Communications Workers of America | E-Activist Newsletter

Piedmont Agents Ratify First Contract

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Piedmont passenger service and fleet workers in Philadelphia demonstrate for a fair contract.




Fleet and passenger service agents at Piedmont Airlines, who voted to join CWA in November 2010, overwhelmingly ratified their first contract by a 94 percent vote.

The four and one half year (54 month) contract covers 3,700 agents at 79 stations and provides raises and bonuses of up to 38 percent over contract term.

Long and tough negotiations, with the involvement of the National Mediation Board, finally produced this first agreement that includes real improvements in pay, job security and health care benefits, as well an effective grievance and arbitration process.

Among the provisions:


  • A lump sum signing bonus of 6-8 percent of salary in 2012.
  • A new pay system with guaranteed 4 percent raises and additional increases.
  • 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.

"Piedmont workers stood together and mobilized for more than a year to win economic justice, and they did. This agreement provides real improvements in pay and working conditions that will benefit agents and their families. They were determined to prevail, and they did," said Jimmy Tarlau, assistant to CWA's District 2-13 vice president.

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Bronx Cablevision Workers Face Brutal Campaign

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Members of CWA Local 1109, Cablevision technicians in Brooklyn, send a message of support to other Cablevision workers.




Cablevision workers in the Bronx, N.Y., faced tremendous pressure and a brutal management campaign in their effort to get CWA representation.

Despite strong support from members and leaders of Local 1101, who worked with the technicians; Local 1109's stewards, leaders and members, including the Brooklyn Cablevision techs; and many elected officials, union supporters in the Bronx unit weren't able to overcome the attacks that seemed to come from all sides.

Management was determined that technicians in the Bronx wouldn't take the same route as Cablevision technicians in Brooklyn, who won their CWA voice in January in a stunning election victory. So this time, management pulled out all the stops. It hired a union-busting law firm that helped create a "vote-no" committee that waged an ugly anti- campaign against union supporters.

Cablevision CEO James Dolan came to the Bronx location twice. On his first visit, he announced huge pay increases of up to $9 an hour, raises that won't apply to Cablevision workers at the Brooklyn location, of course. The CEO's second visit wasn't so pleasant. Then, he threatened technicians that if they voted for CWA, they wouldn't get any of the new technology work that the company is rolling out.

CWA Brooklyn Cablevision techs have sent messages of support to their brothers and sisters in the Bronx. Listen to this great song the Brooklyn techs wrote.

CWA has filed unfair labor practice charges based on the company's illegal actions.

CWA Activists Challenge Secret TPP Trade Deal

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CWA activists from Local 9509 protest secret TPP trade deal in San Diego.




CWA activists were part of a big crowd that stood up to Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiators this week, demanding more transparency and openness in what could be the biggest free trade agreement in the world.

Rallying in San Diego, site of the 13th round of negotiations, CWAers joined nearly 200 others activists from the AFL-CIO and other unions, Citizens Trade Campaign, Sierra Club and other organizations. CWA is working with allies to highlight the dangers of TPP — what some have dubbed "NAFTA on steroids" — including the possible end to "Buy American" policies, offshoring of millions of good-paying jobs and rolling back of important Wall Street regulations. In addition, the deal would jeopardize the sovereignty of the 11 nations by giving more power to large corporations like Walmart, Monsanto, Goldman Sachs and Halliburton.

"This not only contributes to the nation's severe unemployment problems, but it pushes down wages and benefits for the jobs we have left," said Lorena Gonzalez, chief executive officer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, at the rally outside the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. "That means a smaller tax base to support our schools, our infrastructure, and other critical services."

"Let us say, 'open these negotiations to the people,'" Rep. Bob Filner, a San Diego Democrat, told the crowd. "Let's stop this so-called free trade."

The talks include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam; Mexico, Canada and Japan have expressed interest in joining.

But, despite growing support for public access to the documents and discussions, the United States Trade Representative continues to deny key stakeholders a seat at the table.

On Saturday, the coalition plans to make some noise throughout downtown San Diego in the Occupy-led "Pots & Pans" protest.


Ver.di Activist Joins T-Mobile Protests

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Ver.di activist and Works Councilor Uli Meyer-Berhorn joined CWAers from Local 7800 and other union activists outside a T-Mobile USA store in Tacoma, Wash.




Ver.di activist and Works Councilor Uli Meyer-Berhorn joined local union activists Monday in protesting the actions of T-Mobile USA in Tacoma, Wash.

Meyer-Berhorn, giving up some of his vacation time, and activists from CWA Local 7800, the Tacoma Central Labor Council and Jobs with Justice, leafleted a local T-Mobile store, spotlighting the company's decision to close seven U.S. call centers. Meyer-Berhorn's visit is a part of the campaign by ver.di, CWA and T-Mobile USA workers to win bargaining rights for U.S. workers. It's also part of a national campaign during the first two weeks of July in which local union activists deliver messages to legislators and corporations to demand an end to the massive outsourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs. By shutting down seven of its 24 call centers, T-Mobile USA affected the jobs of 3,300 workers.

