Category Archives: The CWA News (National)

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Fifty years ago, more than 200,000 people gathered in the nation’s capital to demand civil liberty and economic opportunity for all. The march was the largest demonstration for jobs and freedom in the country’s history, and it was there that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech.
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This Saturday, civil rights, labor and social justice organizations will be rallying once again on the National Mall to honor the historic demonstration. We will be gathering together not as a commemoration, but as a continuation and a call to action. Despite the progress America has made, we still have a long way to go to fulfill the goals of the original march.

Here’s the lineup of events:

8 AM – 12:30 PM: Rally Program at the Lincoln Memorial

12:30 PM – 1 PM: March to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

1 PM – 4 PM: Rally Program Continues

Join us and be sure to wear CWA red!

Read more here.

FCC votes to update E-rate program

Washington, D.C. – CWA issued this statement on today’s Federal Communications Commission vote to update the E-rate program:

CWA supports the FCC’s action today to modernize the E-rate program to help provide faster Internet and telecommunications services to our nation’s schools and libraries. We are particularly encouraged by the FCC’s goal of ensuring higher capacity networks for schools and libraries and we support President Obama’s call to connect 99 percent of the nation’s public school students to high speed broadband internet service within five years.

The E-rate program has been a big success and more remains to be accomplished. Since its creation 17 years ago, E-Rate has provided more than $30 billion to connect the overwhelming majority of schools to the Internet. When the E-rate program first was established, just 14 percent of classrooms were connected. Today over 92 percent of all classrooms are connected. The program is funded through the Universal Service Fund.

Our schools and libraries need much higher capacity networks to enable students to take advantage of the great potential of digital learning and new technological advances. Our goal should be at least 1 gibabit per second capacity to every school in our nation.

Today’s FCC action is a good step forward.

CWA Urges The Senate To Confirm All 5 NLRB Nominees

May 23, 2013

A Senate committee cleared all five nominees to the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday, sending them to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

“Workers can’t afford to wait any longer,” said CWA President Larry Cohen. “For 80 million Americans in the private sector, it’s all they have. The NLRB is the only agency that safeguards employees’ right to organize and negotiate, and it’s the only agency that can stop and remedy injustices in the workplace. Partisan warfare has obscured what’s really at stake here.”

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously approved Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson, the two Republicans. Current board Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce received approval from six of the 10 Republican senators. Meanwhile, only Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski joined Democrats to approve the current Democratic members Richard Griffin and Sharon Block.

Sen. Tom Harkin called the vote “a step in the right direction.”

“While it is disappointing that some of my Republican colleagues refused to support the entire package of nominees in today’s Committee vote, I hope that as we move to the floor we can put politics aside and do our duty to consider all of these nominees fairly on their own merits,” he said in a statement. “This is an exceptionally well-qualified package of nominees, and they all deserve to be swiftly confirmed.”

Yesterday, during a debate on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rebuffed Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s warning that he better not to change the Senate rules on nominations.

“Senator McConnell defended the status quo of gridlock and obstruction in Washington, saying ‘there is no real problem here.’ I could not disagree more. Senator McConnell may choose to ignore it, but the problem of gridlock in Washington is real and it needs to be fixed,” Reid said. “Despite the agreement we reached in January, Republican obstruction on nominees continues unabated. I want to make the Senate work again.”

Source: CWA News

May Day Rally for Workers’ Rights, Immigration Reform

May Day NYC - click image to see more pictures.

Across the country, union members joined with people of faith, immigrant families and community activists on May Day to stand up for commonsense immigration reform. In NYC the celebration started in Union Square and ended with a march down Broadway to City Hall. May 1 is the day that working people around the world celebrate and demonstrate for workers’ rights. It’s a recognized holiday in more than 80 countries.

In 1867, American workers launched the first mass labor protest on May 1st to celebrate Illinois’s new eight-hour work day law. Today, nearly 150 years later, we carry on that May Day celebration of the rights of the working class by mobilizing for comprehensive immigration reform.

