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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters. We are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred on or after January 20, 2020.

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CWA Members Vote Strike Authorization at Frontier Communications

Monday - July 31, 2023
CWA Press Release

Charleston, W.Va. – Members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at Frontier Communications in West Virginia and Ashburn, Va., have overwhelmingly voted to give union leaders authority to call a strike if negotiations between CWA and the telecom company fail to reach a fair settlement.

Frontier members in West Virginia and Ashburn, Va., went on strike for three weeks in 2018 in order to reach an agreement that ensured that they would be able to provide quality service and keep good jobs in their communities. The current contract covers approximately 1,400 CWA-represented employees and is set to expire on August 5, 2023.

Jeff Anderson, the Area Vice President for CWA Local 2009 and current Engineering Assistant for Frontier Communications, said major bargaining issues include job security provisions that keep jobs local and limit the use of subcontractors in expanding broadband in West Virginia. “Through a bankruptcy and the pandemic, we have shown up, worked hard, and delivered quality service for our community,” said Anderson, who has worked for the company for 18 years. “Now it’s time for a contract that gives dedicated, local technicians the opportunity to build the broadband networks that will strengthen our local economy.”

The strike authorization vote comes at a critical time for the company, which emerged from bankruptcy in April 2021. West Virginia is slated to receive $1.2 billion from the bipartisan federal infrastructure bill to invest in expanding broadband internet access to locations across the state.

An estimated 29 percent of West Virginia households and businesses lack high-speed internet, and fewer than 20 percent of locations are served by reliable, future-proof fiber connections.

“The public investment in broadband is an investment in opportunity for West Virginians, and we’re eager to help build it,” said Rick McKinney, President of CWA Local 2007 and current Cable Splicing Technician for Frontier Communications. “Public dollars should be used to build high-quality networks, and that means using an experienced union workforce, not temporary workers or subcontractors who often do not have adequate training and can put the public in harm’s way.”

“The quality of our service matters now, more than ever. Every day, I speak to customers who rely on our services to connect to a telehealth appointment or to their job,” said Tiffany Parsons, who works in Connection Support & Account Services at Frontier Communications. “We want to have the resources necessary to do a good job for our customers and we want to be treated with respect.”


About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields. @cwaunion

Bargaining Update

Monday - July 31, 2023
Bargaining Update

Northstar Aerospace

Today, workers at Northstar Aerospace, members of IUE-CWA Local 14430, ratified a new collective bargaining agreement after striking for almost two months. The new four-year contract includes an 18 percent wage increase over the life of the agreement, no change in medical cost premium shares, and improvements to safety and benefits, including vacation and short-term disability. In addition, the workers successfully fought back against the company’s attempt to adversely change the attendance policy. The workers demonstrated their dedication to achieving equitable treatment and compensation by engaging in an incredible mobilization effort throughout the negotiations and the strike by holding regular pickets, mass rallies, and demonstrations and garnering support from other union members and community allies. The workers, who are part of a vital component of Apache and Chinook helicopter parts production, went on strike in response to the company’s deceptive bargaining tactics, which led to the union filing an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).


American Airlines

In a recent discussion between passenger service agents’ bargaining teams and American Airlines CEO Robert Isom, he committed to reaching an agreement with our union that is competitive in the industry and not concessionary. Members of the CWA-IBT Association across the country are mobilizing to hold the company to that commitment.

During the latest bargaining session, the bargaining committee and the company exchanged proposals and made progress on several articles. However, the bargaining committee is still waiting for the company’s response on a proposal from October that covers job security and is absolutely necessary to reach an agreement before moving on to the next phase of bargaining.

Apart from contract bargaining, the passenger service agents are fighting for additional improvements, including changes in the uniform policy to allow for tattoos and piercings, as well as improvements to the attendance policy. Additional updates can be found at


International Documentary Association

Last Friday, members of Documentary Workers United (CWA Local 9003) at the International Documentary Association, a nonprofit that provides grants to nonfiction filmmakers and advocates for the documentary community, unanimously voted to ratify their first union contract. The contract includes an average 20-30 percent wage increase, with a baseline minimum of $30/hr, a guaranteed annual rate increase, differential pay for additional labor, and a comprehensive reproductive health policy. The workers credited their victory to the continued commitment of the members who defied the odds and, despite multiple challenges, stayed united.

The structural and legal protections included in the new union contract will allow the members to continue to do the work they love without fear of retaliation or exploitation and ensure they have a seat at the decision-making table. In a statement announcing the ratification, the members expressed their solidarity with the striking SAG-AFTRA and WGA members in their fight for a fair contract. “We implore film institutions across the board to take note. Now is the time to make our field a place that champions its laborers. The world is watching. Our collective fight is only beginning.” Read more here.

