Piedmont agents in Philadelphia celebrate winning a union voice.
The CWA bargaining team has reached a tentative first contract with
Piedmont Airlines covering 3,500 fleet and passenger service agents.
CWA and the bargaining advisory council will hold conference calls
and informational meetings for members who will vote on the tentative
Long and tough negotiations, with the involvement of the National
Mediation Board, finally produced a tentative agreement that provides
improvements in pay, job security and health care benefits. For the
first time, agents will have an effective grievance and arbitration
process. And the bargaining team successfully fought back against
management's demand to increase workers' health care costs by 33
The new contract provisions include:
- A lump sum signing bonus of 6-8 percent of salary in 2012.
- A new pay system with guaranteed 4 percent raises and additional
- A first-ever grievance and arbitration process.
- Longevity bonuses each year for good attendance.
- Equity for part-time workers for holiday pay.
- Job security improvements.
"This tentative settlement was a long time coming, and Piedmont
workers stood together and mobilized for more than a year to win real
improvements in pay and working conditions. These agents were determined
to gain economic justice, and they did," said Jimmy Tarlau, assistant to
CWA's District 2-13 vice president.
Piedmont agents overwhelmingly voted for CWA representation in
November 2010 despite a tough anti-union campaign by management. They
hung on for more than a year of bargaining and mobilized across the
airline's 79 stations to keep solidarity strong.
More information at
CWA activists' get-out-the-vote efforts have gone into overdrive in
the last few days before Wisconsin's recall election.
"The response has been incredible," said CWA Local 4603's Kathy
Antoniewicz. "People are willing to come out and knock on some doors and
make some phone calls. I don't think there's more than a handful of
union members who don't get the magnitude of this election."
Across the state — from Madison to Kenosha to Green Bay — members are
doing everything possible to encourage union families to go to their
early voting location and vote now. Armies of canvassers are encouraging
union members to go vote for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and kick
Republican Gov. Scott Walker out of office for his assault on public
workers and bargaining rights. Activists are using their vacation time
to work the phones and talk to as many Wisconsin voters as possible. And
supporters from Michigan, Illinois, New Mexico and other states are
joining the effort, too, making phone calls to be sure everyone gets out
For Antoniewicz and others, that will mean joining up with
We Are Wisconsin this weekend to knock on more than 100,000 doors in
Why should Walker lose his job next week? Here are
11 good reasons.
AFA-CWA Flight Attendants at Horizon Air and Air Wisconsin reached
tentative contracts with management this month.
On Wednesday, 500 Flight Attendants at Horizon, a wholly owned
subsidiary of Alaska Air Group, reached a tentative settlement that
includes more vacation, pay increases and substantial improvements to
employees' flexibility and quality of life.
"Horizon Flight Attendants play a crucial role in the success of our
airline," said Leslie Miller, acting AFA president at Horizon, which
flies to 40 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. "This
agreement recognizes our contributions and addresses the concerns most
important to Flight Attendants."
And last Friday, more than 300 Flight Attendants at Air Wisconsin —
the largest privately held U.S. regional airline, which operates as a US
Airways Express carrier — announced their own tentative agreement with
the assistance of the National Mediation Board. Details won't be made
public until they are presented to the membership, which serves 70
cities in the United States and Canada.
"We worked tirelessly to ensure this agreement reflects their
priorities," said Brenda Barrall, AFA Air Wisconsin president.
"Throughout negotiations, Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants have sent a
loud and clear message to management that a mutually beneficial
agreement must reflect our role as first responders and secure
improvements on several key issues."
The federal judge overseeing the American Airlines bankruptcy
proceedings is urging the company to negotiate with unions over new
contracts. Judge Sean Lane delayed a decision on the airline's call for
termination of the contracts, stating, "I urge, and I cannot urge this
any more strongly, that the parties resolve this where they need to
resolve this — the negotiating table."
Read more here.
Separately, American Airlines passenger service agents who want CWA
representation are calling on the company to stop stalling on the union
representation election. The company has filed a lawsuit against the
National Mediation Board to block the election, based on its own wishful
thinking about the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization
passed by Congress in February. Communications from Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid, other leading senators and members of Congress have
made it clear to American Airlines CEO Tom Horton that the law does not
apply to the agents' election authorized by the NMB last December.