Also beginning this week, Lothar Schröder, a leader of ver.di, is meeting with T-Mobile USA workers in Nashville, Tenn., and Wichita, Kan., before joining the CWA bargaining team in Hartford, Conn., where negotiations are continuing for a first contract for technicians.

Schröder is Vice Chair and a member of the Supervisory Board and Vice Chair of Deutsche Telekom. He also heads ver.di's Department of Telecommunications and serves on the ver.di National Executive Board. ver.di is the German union representing Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile workers.

Ado Wilhelm, who heads ver.di's mobile communications division, joined the bargaining team in June and will return in August, making three consecutive months that ver.di will have been a key part of the bargaining.

Supporters and activists also are signing a global petition that calls on Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA to stop its anti-union behavior and respect workers' rights to bargain collectively. You can sign the petition here.

New Contracts at Ryan Airlines, US Airways Express

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AFA-CWA reached a tentative first contract covering nearly 200 Flight Attendants at Ryan International Airlines, while Flight Attendants at Air Wisconsin, a US Airways Express carrier, ratified a new four-year agreement.

The proposed Ryan Airlines settlement provides for scheduled pay increases and improvements to job security, vacation and sick leave, among other gains. Complete terms of the agreement are being sent to members for ratification.

"While this agreement was reached in confines of bankruptcy, Ryan International Flight Attendants had the opportunity to decide what was important to them instead of allowing management to simply impose terms and conditions," said Mary Lou Riley, Ryan International Master Executive Council President.

The National Mediation Board provided assistance in reaching this agreement. The airline provides private charter service as well as passenger service for the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense.

Flight Attendants ratified a new contract at Air Wisconsin, the biggest privately held regional carrier in the U.S., and a US Airways Express carrier.

That contract, negotiated with the help of the NMB, covers more than 300 Flight Attendants. It provides for increases in compensation, scheduling improvements and other gains.

"Through the solidarity and determination of Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants, we were able to achieve an agreement that recognizes the contributions we make to the overall success of our carrier and provides growth opportunities for our future." said Brenda Barrall, AFA Air Wisconsin President.

Air Wisconsin operates nearly 500 daily regional flights, serving 70 cities in the U.S. and Canada.

Joe Beirne Scholarship Winners Named

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Winners of CWA's Joe Beirne Foundation Scholarships have been announced.

Fifteen partial college scholarships of $3,000 each were offered for the 2012-2013 academic year. Winners were selected in a lottery drawing and also will receive second-year scholarships for the same amount if they meet satisfactory academic standards. Part-time students taking fewer than 12 credits will receive half the scholarship amount.

CWA members and their spouses, children and grandchildren, including those of retired or deceased members, are eligible for the scholarship. CWA established the Joe Beirne Foundation in October 1974 to honor CWA's founding president and his commitment to education.

First year winners are:

Kelli Williams, daughter of Claudia Williams, Local 1084
Darius Gonzalez, son of Emilio Gonzalez, Local 1107
Elizabeth Palena, daughter of Ilene Palena, Local 1039
May Chang, daughter of Helen Nan, Local 1032
Anna Fazzini, daughter of Lisa Fazzini, Local 13000
John Hughes, son of John Hughes, Local 2336
Chelsey Robinson, daughter of Becky Robinson, Local 3310
Nicholas Bernier, son of Raymond Bernier, Local 3250
Dylan Moore, son of Jerald Moore, Local 4671
Parker Van Riper, daughter of DeAnne Van Riper, Local 24008
Ethan Pollock, son of Earl Pollock, Local 6016
Michelle Garcia, daughter of Norma Garcia, Local 6143
Kayla Ellis, daughter of Lori Ellis, Local 7901
Angela Brouqua, daughter of Richard Brouqua, Local 9421
Charles Grigsby, grandson of Lynn Ludlow, Local 39521

Second-year scholarship winners are:

Kevin Poretti, son of Victor Poretti, Local 1036
Alisha Harron, daughter of William Harron, Local 1031
Patricia Apple, daughter of Dwayne Apple, Local 1170
Keith Dolan, son of George Dolan, Local 1120
Christopher Lightly, Jr., son of Tiffany Gladden, Local 2108
Javier Jesus Castro, son of Roberto Castro, Local 3121
Tegan George, daughter of Nicholas George, Local 3611
Leah Espinoza, daughter of Michelle Espinoza, Local 4108
Brendan O'Malley, son of Michael O'Malley, Local 34001
Heather Karlin, daughter of Gary Karlin, Local 6407
Colleen Bonner, member, Local 6186
Travis Beck, son of Randy Beck, Local 87140
Monica Alvarado, daughter of Jose Alvarado, Local 9509
Isabella Ross, daughter of Andrew Ross, Local 39521
Jessica James, daughter of John James, Local 13301

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