More than 400 activists demonstrate at the Minnesota state capitol
against a strict voter ID ballot initiative.
More than 400 activists, including CWAers, rallied at the Minnesota
state capitol to protest efforts to adopt a strict voter ID law in the
The demonstration was organized by TakeAction Minnesota, a coalition
of labor, environmental and disability groups, who stress that business
and financial organizations are bankrolling Republican legislators as
part of an effort to require all voters to show photo ID at the polls.
Activists walked around the legislative chambers wearing
hundred-dollar-bill stickers across their mouths, to symbolize how the 1
percent wants to silence the voices of ordinary Americans.
CWA President Larry Cohen addressed TakeAction Minnesota activists
during the week of actions that ended at the state capitol.
The Republican-controlled legislature has introduced a state-issued
photo ID requirement as a proposed amendment to the state's constitution
that would be placed on the ballot in November.
Dan McGrath, executive director of TakeAction Minnesota, said "the
proposed photo ID amendment will make it harder if not impossible for
hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who are eligible to vote, to cast
their ballot.'' The ID requirement, by making it harder for elderly,
poor and disabled people to vote, is part of an effort to keep power and
wealth concentrated within the 1 percent and make public institutions
less accountable to voters.
In another event, more than a dozen religious leaders delivered a
letter signed by hundreds of clergy members to legislators, in
opposition to the voter ID requirement.
"We believe that democracy at its best engages participation from the
most diverse and gifted gathering of God's whole people," the letter
reads. "The proposed voter ID referendum in Minnesota seeks to reduce
the number of people who participate in our democracy."
Read TakeAction Minnesota's report here. http://www.takeactionminnesota.org/_assets/document/1vsDemocracy.pdf
On a house call, AT&T Premise Tech Andrel Reid saved the life of
this 4-month old baby girl.
AT&T Premise Technician Andrel Reid has been on the job for just six
months, but he will always remember his Feb. 1 visit to the Lansing,
Mich., home of customer Christine Duffy. The Local 4034 member was
dispatched to fix Duffy's U-verse service, but he ended up saving the
life of Duffy's four-month old baby girl.
Minutes after Reid arrived on the job, baby Sara was in serious
trouble. "She was coughing. It just started blocking up her system and
she just started choking on the congestion. Around her eyes it was
getting all red and she started turning different colors," Duffy told
local NBC affiliate WILX.
Reid stepped in to help. "I put the baby in a position that I was
taught in training, put the baby in my palm, flipped her over and gave
her a light thrust to her back. That's when everything came up, and the
baby actually started laughing and smiling at me," he told a local TV
Reid, who gets CPR-certified as part of his training, was happy he
could help, but probably doesn't consider himself to be a hero. "We're
in people's homes all day. . . Stuff happens and we're the only ones
there," he said.
Click here to view the news report. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp=46310208
CWA District 4 Vice President Seth Rosen said "what makes this act of
heroism even more amazing is the pressure our prem techs are under to
meet arbitrary performance standards. Especially now, as we are about to
begin contract negotiations in a few weeks, we hope AT&T realizes the
importance of its front line employees."
Condemning corporate money in politics, CWAers and allies call to
overturn the Supreme Court's decision that "corporations are people."
There's been lots of action in the effort by CWA and allies to end
the destructive expansion of corporate money in politics resulting from
the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court "Citizens United" decision.
New Mexico is now the second state, following Hawaii's lead, where
lawmakers in the Senate are on record strongly opposing Citizens United
and corporate money in politics.
In a memorial statement, the New Mexico Senate pointed out that the
Supreme Court's decision "unleashes a torrent of corporate money into
the political process unmatched by any campaign expenditure totals in
U.S. history" and that the ruling "invalidates state laws and even state
constitutional provisions separating corporate money from elections."
Separately, CWA, People for the American Way, and 48 other
organizations sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the
House and Senate Judiciary Committees, calling for hearings to explore
constitutional remedies to overturn the Citizens United decision.
"In Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are
guaranteed the same free speech rights as real people to influence
elections, thereby ruling that governmental restrictions on corporate
spending to influence elections are invalid and unconstitutional. Only
amending the Constitution can fully secure the American people's
authority to regulate corporate influence in our elections and restore
our democracy," they wrote.
Activists held more than 350 events in 49 states marking the two-year
anniversary of Citizens United; town hall and public meetings are being
planned for next month.
This American Airlines passenger service agent was one of hundreds
of workers protesting unfair cutbacks at a demonstration at the
Dallas-Fort Worth airport.
At the Dallas-Fort Worth airport this week, hundreds of American
Airlines and American Eagle workers protested the huge pay and benefit
cuts that parent AMR Corporation is demanding from front-line employees
in its bankruptcy reorganization.