NTIA Highlights CWA-Verizon Partnership to Develop Skilled and Well-Trained Telecommunications Professionals

Monday - July 31, 2023

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a case study last week showcasing the high-quality training programs that Verizon has developed with input from CWA members. The NTIA highlighted the role of the collective bargaining agreement between CWA and Verizon as part of a series of articles discussing different models for workforce development as states and other eligible entities develop their plans to successfully use the billions of dollars in funding for broadband infrastructure deployment available through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. As part of our larger effort to build broadband better, CWA supports expanded training programs to ensure that there is a skilled, union-represented workforce ready to modernize our telecommunications infrastructure and connect the unserved and underserved to reliable, high-speed internet.

Organizing Update

Monday - July 31, 2023
Grindr United


Last Thursday, workers at Grindr, the company behind the largest LGBTQIA+ dating app, proudly announced the formation of Grindr United-CWA after a supermajority of the eligible members signed union representation cards. Grinder United-CWA members work across various departments, including cloud engineering, customer experience, design, engineering, IT, marketing, privacy, product, and quality assurance.

The workers seek to preserve the current benefits they receive and gain additional benefits commonly found at similar companies. In the midst of a volatile job market, workers hope to ensure layoff protections and clear severance protocols. Additionally, workers wish to establish a clear path to professional progression for all employees, documented performance improvement plans when necessary, and transparency in pay to address wage disparities affecting marginalized communities. By joining together in a union, workers are committed to ensuring that Grindr remains a safe, inclusive, and thriving place for its users and workers alike. They are asking Grindr users to show their support by telling Grindr CEO George Arison to respect his employees’ right to form a union!

Worker Power Update

Monday - July 31, 2023
Thirst Strike

CWA Members Join Thirst Strike Led by Rep. Greg Casar to Take a Stand for Workers’ Rights to Water Breaks

Thirst Strike

On Tuesday, CWA members from Texas joined Congressman Greg Casar (D-Texas) and renowned labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., to hold a rally announcing a thirst strike to highlight the lack of protections for workers during extreme heat waves. The action was organized in response to a law signed by Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) last month that will remove mandated breaks for workers to drink water and rest in the shade. CWA Local 6143 President Geronimo Guerra and Local 6143 members Charles Fuentes and Katie Garcia, as well as AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson, joined lawmakers and community leaders at the event. The participants called on President Biden and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to swiftly implement a nationwide workplace heat standard to ensure workers across the country have better protections against excessive heat and other adverse climate-change impacts.


CWAers Speak to the Need to Regulate AI in the Workplace as Senate Introduces No Robot Bosses Act

Last week, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced the No Robot Bosses Act. The bill would protect workers from employers using artificial intelligence or automated decision systems to make employment decisions related to hiring, firing, or disciplining workers.

While workers across the economy have been impacted by unjust or even discriminatory employment decisions by AI algorithms, CWA members have spoken out, protected by their union contracts. In May, CWA Local 3519 Vice President Ylonda Sherrod participated in a White House listening session on the use of automated technologies by employers to surveil, monitor, evaluate, and manage their workers.

Sherrod, who currently works as a Sales and Service Representative at AT&T Mobility, shared her experience: “It is unfair that AI is being used to replace the invaluable experience of human workers. It’s even worse that us workers are basically training our replacements. Company investments into more AI feels like a major threat to my job security as companies don’t have to ensure safe working conditions, livable wages, or affordable healthcare for AI in the same way that they have to for employees.”

Read more about Sherrod’s story in The New York Times.

Read CWA’s statement here.


CWA Hosts Labor Fundraising Event for Congresswoman Val Hoyle

Claude Cummings with Rep Val Hoyle

Last week, Congresswoman Val Hoyle (D-Ore.) attended a labor fundraising event hosted by CWA. During the event, which was held at the CWA headquarters in Washington, D.C., CWA leaders, including President Claude Cummings Jr. and AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson, spoke about Hoyle’s record of championing workers’ rights throughout her career and emphasized the importance of keeping her in office.

YouTube Workers Organizing with CWA Win Major Victory at the NLRB

Monday - July 31, 2023

In a historic victory for workers, last week the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reaffirmed that Alphabet and its subcontractor, Cognizant, are joint employers, which means that both companies must bargain with YouTube Music workers who have organized to join the Alphabet Workers Union (CWA Local 9009). Alphabet is the parent company of Google.

The Board agreed with an earlier ruling that determined that Google exercises control, directly and indirectly, over YouTube Music employees, including on things like their everyday work tasks, performance evaluations, benefits, timecards, and more. This is a major milestone in the fight to prevent companies from avoiding responsibility by subcontracting work, as the NLRB considers revising the standard for determining whether or not companies are joint employers. Under the Trump administration, the NLRB had made it more difficult for workers employed by subcontractors to hold major corporations accountable for their obligations to treat them fairly.

Bargaining Update

Monday - July 24, 2023
Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant Picket

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines Picket

AFA-CWA Flight Attendants at Alaska Airlines participated in pop-up pickets outside the San Diego International Airport, Portland International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to demand a fair contract and better treatment of workers. The Flight Attendants expressed their concerns about the lack of adequate pay, fair treatment, and poor working conditions. The picketers were joined by supporters and allies who displayed their solidarity with the Flight Attendants and their fight to improve standards for all workers. Members of AFA-CWA Alaska are planning further actions throughout the rest of the summer to make their voices heard.