A pathway to citizenship for the country’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants is good news for ALL workers. How?

  • Reform would improve the wages of both immigrant and native workers. The real wages of less-skilled newly legalized workers would increase by roughly $4,405 each year, while higher-skilled workers would get a boost of $6,185. The same study found native workers’ wages would “increase modestly.”
  • Higher incomes would bolster consumer spending—enough to support 750,000 to 900,000 jobs in the United States.
  • Increasing the number of legal immigrants would reduce the deficit. It’s a way to trim our national debt without raising taxes or cutting essential programs.
  • The Gang of Eight proposal, which includes a 13-year path to citizenship, would inject $832 billion into the economy over the next decade. A strong economy means a strong workforce.

Source: CWA News

Thousands Rally At The Capital For Immigration Reform

Apr 11, 2013

CWA brought 177 activists to the April 10 Rally for Citizenship.

CWA rallied with 100,000 immigrants, union members, civil rights activists, faith leaders and community advocates at the Capitol on Wednesday to tell Congress that our country needs a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Under the hot sun, the crowd chanted “Si, se puede!” and “Time is now!” They held up signs supporting reform that keeps families together. Supporters waved American flags, along with flags from Mexico, Brazil and El Salvador.

That afternoon, 177 CWA activists marched from CWA headquarters to the Mall. Naomi Bolden, Roanoke area vice president of CWA Local 2204, organized and led members from her own Local, plus CWA Locals 2201, 2222, 2205, 2106 and 2108, to Washington to support their brothers and sisters.

CWA President Larry Cohen took the stage with other labor leaders to advocate comprehensive immigration reform.

“We’ve been through this before, but this time it’s different,” Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA de Maryland, speaking on the west lawn of the Capitol. “We are different, and Washington is different. The politicians can’t ignore us now. We will become citizens, and we will vote.”

A bipartisan group of senators is currently finalizing a bill, and the legislation is expected to move to the Senate floor for a vote before Memorial Day.

CWA was proud to stand with our partners CCC, CASA de Maryland, SEIU, CARECEN, NEA, NAACP, Greenpeace, UAW and many others in supporting the rally. Once undocumented workers are covered under labor laws, together we can build a united movement of working people to raise the living standards and fight those who want to drive wages down for all working people in America.

Source: CWA News

CWAERS Take Action on Call Center Jobs

“There are more than 5 million customer service workers in the United States, employing more than 4 percent of the American workforce,” said Chief of Staff Ron Collins. “The more CWA can grow and organize this key sector, the better we can reduce workplace stress, negotiate better working conditions for our members and, most importantly, challenge offshoring. Too many companies have shipped jobs overseas to low-wage countries, devastating the domestic call center industry. But bringing these good jobs back home will help jumpstart our economy — building stronger communities, quality jobs and enhanced security for consumers’ personal information. That’s why we’re telling Congress to pass the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act.”

CWA News – Read the full story.

CWA Social Media Policy Guidelines – Members

CWA strongly supports the use of social media sites to discuss and advocate for the important issues facing members and working families today.

While these sites offer many advantages, they also can cause serious legal problems if they are not properly used and can lead to complicated legal proceedings as well as potential disciplinary action against employee users. We have developed these guidelines for CWA members to consult when using social media to help avoid legal or other problems.

Employers frequently monitor social media sites and use information they find there against the employees who have posted it. This can lead to disciplinary action or discharge. You have a legal right to express your opinion about various activities that affect your workplace, including the rights protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, to engage in concerted activity with fellow workers regarding your wages and working conditions, but you must do so in a manner that does not cause harm to others or give your employer a basis to claim that you have been “disloyal.” Once you have posted or submitted information on a social network site, it is virtually impossible to retract or control it. Never assume that your site is private or that what has been posted will not be disclosed to the company or other employees, including supervisors.