Members of the Transport Workers Union of America and the Association
of Professional Flight Attendants, were joined by AFA-CWA Flight
Attendants from American Eagle and passenger service agents at American
Airlines who want CWA representation. The agents have formed the
Association of Professional Service Agents and have filed for a union
AMR filed for bankruptcy protection with more than $4 billion in the
AFA-CWA International President Veda Shook slammed AMR for using
bankruptcy as an excuse to slash workers' pay, benefits, and retirement
security. "Airline bankruptcies have become nothing less than a
management tool to over-reach with impunity: job cuts, wage cuts,
retirements slashed and outsourced maintenance. Executives, reaping the
rewards of bonuses rubber-stamped by the bankruptcy court, expect
workers to pay for their poor performance. We call it what it is, and we
are protesting today to shed a light and demand justice."
Click here to sign a petition organized by TWU to generate support
for American jobs at American Airlines and American Eagle.
Members of CWA Local 1126 took over a town hall meeting of Rep.
Richard Hanna in Utica, N.Y. to press for his support of legislation
to stop offshoring of call center jobs.
About 45 members of CWA Local 1126 just about took over the Utica,
N.Y., town hall meeting of Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.)
The activists, members of CWA's Legislative-Political Action Team,
pressed Hanna on his refusal so far to support the offshoring bill,
which would stop federal grants and loan guarantees to companies that
move call center jobs overseas.
The bill, H.R. 3596, introduced by Reps. Tim Bishop (D-NY) and Dave
McKinley (R-W.Va), also requires that consumers are told of the call
center agent's location and transferred to a U.S.-based agent on
CWA activists have generated more than 100 calls to Hanna's office,
urging him to co-sponsor the bill. Verizon, a major employer in Hanna's
district, is a big opponent of the bill because it, along with other
profitable companies, is shifting good jobs overseas.
If Hanna refuses to co-sponsor the bill, CWA members will follow him
around his district to remind voters that the congressman apparently
supports sending good jobs overseas.
Kevin Celata, administrator of CWA's successful CWA/NETT program was
presented the Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board's top
award last week for his leadership in helping to provide quality
training for workers that resulted in good-paying jobs.
Over the past two years, CWA/NETT, with a $4 million grant from the
Department of Labor, has trained more than 1,500 workers in Ohio who
were hit hard by the economic downturn; many found good-paying jobs
because of the specialized skill manufacturing training. Members of IUE-CWA,
the Steelworkers, Food and Commercial Workers, and other unions were
among those in the training program.
The award presented to Celata names the Communications Workers of
America as a "super partner" in the effort to provide workers with the
skills they need for job placement throughout the state.
Read about more CWA/NETT opportunities at
http://www.cwanett.org/. Courses are available in the latest in
telecommunications and IT, digital media and criminal justice. CWA's
partnerships with manufacturers and distributors of telecommunications
and IT equipment enable us to provide up-to-the-minute training on the
Members of Locals 1103 and 1105 gather outside the house of Verizon
board member Hugh Price with a Valentine’s Day message.
Below: In other actions this week, CWAers distributed a leaflet
condemning Verizon’s attacks on workers’' and retirees' retirement
CWAers and retirees across Districts 1 and 2-13 spent Valentine's Day
delivering a "not so sweet" message to Verizon and Verizon Wireless.
In District 2-13, CWAers leafleted more than 50 Verizon Wireless
retail stores with the message: "We've given you so much, but now you're
breaking our hearts. If you want to 'be ours,' focus more on good jobs
and less on corporate greed."
Some 200 members of CWA Local 1108 passed out Sweet Tarts and flowers
to shoppers in Lake Grove, N.Y., where CWAers also delivered their
Valentine to the Verizon Wireless store. "We had strong support from our
community," said Michael Gendron, local executive vice president.
"Joining us were activists from Jobs with Justice, as well as students
and teachers' union members from Stony Brook University.
Check out Local 1108's Valentine's Day video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1LSRUuaAbk&feature=email
And on Feb. 16, CWAers will be carrying a "So Much for Retirement"
message that takes on Verizon for attacking workers' retirement
security. The leaflet says: "We work hard to be able to retire with
dignity. For Verizon to take that away is wrong, plain and simple."
And check out this
new video about Verizon's demands for health care and pension cuts for
current and retired workers.
This ad produced by CWA was named best newspaper ad of 2011 at this
year's Reed Awards.
The Reed Awards recognize outstanding achievement in newspaper,
radio, political advertising and other communications.
The ad features Local 1102 member Joe Hanley, and was designed to
remind Verizon that our members stepped up in the aftermath of 9-11, and
everyday after that, to keep people connected.
Make sure to join the next CWA telephone town hall, set for Thursday,
Feb. 23 at 7:30 pm EST.
Click here to register.