enhance our capacity to improve the job security, working conditions and bargaining power of our members" and will help us build a strong progressive movement for change in this country.

"Members of our unions often live and work in the same communities. Some of us share the same employers. This alliance will build on those synergies, allowing us to take on strategic campaigns and win," they wrote.

Through this alliance, the two unions will launch joint projects, share information and look for more opportunities to work together.

Locals are encouraged to get involved in strengthening the alliance and working together in their communities.

Organizing Institute Builds Skills for Wireless Campaigns




T-Mobile call center worker Roland Ellis explains why he and his co-workers want the freedom to choose to join a union at T-Mobile.




New organizers from Districts 2-13 and 3 learned the basics of CWA organizing at a three-day Organizing Institute hosted by District 3, Feb. 24-26, in Jackson, Miss. The 21 local organizers focused on ways to support workers in the wireless industry who want CWA representation. The organizers are from Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia and Puerto Rico.

During the session, a T-Mobile worker from Tennessee talked about how hard it is to organize co-workers at his company. He brought many of the organizers to tears when he talked about how his son just got a union card after being hired at a supermarket. "These stories really personalized workers' struggles," said D3 Organizing Coordinator Elizabeth Roberson, who led the training, with District Organizing Coordinator Sheila Williams-Cain and Special Assignment Organizer Michele McNeil.

Roberson said the organizers "are an outstanding group who will roll our union on. It was really a high-energy organizing institute. It made me so proud to be a CWA member."

Check out this video of Roland Ellis talking about organizing at T-Mobile in Nashville.

New Website Helps NM Voters Send a Message to Martinez

CWA launched a new website for New Mexico residents to urge Gov. Susana Martinez to sign the Corporate Fair Tax Bill, SB9.

At, New Mexico residents can send a message to Martinez, calling on her to sign the bill. Martinez has until March 7 to sign or veto the legislation.

The bi-partisan legislation requires multi-state stores doing business in the state to pay their fair share of taxes. It also lowers taxes for homegrown businesses. New Mexico is the only western state to operate under an imbalanced tax structure which allows corporations to avoid paying taxes. This tax loophole forces small businesses to compete with out-of-state "big box stores" while paying higher tax rates than the out-of-state stores.

"Governor Susana Martinez has the opportunity to stand with hundreds of thousands of New Mexico small business owners and workers and put the interests of New Mexico above those of corporate lobbyists," said Miles Conway, who heads CWA's NM legislative-political action team. CWA and a coalition of progressive groups and unions led the fight for tax fairness in New Mexico.

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