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.
Above: Local 1298 members demonstrate in New Haven, Conn., for AT&T
Below: Members of CWA Local 9586 rally for new contract at 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,
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
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
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
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.
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
"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.
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
Click here for more information.
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
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
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
"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,
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
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.
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
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.
CWA launched a new website for New Mexico residents to urge Gov.
Susana Martinez to sign the Corporate Fair Tax Bill, SB9.
www.OhSusana.org, 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.