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CWA Locals and Leaders Honored for Organizing Efforts at 2023 CWA Convention

Monday - July 17, 2023
2023 Convention Organizing Awards

The Hat Award for outstanding achievements in organizing is named for CWA's founding president, Joe Beirne, who would pass his hat at each organizing meeting to collect the funds he needed to cover travel costs of getting to the next group of telephone workers he was to visit. It is CWA's highest honor.

This year, CWA President Claude Cummings Jr. presented the award to President Emeritus Chris Shelton in recognition of his lifetime of service to CWA and his outstanding leadership as president for the last eight years, during which more than 47,000 workers joined CWA through new organizing campaigns.

President Cummings also presented "The Morton Bahr CWA STRONG Award" in honor of the former CWA President's vision, tenacity, and union building. This year’s recipients were Local 1180 President and National Executive Board Member Gloria Middleton, who was recognized for her successful efforts to build an impressive internal organizing campaign, and Local 1104 President Tom Benedetto, in recognition of his leadership in figuring out new strategic and innovative ways to organize while facing a number of challenges, including the pandemic.

Since the last CWA convention, CWA locals from around the country have brought in over 11,000 new members through external organizing campaigns. Locals that helped more than 100 workers join CWA and win a voice at work were honored with a plaque and subsidies to support future organizing efforts.

CWA District 1, District 6, Local 1101, Local 6215, and Local 6327 were recognized for their contributions to CWA's Political Action Fund (PAF). Local 13572, Local 7026, Local 4319, Local 3310, and Local 1037 were honored for fund-raising on behalf of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Congratulations to all the winners!

2023 Convention Organizing Awards
At the 2023 CWA Convention, locals received organizing awards in honor of their extraordinary work.

Resolutions Approved by the 2023 CWA Convention

Monday - July 17, 2023
2023 Convention Graphic

CWA delegates approved the following resolutions at the 2023 CWA Convention:

Resolution #79A-23-01 - Honoring the Leadership and Determination of Christopher M. Shelton to Fight and Win for CWA Members and All Working People – CWA delegates voted to express their deep appreciation to Chris Shelton and bestow upon him the title of President Emeritus for his lifelong dedication to fighting and winning for CWA members and all working people. We recognize the legacy of strategic and thoughtful preparation to ensure that our union is able to win every fight we undertake on behalf of our members.

Resolution #79A-23-02 - Building Worker Power by Fighting for Pro-Worker and Pro-Union Laws in the States – CWA delegates voted to commit to prioritizing state level advocacy and legislative efforts to enact laws which would strengthen organizing and collective bargaining protections and build worker power. They also voted to elect pro-labor candidates for state and local office as well as to continue CWA’s efforts to advocate for passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act.

Resolution #79A-23-03 - Resolution: Reforming Our Federal Tax Code to Support Worker Organizing and Collective Bargaining – CWA delegates voted to demand changes to our tax code so that it protects union members and the right to organize, bargain, and strike, by ending deductions for companies engaged in union busting or shipping jobs overseas, and by ensuring that all workers have the right to deduct union dues and work related expenses from their taxes.

Resolution #79A-23-04 - Fighting for the News Our Communities and Members Deserve – CWA delegates voted to recognize that the decimation and consolidation of local journalism has had a negative impact on our democracy and must be reversed. They also voted to support several pieces of legislation, including the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, and the Stop Wall Street Looting Act, and to support efforts by the Securities and Exchange Commission to strengthen the regulation of private equity companies.

Resolution #79A-23-05 - Mobilizing for Good Jobs and Safety in the Aviation Industry – CWA delegates voted to mobilize and work to ensure timely passage of FAA Reauthorization legislation that protects and builds on our members’ rights and protections on the job and a national air transportation system that supports good union jobs. They also voted to continue to fight for fair compensation, decent working conditions, and dignity, and safety on the job for our members and all workers in the aviation industry.

Resolution #79A-23-06 - Committee on Membership and Office-Holding Eligibility – CWA delegates voted to allow the CWA President, in consultation with the CWA Executive Board, to appoint a committee to discuss and report on questions raised about whether Local or International Union staff should be permitted to join the Union by virtue of their employment by the Union.

Resolution #79A-23-07 - Retired Member Council Eligibility for CWA Disaster Relief Fund – CWA delegates voted to include retired CWA members who have paid their dues to the CWA Retired Member Council in eligibility for support through the Disaster Relief Fund.

Resolution #79A-23-08 - Ensuring Accessibility at CWA Meetings for All – CWA delegates voted to establish a committee of members and staff who will work to develop suggestions for policies and practices to enable future meetings to be as accessible as possible for all of our members.

Resolution #79A-23-09 - CWA Resolution on Mutual Respect – CWA delegates voted to recommit to ensuring mutual respect in CWA and affirm that mutual respect must be a foundation and guiding principle of our union.

