Family Updates & Retirements

Congrats to Mike Phillips on his retirement

In Sympathy

Brian Casto for the loss of his father

Retiree Melanie Carpenter, loss of huband

Jeffrey Carpenter, loss of father

Jennifer Wooten loss of her grandfather

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

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.

Learn More

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CWAers Bring Organizing Message to Netroots Nation Conference

Monday - August 29, 2022
Netroots Nation Panel with CODE-CWA

This year’s Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh featured a keynote session with AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson and a CODE-CWA hosted panel entitled “Beat the Boss: Lessons from Worker Organizers in Tech & Games.”

Nelson joined filmmaker Abigail Disney and former Disney theme park custodian Artemis Bell for the keynote. The group discussed Disney’s new film, “The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales,” and Nelson stressed the importance of widespread union organizing to hold corporations accountable and to ensure that profits are directed toward workers and not to Wall Street. “We have to take on Amazon, Starbucks, Disney, Delta Air Lines – we have to take on these companies together. Because if they're allowed to get away with undermining anyone, they're going to do it everywhere,” Nelson said.

The CODE-CWA panel, moderated by Motherboard reporter Edward Ongweso, included Kara Fannon, a founding member of the Activision Blizzard King Worker Committee Against Sex & Gender Discrimination; former Activision Blizzard worker Jessica Gonzalez; CODE-CWA campaign lead Emma Kinema; and Alphabet Workers Union Executive Chair Parul Koul. The group discussed their experiences organizing and the tactics companies use to prevent workers from having a voice.


Members of CODE-CWA discussed organizing at the Netroots Nation conference.
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Below: AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson (right) joined filmmaker Abigail Disney and former Disney theme park custodian Artemis Bell for a Netroots Nation keynote panel on “The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales.”

NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss Receives Pride at Work’s Solidarity Award

Monday - August 29, 2022
Pride at Work Convention

NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss was recognized by Pride at Work, a constituency group of the AFL-CIO that supports LGBTQIA+ workers in the labor movement, at their 2022 quadrennial Convention with a Solidarity Award. He received the award for creating a new spirit of organizing and his inspirational leadership as an out labor leader. NewsGuild member Chris Serres, an award-winning reporter at the Star Tribune, presented Schleuss with the award and spoke about the massive organizing in the Guild and about the union’s willingness to engage in fights that come in conflict with journalistic notions of “objectivity.” “I want to dedicate this award to our members because our members are our true strength,” said President Schleuss in his acceptance speech. Several CWA members also attended the convention, heard from dynamic and informative guest speakers, and built solidarity with members of other unions.


CWA members at the 2022 Pride at Work quadrennial Convention where TNG-CWA President Jon Schleuss received the Solidarity Award.

CWA Executive Board Member Keith Gibbs Honored with Legacy Award

Monday - August 29, 2022
e-Newsletter

Western Region At-Large Executive Board Member and CWA Local 9412 President Keith Gibbs received the Legacy Award for his hard work and commitment to labor and the working class at a dinner and awards ceremony hosted by the Alameda Central Labor Council in Oakland, Calif.

CWA Exposes Frontier Communications’ Dangerous Use of Subcontractors in New Half-Million Dollar Ad Campaign

Monday - August 29, 2022
CWA Press Release

Just over a year after emerging from bankruptcy, Frontier is increasingly outsourcing good union jobs to unregulated subcontracting companies, putting public safety at risk;

Communications Workers of America members across California win agreement from Frontier after striking over the issue

Nationwide — The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has launched a half-million dollar advertising campaign exposing Frontier Communications’ increasing and dangerous use of subcontracting companies to perform critical broadband infrastructure work. Frontier management’s aggressive attempt to displace its union workers and squeeze out good union jobs following the company’s emergence from bankruptcy in April 2021 is resulting in damage to communities amid botched rollouts.

