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MOST UNION MEMBERS HAVE TIES TO GOVERNMENT

BY TOM RAUM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unions representing government workers are expanding while organized labor has been shedding private sector members over the past half-century.

A majority of union members today now have ties to a government entity, at the federal, state or local levels.

Roughly 1-in-3 public sector workers is a union member, compared with about 1-in-15 for the private sector workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall, 11.3 percent of wage and salary workers in the United States are unionized, down from a peak of 35 percent during the mid-1950s in the strong post-World War II recovery.

The typical union worker now is more likely to be an educator, office worker or food or service industry employee rather than a construction worker, autoworker, electrician or mechanic. Far more women than men are among the union-label ranks.

In a blow to public sector unions, the Supreme Court ruled this week that thousands of health care workers in Illinois who are paid by the state cannot be required to pay fees that help cover a union’s cost of collective bargaining.

The justices said the practice violates the First Amendment rights of nonmembers who disagree with stances taken by unions.

The ruling was narrowly drawn, but it could reverberate through the universe of unions that represent government workers. The case involved home-care workers for disabled people who are paid with Medicaid funds administered by the state.

Also in June, a California judge declared unconstitutional the state’s teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff laws. The judge ordered a stay of the decision, pending an appeal by the state and teachers union.

“The basic structure of the labor union movement has changed, reflecting changes in the economy,” said Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University. “Manufacturing is a diminishing segment of the economy. Also, a lot of the manufacturing that’s being done today is being done nonunion.”

Union members continue to be a powerful political force in politics, and Baker said he didn’t see the role of unions diminishing. “I just think the colors of the collars are changing,” Baker said.

In 2013, 14.5 million workers belonged to a union, about the same as the year before. In 1983, the first year for which comparable figures are available, there were 17.7 million union workers.

The largest union is the National Education Association, with 3.2 million members. It represents public school teachers, administrators and students preparing to become teachers.

Next is the 2.1-million Service Employees International Union. About half its members work in the public sector.

The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees has 1.6 million, followed by the American Federation of Teachers with 1.5 million and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters with 1.4 million.

There are 1.3 million members in the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

Until four years ago, the unionization rate was far higher in the private sector than in the public sector. Now the roles are reversed.

But it’s been a bumpy road for public unions in some Republican-governed states.

In 2011, Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., took on public sector unions forcefully soon after he was swept into office. He got enacted a bill effectively ending collective bargaining for most public workers in the state. He withstood huge labor demonstrations at the state Capitol and then became the first governor in U.S. history to defeat a recall attempt. The law has been challenged in court, and continues to be. But its main thrust so far has been upheld.

A sign of the decline of traditional labor unions came in May when the United Automobile Workers raised its membership dues for the first time in 27 years to help offset declining membership. Also, the defeat in February of the UAW’s effort to unionize workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant was a setback to labor.

A 2013 Gallup poll showed that 54 percent of Americans said they approved of labor unions, down from the all-time high of 75 percent in both 1953 and 1957.

“Labor unions play a diminishing role in the private sector, but they still claim a large share of the public sector workforce,” says Chris Edwards, director of tax studies at the libertarian, free-market Cato Institute.

“Public sector unions are important to examine because they have a major influence on government policies through their vigorous lobbying efforts. … They are particularly influential in states that allow monopoly unionization through collective bargaining.”

Since 2000, factories have shed more than 5 million jobs. Five states – Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina Georgia and Texas – ban collective bargaining in the public sector.

Verizon Declares Surplus (Process Change)

Verizon has declared a surplus in FAAs 1-6.  This surplus  has been determined by the Company to be due to a process change, not an external event. The provisions of FAP Articles 8(b) and 10 will not apply. CWA Local 1101 titles affected by the surplus appear in column marked FAA 1.

There are a total of 33 declared surplus in FAA [...]

AT&T's Plan For the Future: No Landlines, Less Regulation

By Ryan Knutson

Residents and business owners in Carbon Hill, Ala., got a surprise in letters from AT&T Inc. in February. The company said the town, where signs welcome visitors to “the city with a future,” could usher in one of the biggest technological changes since Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone.

If regulators approve, AT&T customers would [...]

Local 1101 Steward and Membership Meetings

Stewards Meeting
03/20/2014 @ 6:00 pm
Location : High School of Fashion Industries
225 West 24th Street, bet. 7th and 8th Ave.

Membership Meeting
03/27/2014 @ 6:00 pm
Location : High School of Fashion Industries
225 West 24th Street, bet. 7th and 8th Ave.

Verizon Corporate Profit Sharing Award

Verizon announced today that the Corporate Profit Sharing award for full time employees is $825.00. The award will be pro-rated for part-time employees and those employees who participated for more than 3 months but less than 12 months in the plan year. The award will be paid on March 14, 2014.

Payment Dates for Unused Incidental Absence Days and CPS Award

The lump sum payment for members who used less than 5 incidental absence days in 2013 will be in the March 7, 2014 check. See chart below.

Number of Paid or Unpaid Incidental Absence Days Used in the Calendar Year
Lump Sum Payment

4 Days
1 Day’s Pay

At least 3 days but less than 4 days
2 Day’s Pay

At least [...]

Verizon Declares Another Surplus Effective 3-4-2014

Verizon has declared a surplus in Force Adjustment Areas (FAAs) 1 through 6. The force adjustment area that applys to CWA 1101 is FAA 1. Offers for enhanced EIPP (Enhanced Income Protection Plan) effected employees will be made by March 4, 2014. Employees who receive an EIPP offer and wish to take it must transmit [...]

NJ Homeowners Protest Sheriff's Sale Of CWA Member's Home

New Jersey homeowners marched on a Wells Fargo branch in Irvington on Wednesday, delivering a 2,000-signature petition demanding that the bank stop the sheriff’s sale of a CWA member’s New Jersey home.

Activists protest a Wells Fargo branch in Irvington, NJ

In 2010, Paulette McQueen, a CWA Local 1037 home child care provider and shop steward, [...]

Verizon: 321,545 requests for customer info

Friday, January 24, 2014, Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer

The nation’s largest wireless phone company, which also has millions of FiOS Internet and land-line phone customers, had 321,545 requests for customer information from federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies in 2013, Verizon Communications Inc. said this week in its first “transparency report.”

Verizon did not say [...]

How Verizon Might Utilize Intel's On Cue

Jim Probasco, Benzinga Staff Writer

Verizon (NYSE: VZ [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]) hopes to pull off what Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) could not – streaming live and delayed television, along with DVR, all in one service.

Verizon bought out Intel’s internal Media team and its On Cue pay-tv service, which it said it initially planned to [...]