National Audubon Society

Workers at the National Audubon Society, members of The Bird Union (CWA Local 1180), delivered a letter last week to Audubon CEO Dr. Elizabeth Gray, calling out the organization for creating an inequitable workplace and demanding that newly-granted worker benefits, including increased parental leave, be extended to all Audubon staff. The letter, signed by a majority of the union’s members, comes in response to Audubon’s decision to take a page out of Starbucks’ union-busting playbook and roll out new, enhanced benefits only to non-represented staff. The Bird Union also delivered the letter to Audubon offices across the country.

Rather than immediately extending the new benefits to union-represented Audubon workers, Audubon presented them to the union as contract proposals and urged the union to quickly accept the substandard and incomplete contract in order to access the new benefits. This disgraceful bargaining tactic comes as Audubon management continues to push back against a number of proposals that The Bird Union has brought to the bargaining table to improve the lives and livelihoods of Audubon’s workers. The workers are committed to continuing to mobilize and pressure the organization to bargain in good faith for a first contract they deserve. Read more here.

Building Broadband Better at Netroots Nation Conference

Monday - July 24, 2023
Netroots Nation Panel

This year’s Netroots Nation conference in Chicago featured a panel discussion with CWA Broadband Brigade leads Kwami Barnes (CWA Local 4603) and Jeremiah Clever (CWA Local 7603) entitled “Broadband Funding Is on the Way. Is Your State Prepared?

The panel discussion also included Chip Spann, a Federal Program Officer for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and Jill Gottfred Sohoni, Digital Equity Director for the City of Chicago and founder of Circle Root Collaborative (an organization that focuses on solving pressing challenges faced by communities).

The panelists discussed what states should be doing to guarantee good, sustainable jobs for their residents when using federal funds to expand broadband access. They also talked through some real opportunities for community groups to receive funding, and why it is so important for everyone to be involved. In addition, the CWAers on the panel highlighted the work CWA members are doing by collaborating with state broadband offices to build broadband better and met with legislators who were attending the conference.

Following the panel discussion, Clever sat down for an interview with Rick Smith from The Rick Smith Show. Listen to their conversation here (beginning at the 1:14:00 mark).

Netroots Nation Panel
CWA hosted a panel discussion at the 2023 Netroots Nation Conference entitled “Broadband Funding Is on the Way. Is Your State Prepared?” The panel was moderated by Misty Robertson (left), CWA National Broadband Lead and included panelists (left to right): Jill Gottfred Sohoni, Digital Equity Director for the City of Chicago and founder of Circle Root Collaborative; Chip Spann, a Federal Program Officer for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration; and CWA Broadband Brigade leads Kwami Barnes (CWA Local 4603) and Jeremiah Clever (CWA Local 7603).

CWA Delegates Re-Elect Sector Presidents Ahead of Historic CWA Convention

Monday - July 24, 2023
NABET-CWA Sector Conference

Last week, three CWA sectors held their conferences ahead of the 79th CWA Convention in St. Louis, Mo.

Delegates to the 17th Annual Division Conference of IUE-CWA re-elected President Carl Kennebrew by acclamation. In addition to reports from the Mentorship program, and the Women’s, Civil Rights & Equity, Political, and Organizing Committees, delegates heard from President Dave Gerard of IUE-CWA Local 14430, whose members at Northstar Aerospace in Illinois have been on strike for five weeks.

IUE-CWA Sector Conference
Delegates attend IUE-CWA sector conference ahead of the 79th CWA Convention in St. Louis, Mo.

Delegates to the 2023 NABET-CWA Sector Conference re-elected President Charlie Braico and Sector Vice President Lou Marinaro. Participants got a report from the CWA Next Generation Committee, heard a panel discussion on so-called “right-to-work” laws, and viewed a presentation on active shooter awareness and training.

NABET-CWA Sector Conference
Delegates attend NABET-CWA sector conference prior to the 79th CWA Convention in St. Louis, Mo.

More than 70 delegates attended the 2023 NewsGuild-CWA (TNG-CWA) Sector Conference. Jon Schleuss, who was elected by acclamation during the NewsGuild’s nominating conference in January, officially began his second term as president. Delegates also unanimously passed a resolution in support of American journalist Evan Gershkovich, who has been detained by the Russian government for more than 100 days, saying, “We call on the United States government to steadfastly pursue all appropriate efforts until Gershkovich is freed. TNG-CWA further calls on supporters of journalism everywhere to publicize Gershkovich’s name and his work.” Delegates also raised funds to support striking workers at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh (TNG-CWA Local 38061), passed changes to make the Guild constitution gender neutral and encouraged locals to do the same, resolved to form a scholarship fund in honor of deceased TNG-CWA Staff Representative Bruce Nelson, and stood for press freedom against big tech abuses.

NewsGuild-CWA Sector Conference
NewsGuild-CWA delegates at the 79th CWA Convention in St. Louis, Mo.

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