Organizing Update

Monday - July 17, 2023
Organizing Update


On Monday, a majority of workers at SEGA, a multinational video game and entertainment company, in Irvine, Calif., won their union recognition election to join CWA. Their union, Allied Employees Guild Improving SEGA (AEGIS), CWA Local 9510, consists of more than 200 workers in the quality assurance, localization, live service, marketing, and product development departments. They are demanding higher base pay following industry standards, with raises tied to the cost of living and inflation; improved, stable benefits; increased and clear opportunities for advancement; balanced workloads, schedules, and defined responsibilities for all positions; and adequate staffing, to end patterns of overwork. The workers are the latest to organize with CODE-CWA, an initiative to provide strategic support for tech and game workers who are collectively taking action to have a voice on the job. Read more here.


Activision Blizzard/Microsoft

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denied the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) request for a preliminary injunction to prevent Microsoft from closing its deal to acquire Activision Blizzard. The Judge’s decision allows the merger to move forward, and gives the FTC an opportunity to transform the video game and technology labor market by providing a clear path to collective bargaining for almost 10,000 workers, thanks to a ground-breaking, legally-binding labor neutrality agreement between CWA and Microsoft. The agreement, which will apply to the Activision Blizzard workforce once Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of the company is complete, committed Microsoft to a neutral approach when employees express interest in joining a union, with a free and fair process for voluntary recognition of the union.

Read more here.

CWA Statement on the Denial of the FTC’s Injunction Against Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Monday - July 17, 2023
Press Release

The Communications Workers of America applauds today's decision by U.S. District Court Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley to deny the Federal Trade Commission’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent Microsoft from closing its deal to acquire Activision Blizzard.

Judge Corley’s role was to assess whether or not the FTC was likely to prevail in its antitrust proceeding against the acquisition. Her decision shows how much progress the FTC and other regulators have made since the deal was first proposed in early 2022. At that time, we raised concerns and asked that the FTC carefully consider the impacts on consumers and American workers. They did, and over the course of the past eighteen months, Microsoft has taken action to address those concerns.

As it relates to the impact on workers, the actions Microsoft have taken will not only prevent harm, they represent a true shift in the power workers will have in the video game industry.

Last year, after Microsoft announced its Principles on Employee Organizing and Engagement with Labor Organizations, CWA and Microsoft reached agreement on a ground-breaking, legally-binding labor neutrality agreement. The agreement, which will apply to the Activision Blizzard workforce once Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of the company is complete, committed Microsoft to a neutral approach when employees express interest in joining a union, with a free and fair process for voluntary recognition of the union.

In December, workers at Microsoft’s ZeniMax studio announced that they were organizing with CWA. Microsoft once again acted in accordance with its stated principles and agreed to a process that enabled the workers to freely and fairly decide if they wanted to form a union without management interference. In early January, a neutral arbitrator reviewed the results and certified that the ZeniMax workers had voted to be represented by CWA.

Collective bargaining agreements play a critical role in counterbalancing employer market power. Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan has championed antitrust policies that protect workers interests. Under her leadership, the FTC's intention to examine labor market impacts of mergers is well known, creating a regulatory environment that facilitated CWA's unprecedented labor neutrality agreement with Microsoft. Since the FTC’s initial move against Microsoft’s transaction, the company has accepted additional conditions to the acquisition in order to strengthen consumer protections.

By accepting Judge Corley’s decision and allowing this merger to move forward, the Federal Trade Commission has an opportunity to transform the video game and technology labor market by providing a clear path to collective bargaining for almost 10,000 workers.


Worker Power Update

Monday - July 10, 2023
Kentucky Broadband

CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens Participates in a White House Discussion on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Workers

Last week, CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens participated in a meeting with senior White House officials on the impact of artificial intelligence on workers. Steffens spoke about how artificial intelligence could affect numerous CWA workgroups, including by increasing stress, making it easier for companies to engage in union busting, and creating the risk of job loss. She described some of the ways that CWA is fighting at the bargaining table to mitigate these harms, and emphasized that one of the most important things needed to make artificial intelligence work correctly is for workers to have a voice in how it is implemented.

Steffens’ meeting follows a similar event last month with workers including AT&T CWA Local 3519 Vice President and AT&T Mobility Sales and Service Representative Ylonda Sherrod.


CWAers in North Carolina Building Broadband Better

Through our Build Broadband Better campaign, CWA activists in North Carolina have been actively advocating for increased access to high-speed internet service using broadband providers with high labor standards. In May, Keith Busby, CWA District 3 Broadband Lead, participated on a panel hosted by the North Carolina Department of Information Technology about broadband and workforce development. Busby shared pertinent information about CWA’s campaign to ensure that states use federal taxpayer funds to expand broadband access while creating good, union jobs and prioritizing projects that use future-proof fiber technology.

