Communications Workers of America | E-Activist Newsletter

Bargaining for Four AT&T Contracts Continues



AT&T West Bargaining

Members of CWA Locals 9400, 9404, 9413, 9419, 9421 and 9431 have a message for AT&T West: "We are Ready."




CWA bargaining teams are continuing separate negotiations with AT&T Midwest, AT&T West, AT&T Legacy and AT&T East. CWA negotiators are reporting tough bargaining at every table and are urging members to keep mobilizing to make certain that the companies know we're not backing down from our fair contract fight. Those contracts expire April 7. In the summer, CWA District 3 will begin negotiations with AT&T Southeast; that contract expires in early August.

Get the latest bargaining updates and mobilization reports at

Are You Ready for March 22?

There's still time to find an event in your community and join in the National Day of Action, that hits "1 percent" Verizon for its corporate greed, and brings union and progressive activists together to stand up for each other's fights on March 22.

Go to to find an event or post information about what your local has planned. Across AFL-CIO unions, across the labor movement, with support from Jobs with Justice and lots of progressive groups, activists are joining together on March 22.

There will be hundreds of events and actions across the country. Many CWAers and supporters will leaflet at Verizon Wireless stores to support the fair contract fight of VZW workers. Union activists, Occupiers and others will rally to focus attention on the corporate greed of companies like Verizon, Wells Fargo and more.

Some highlights:

  • In San Francisco, numerous unions, the SF Labor council, elected officials and activists across the area have endorsed the March 22 action. The action starts at noon outside a big shopping area on Market St., where janitors and Retail Clerks members will talk about their fight for fairness and a fair contract, followed by a march past the Verizon Wireless store and a Wells Fargo bank branch, to support Service Employees members.
  • In New York, CWA and Transport Workers Union members are joining forces for actions at Verizon and the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Check out the full list of events at, and make sure you're a part of the action on March 22.

And tune in to CWA's national telephone town hall on Thursday, March 22 at 7:30 EDT. Go to to sign up.

AFL-CIO Endorses Re-election of President Obama

Meeting this week, the AFL-CIO Executive Council endorsed the re-election of President Obama, stressing that the President "honors the values of hard work, of mutual respect and of solving problems together not every person for himself or herself...Each of the Republican presidential candidates, on the other hand, has pledged to uphold the special privileges of Wall Street and the 1% privileges that have produced historic economic inequality and drowned out the voices of working people in America."

CWA endorsed President Obama's re-election on Feb. 2, following more than two months of online voting and information provided to members on all the candidates. By a 5-1 margin, CWAers chose President Obama over the Republican field.

"Over the past year, the Republican field of candidates made clear its position that when it comes to losing a job, contracting a serious illness, sending a child to college or looking forward to retirement, in today's United States, working families should be on their own. This is especially true when it comes to workers' rights. No Republican candidate stood up for the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively," CWA's Executive Board said in a statement.

"We've seen the start of a growing movement to take back our country and to end the control of corporations and the wealthy that truly threatens our democracy. We need elected leaders who support this movement to restore democracy. President Obama is that leader."

President Cohen said CWA will focus on member-to-member communications and contacts in the months leading up to the November elections. CWA's legislative-political actions teams, which have been working on legislative issues like the bill to stop the offshoring of call center jobs, will play a critical part in CWA's campaign work.

CWAers Stand Strong for Immigrant, Voting Rights in Alabama



3-2-12 Alabama

Standing on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, where 47 years ago civil rights activists were met with police dogs and clubs, are CWA members and leaders who joined this year's week-long march to Montgomery. The CWA group included Local 3204 President Walter Andrews, D6 Vice President Claude Cummings and D3 Organizing Coordinator Sheila Williams-Cain.




CWA members and leaders made the week-long march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., last week, ending in a big rally on the steps of the state capitol.

The route recreated the historic march of 47 years ago, but also focused on Alabama's recent assault on voting rights and immigrants. Alabama enacted the most vicious, anti-immigrant law in the nation last year, and also approved new measures to suppress the voting rights of the elderly, people of color, students and low-income persons.



Larry Cohen_Atlanta_church

President Cohen and CWA marchers spent the night in churches on the way to Montgomery.




Among CWAers joining the march were CWA President Larry Cohen; Vice Presidents Judy Dennis, D3, Claude Cummings, D6, and Brooks Sunkett, Public Healthcare and Education Workers; Local 3204 President Walter Andrews and a CWA contingent from Atlanta; and CWA Human Rights and Special Projects Director Chris Kennedy.

CWA President Larry Cohen's remarks at the capitol were broadcast as part of "Politics Nation," the MSNBC television program hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton; Sharpton's program was broadcast from the rally.

"The march brought out high school students, Latinos, union members, civil rights activists, and lots of regular folks fed up with the attack on ordinary people. There was singing and chanting and lots of solidarity," Cohen said.

Along the way, marchers slept in churches and rallied in communities. About 125 CWA activists and leaders joined the march and rally.

AFA-CWA Reaches Tentative Pact at Hawaiian; Asks NMB to Declare Impasse at Spirit

AFA-CWA reached a tentative agreement with Hawaiian Airlines covering 1,200 Flight Attendants.

The agreement was reached with the assistance of the National Mediation Board, using a "Facilitated Problem Solving" approach to negotiations.

"This agreement recognizes the contributions that AFA-CWA Flight Attendants make on a daily basis to the tremendous success of our airline," said Sharon Soper, AFA President at Hawaiian.

If approved by AFA-CWA leadership at Hawaiian, the tentative settlement goes to the membership for a ratification vote.

At Spirit Airlines, Flight Attendants, fed up with management delay and demands for givebacks, are calling on the NMB to declare an impasse in negotiations and requested a proffer of arbitration. AFA-CWA represents about 870 Flight Attendants at Spirit.

That's the first step to the NMB setting a 30-day cooling-off period, the time during which intense negotiations usually take place and lead to a settlement or a strike.

A nearly unanimous 98.4 percent of voting Spirit Flight Attendants authorized a strike if management fails to negotiate a new contract. Flight Attendants tried to deliver a petition signed by hundreds of Flight Attendants to Spirit's CEO, calling on management to engage in meaningful and productive discussions, but they were turned away.

"It's long past time for management to take these negotiations seriously. We filed for mediation two years ago in order to speed up negotiations and get management's attention. We want an agreement that recognizes our contributions, and we are prepared to strike if that is what it takes to get this management focused on reaching an agreement," said Todd St. Pierre, Spirit AFA President.

AFA-CWA members will hold an informational picket next week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., following negotiations. Learn more at

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