Join agents in calling on Horton to stop blocking a democratic union
Sign the petition here.
CWA and 200 allies are urging President Barack Obama to use his
executive power to "prevent the catastrophic release of extremely
In a coalition letter, the groups point out that across the country,
facilities using, storing or manufacturing highly toxic chemicals remain
susceptible to terrorist attacks or accidents. According to the
Environmental Protection Agency, there are 483 facilities in 43 states
where such a chemical disaster would put at least 100,000 people at
The Obama administration has repeatedly asked Congress for the
authority to remove these risks by requiring companies to design and
operate their facilities with safer chemical processes. But, Republicans
in Congress have blocked these efforts. And thanks to the deep pockets
of the chemical lobby, the legislation is going nowhere.
But now the Obama administration can take action. As early as next
week, the president can use his authority to put these new protections
in place through an amendment to the Clean Air Act.
CWA is joining Greenpeace, Sierra Club and others to advocate for the
"Bhopal amendment," a general duty clause referencing a 1984 disastrous
gas leak in India that killed thousands of people and disabled several
Add your name to the petition by
CWA President Larry Cohen speaks at the Center for National
Policy. Photo courtesy of the Center for National Policy.
To fix America's jobs crisis, there first must be a mass political
movement to restore democracy, CWA President Larry Cohen said last week.
During a roundtable discussion at the Center for National Policy,
Cohen candidly laid out the "obscene attacks on the democracy" that have
prevented the long-term, sustainable economic growth that would lift
millions of job seekers out of unemployment.
First, the country must get the flood of corporate cash out of
politics, overturning the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, he
"Money in politics, no accountability, no real disclosure, absolutely
will cloud once again the direction this country needs to go in," said
Cohen, estimating that an open Senate seat costs a minimum of $25
million, while this year's presidential election is expected to reach $1
Next is reforming the Senate rules, so that hundreds of House-passed
bills can make it to the Senate floor for debate. A number of important
issues, from President Obama's jobs plan to the DREAM Act, have been
buried under a series of filibusters and blocked votes. And the
President's nominees for hundreds of vacant judgeships have all been
gridlocked by the arcane legislative process.
"There's no democracy in the world today that functions anything like
the U.S. Senate," he said. "It's the worst it's ever been."
Activists must also be vigilant about new state-level laws intended
to limit the voting rights of young people, the elderly, poor people and
people of color. "It's not about voter fraud, and everybody knows it,"
Cohen repeatedly stressed that to "create demand," America must
tackle the "huge structural issues" that have flat-lined workers' wages
for the past 40 years. Once upon a time, productivity and wages used to
grow together, but weakened manufacturing and trade policies has stymied
the American dream. Fixes, he said, include investing in infrastructure,
lowering the U.S. trade deficit, restoring the power of workers to
organize and bargain collectively, and doubling the country's
Watch the video of the discussion
CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney and members of CWA
Locals 2106, 2107, 2108 and 2100 watch Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley
sign the bill.
CWA's Maryland Legislative-Political Action Team and a strong
coalition helped win new protections against the offshoring of jobs in
CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney and members of CWA Locals
2106, 2107, 2108 and 2100 were on hand as Governor Martin O'Malley (D)
signed the law that requires companies bidding on contracts of $2
million or more with the state of Maryland to disclose whether any of
that work will be performed outside the United States. The law also
prohibits public employers from contracting for specific services unless
those services are to be provided in the U.S., and requires that state
contracts for architectural, construction and engineering services, as
well as energy performance contract services, must be performed in the
"Governor O'Malley understands that taxpayer dollars should not go to
companies that intend to send this work overseas. We hope that the U.S.
Congress adopts this same attitude and moves forward to stop federal
subsidies and tax breaks to corporations that move U.S. jobs offshore,"
CWA is a strong supporter of the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer
Protection Act (H.R. 3596) that would bar corporations that offshore
work from receiving federal grants and loans and provides additional
protections for consumers, giving them the right to know where an agent
is located and the ability to request a transfer to a U.S. agent. The
bill currently has 120 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.