Many individual Facebook pages or personal social media sites contain information identifying you as employed by a particular organization or as a member of a CWA Local. When you are expressing your personal opinions, you should make it clear that these opinions are yours alone and are not intended to be understood as anything else. You should consider including a “disclaimer” on your personal page or site along the following lines:

PLEASE NOTE: the opinions expressed on this site/page are entirely my own. They should not be seen as reflecting the views of my employer or the opinions of my Local or as having been authorized or approved by anyone other than me.

1. Do not use language that is libelous, discriminatory, threatening or harassing. If you would not make the statement in person to someone you respect, modify it accordingly.

2. Do not use social media to invade anyone’s privacy. Do not post individual pictures of anyone unless you know they have consented to your doing so. Do not disclose addresses or other personal or private information about other people.

3. Do not use language that is racially, ethnically or sexually objectionable. Again, if you would not make such a statement in person to someone you know and respect, avoid doing so electronically.

4. Do not post materials that are trademarked or have copyright protection. When in doubt, use a link that will allow your audience to access the materials directly from the ownership source.

5. Do not flood electronic sites with repetitive postings that could cause disruption of an employer’s business operations.

6. Avoid engaging in specific attacks that identify individuals or organizations by name. Do not disparage your employer’s products or services. You have the right to complain collectively about your working conditions or benefits and to advocate for changes but posting statements attacking the company’s business methods or products can lead to “disloyalty” claims and potential discipline.

7. Do not make statements that are not truthful. You are entitled to express your opinion about many topics, but if you are making a “factual” statement, you need to be able to prove that it is true. (For example, you can express your opinion that the company CEO makes too much money; you cannot say that the CEO has “stolen” from the company).

8. Avoid using social media on work time and during work hours unless you are doing so as part of a specific job assignment. Avoid using the computer or Internet access provided by your employer to post messages or communicate about matters that are not work-related. Employers can and often do monitor employee communications on company-owned or issued equipment.

9. Do not transmit spam, advertisements or solicitations for matters that are not work-related. If you are transmitting e-mails to solicit for a service or product, you must say so and you must provide a means for the recipients to opt out of receiving future e-mails on that subject. If you are sending an e-mail “blast” (e.g., to hundreds or more individuals), you should obtain legal clearance before doing so.

10. Never transmit information using someone else’s name or identity. Under no circumstances should you access a computer system without authorization by signing on to that system using someone else’s password.

CWA Local 2222 – September 17, 2012 – CWA Social Media Guidelines

Know Your Rights In The Digital World: Electronic Frontier Foundation

We’re All in This Together

We Are One! CWA Local 1101 On Strike August 2012.

For more than a year, our voices and our actions have kept the pressure on Verizon executives, letting them know that we will not accept:

  • the end of job security,
  • higher costs for poorer quality healthcare benefits,
  • cuts in pensions for veteran workers and no pensions at all for new hires, or
  • outsourcing of the middle-class jobs that support American families.

Our CWA and IBEW negotiators from Districts 1 and 2-13 are at the table right now with company representatives and federal mediators. Although they are prevented from sharing any details about the mediation, we know that they are fighting for fairness and for all of our futures.

The only reason the company’s bargaining team is still at the table is because, since mediation began in late July, we have mobilized like never before. When negotiations began in Washington, DC, on July 27, Verizon said, “We’ll give it a week.” Then, with tremendous support from our allies, we mobilized!

We rallied and practiced picketing at our worksites.
We led delegations to Darden Restaurants.
We leafleted Verizon Wireless stores.
We rallied support from hundreds of politicians and religious leaders.

And we kept Verizon at the table.

Now is not the time to rest. To bring the negotiations to a close and make sure there’s a fair contract and a good future for all of us, we have to TURN UP THE HEAT!

Let’s all stand strong and keep standing up to Verizon. Show the company that we support our bargaining team and each other.