North Carolina Broadband

In addition, last week CWAers in North Carolina organized a labor roundtable with Congressman Wiley Nickel. CWA Local 3611 hosted the meeting at their local hall in Raleigh. Thirty members from CWA, other unions, and the North Carolina Democratic Party Labor Caucus attended the roundtable that focused on infrastructure, including broadband expansion.


IUE-CWA Members Build Political Power

IUE Trane

IUE-CWA Local 81455 members at Trane in New Jersey participated in their first political action training and Political Action Fund (PAF) drive last week. They met members at the gates outside their shop and talked about upcoming elections. They expressed the importance of workers’ engagement in the political process and highlighted union members who are running for office. Within the first four hours they had signed up 135 members for the PAF. They also assisted several members in completing their voter registration cards. "The members are happy to see their union out here and want to know what we are doing. People want to get involved, they just haven't been asked," said IUE-CWA Local 81455 President Matt Young.


Building Broadband Better in Kentucky

Kentucky Broadband

Last week, CWA-Kentucky Legislative and Political Coordinator Jason "JD" DeValdivielso participated in a panel hosted by Governor Andy Beshear about the impact of the record investment in high-speed internet. The panel included U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo (above left), a host of other local and national government leaders, and representatives from the private and nonprofit sectors. When asked about what the historic federal investment means for good jobs in Kentucky, JD took the opportunity to highlight CWA’s campaign to ensure the use of broadband providers with high labor standards and the importance of utilizing the funds to create good, family supporting jobs for Kentuckians.


CWA Airport Workers Rally for Good Jobs

Good Airport Jobs

Last week, CWA airport workers, members of other unions, including the Service Employees International Union, and supporters held a demonstration outside the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to raise concerns about working conditions and the lack of good jobs for airport service workers. The participants of the rally also called on Congress to pass the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act. The bill is the first legislative proposal of its kind that will set national wage and benefit standards for essential airport and airline workers. The demonstration was part of a series of actions led by airport workers throughout the month of June across the country. Watch the news coverage from Dallas here.

Bargaining Update

Monday - July 10, 2023
Bargaining Update

Frontier (West Virginia)

CWAers at Frontier in West Virginia and Ashburn, Va., are continuing to bargain for a new contract that covers approximately 1,400 members. In the latest round of negotiations, the union’s bargaining committee responded to the company’s work-at-home proposal. In addition, the union is in the process of reviewing the company’s proposals on retiree benefits as well as other information provided by the company.

The workers, including those working from home, have continued to mobilize by holding workplace and virtual actions to strengthen their power at the bargaining table. Read more here.


Workers at the online petition company in the U.S. and Canada reached a tentative agreement for a new contract last week. The workers at the company announced a cross-border campaign to form a union with CWA in the spring of 2021. The staff includes campaigners, engineers, content creators, designers, product managers, and operations professionals.

Real Estate Rewards for CWA Members

Monday - July 10, 2023
Union Plus Real Estate

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Union Plus Real Estate

Organizing Update

Monday - July 10, 2023
Organizing Update

Tower Climbers Union/CWA

The Tower Climbers Union (TCU)/CWA reached a new milestone on Tuesday with the launch of their new local, CWA Local 9424. The local has a national charter for all tower hands.

The launch follows a series of powerful actions by TCU/CWA members who have been actively mobilizing to fight for improved safety standards and working conditions. Following the release of a safety survey in May, TCU/CWA members launched a petition and traveled to Verizon and Crown Castle shareholders meetings to rally for changes and demand meetings with executives to discuss their rights on the job. Thanks to their continued efforts, the members secured meetings with high-level executives of both companies as well as AT&T, which held a virtual shareholder meeting. During their meetings, the members highlighted the critical need to improve worker safety and shared the experiences and ideas of tower hands.

We Cannot Ignore the Impact of Systematic Racism in College Admissions

Monday - July 03, 2023

The following statement is from the CWA Human Rights Committee:

Affirmative Action is a system that has helped open opportunities to all and provide an environment where everyone has a chance to succeed. Eliminating opportunities for communities of color to obtain higher education will create immeasurable negative effects across both our country and our economy.

On Thursday, by votes of 6-3 and 6-2, the U.S. Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. the University of North Carolina struck down affirmative action programs in college admissions, declaring race cannot be a factor and forcing institutions of higher education to look for new ways to achieve diverse student bodies.

This is the same court in which one of the justices who voted to end affirmative action has acknowledged that the policy played a positive role in his own admissions to college and law schools.

Higher education should be representative of America. We cannot ignore the way that systemic racism affects access to colleges and universities. We must lift our voices and our actions to advocate for a more equitable playing field where opportunities exist for all.

CWA is proud of our diverse membership. We stand in solidarity to fight for the empowerment of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Please join us in our activism to stand up and fight back.


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

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