Source: CWA

CWA: FCC Decision On Big Cable Deal Will Kill Jobs, Harm Consumers

Aug 23, 2012

Washington, DC — The following is CWA’s statement on the FCC, by a unanimous vote, approving the Big Cable deal:

The FCC’s decision allowing Big Cable to virtually monopolize wireline and video connections to millions of homes will lead to job loss and hit consumers with higher prices. It will slam the door on our country’s high speed future because it has destroyed any incentive for Verizon to continue the build out of its high speed FiOS network.

It is clearly an example of the FCC, just as the Department of Justice did last week, acting on behalf of corporate interests, not the public interest and clearly not jobs.

Both the DOJ and the FCC now have shown that they are content with an anti-competitive deal that will result in job cuts, higher prices, and fewer choices for consumers. Regulators have demonstrated a striking disconnect between their support for this deal and the Obama administration’s goals of affordable high speed Internet access for all and particularly, the creation of good jobs that are necessary to push our sluggish economy forward. The U.S. is near the bottom among global democracies in both price and access to high speed Internet.

The weak conditions on cross-marketing that both the FCC and the DOJ have put in place will result in fewer choices for consumers who already have limited options. Nor have regulators outlined how these limitations can be enforced.

For communities like Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, cities across upstate New York and most of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Virginia, there will be extremely limited, if any, options for high-speed broadband service. That is unacceptable.

Some elected officials got it right. More than 49 members of Congress, elected officials from every level across New York State, mayors from Boston and nine upstate New York communities, and many more weighed in on the harm that workers, consumers and communities will suffer. Sadly, federal regulators weren’t listening to their voices.

Source CWA News

DOJ Decision on Verizon-Big Cable Deal Destroys Competition, Jobs

Rally at Pearl Street 8-18-2011. Click on image to view gallery.

This is the statement CWA issued today on the U.S. Justice Department’s decision approving the Verizon DOJ Decision on Verizon-Big Cable Deal Destroys Competition, JobsWireless-Big Cable deal:

The U.S. Justice Department’s decision today to approve the Verizon Wireless-Big Cable deal is exactly the wrong one for workers, consumers and communities. The result is a massive Verizon Wireless/cable/content monopoly, job cuts, higher prices, and fewer choices.

The weak conditions on cross-marketing that DOJ has set in place will do little to continue competition. Instead, this deal will result in Verizon abandoning further investment in FiOS, its high speed network. For communities like Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, cities across upstate New York and most of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Virginia, there will be no high-speed Internet competition — none.

The cable monopoly with high-speed linked to content bundles that drive average prices higher is not the answer. No other 21st Century nation has chosen this path. Finally, how will the DOJ or FCC police marketing restrictions within a market area?

Not only have regulators lost their focus on competition, but they again show that jobs get no consideration in telecommunications policy. Without incentives or direction for Verizon to continue to build out FiOS, thousands of good paying jobs will be lost.

There is strong opposition to this deal. More than 49 members of Congress, mayors from Boston and nine upstate New York communities, and dozens of local elected officials and consumer advocates have weighed in on the harm that consumers and communities will suffer from the anti-competitive provisions of this deal. More than 100,000 consumers are on record opposing this transaction.

Separately, the Congressional Black Caucus wrote to DOJ Attorney General Eric Holder and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski expressing concerns members of Congress and calling for strong conditions on the deal.

“It seems clear to me that the joint marketing agreements that are a central feature of this transaction create substantial disincentives for Verizon to expand its FiOS deployment,” wrote Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (Mo.) and chair of the CBC.

“Too many lower-income and minority communities do not have affordable access to high-speed Internet, which puts them at a disadvantage in access to jobs, economic activity, education, health care and public safety. Closing the digital divide must be a top priority in your review of this transaction,” he said.

Source CWA News

Justice Department approves Verizon cable company deal on spectrum

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79794.html#ixzz23lYT9cKR