View the ads:
Connecticut: https://vimeo.com/watchcwa/frontier-ct
Texas: https://vimeo.com/watchcwa/frontier-tx
California: https://vimeo.com/watchcwa/frontier-ca

“Instead of using its clean slate to provide more good-paying jobs with healthcare and retirement benefits, Frontier is using its second chance to divest in its workers,” said CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor, who represents roughly 1,600 workers in Frontier’s home state of Connecticut. “Amid a nationwide broadband buildout – one that the federal government has invested over $65 billion in through the infrastructure bill – this is wholly unacceptable. Many of these contractors come from out of state, are paid a fraction of what CWA union members earn, and the state has no oversight of them when it comes to public safety or quality of work.”

Last night, CWA members in California won an agreement from Frontier in which the company has committed to taking significant steps to adhere to subcontracting limits set in its collective bargaining agreement. The agreement is the result of approximately 2,000 union-represented Frontier workers walking off the job across California in a grievance strike on Friday.

“Frontier’s blatant disregard for their union workers is completely unacceptable. I stand with the CWA in calling for an end to the shoddy, cost-cutting practices that are harming their hard-working employees and putting our communities at risk,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill invests $65 billion to extend and enhance broadband infrastructure. This effort ought to be led by our seasoned and highly-skilled union workers, rather than commission-based contract workers that are simply hired for lower pay.”

“Over and over, Congress has been clear that federal dollars need to flow to high quality, local union jobs, and the funding for broadband improvements in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is no exception. I’m proud to stand with CWA Local 1298 in their fight to hold Frontier accountable by protecting Connecticut union jobs over out-of-state contractors,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.

CWA members fought tirelessly in 2021, state by state, to secure conditions around Frontier’s emergence from bankruptcy that would protect union jobs and commit Frontier to capital investments and fiber deployment in overburdened and underserved communities. Now, CWA members, who are highly skilled and trained to perform public right-of-way work and experienced in safely navigating infrastructure, are now often only utilized to perform repair work, last-mile installations, or technical support when the contractors inevitably fail or fall short.

Subcontracting companies often do not provide a high level of training to temporary workers, especially when it comes to safety and navigating other municipal infrastructure they may be working around. As a result, subcontractors with Frontier have put the public in harm’s way. Within the past year alone:

“We have to protect union jobs – that is not up for debate,” said U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro. “I am proud to stand with the Communications Workers of America in this fight. CWA members are highly skilled workers, yet Frontier has only utilized them to perform jobs like repair work and last-mile installations to make up for shoddy, cheap contract work. This robs hardworking union employees of their dignity of work. Frontier is gutting their union workforce, all so they can boost their profits while keeping the cost of labor as low as possible. You have my word that I will always stand with CWA in the fight to protect union jobs here in Connecticut and across the country.”

“I stand with CWA Local 1298 as they fight back against Frontier’s unfair practices that are hurting both workers and consumers,” said U.S. Representative John B. Larson. “Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the federal government is investing $100 million to build out Connecticut’s broadband Internet coverage with union labor. Now, Frontier needs to hold up their end of the bargain.”

“CWA members provide our community with essential services they need to stay connected and safe, and they deserve respect, along with fair contracts from their employer,” said U.S. Representative Joe Courtney. “During the pandemic, CWA members entered peoples’ homes to repair telecommunications equipment necessary to enable virtual learning, telehealth visits, and continued engagement with family and friends at a time when uncertainty about the virus made that a dangerous and incredibly demanding job. As the economy took a hit, they tempered wage increase requests in order to ensure long-term stability for their jobs as Frontier weathered bankruptcy. I support CWA members and their right to use their collective voice to demand fair treatment from their employer now and in the future.”

In addition to taking work away from CWA’s union membership, Frontier is building its profits shadily, breaking its promises to the union and offering buy-outs to seasoned union workers, attempting to avoid overtime pay, and manipulating compensation plans for commission-based workers.

“When they emerged from bankruptcy, Frontier was given a second chance with their expansion of fiber broadband connections. But instead of providing those opportunities to Connecticut workers and protecting union jobs as discussed during legislative negotiations, their show of good faith seems to be a promise unkept,” said Connecticut Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “Instead, untrained, out-of-state contractors are being used to circumvent costs. The Communication Workers of America (CWA) are the collateral damage of these broken promises, even after securing a provision under the bill’s Internet for All initiative that gives a preference for using union labor to build broadband. It’s time that Frontier makes good on that promise.”

"In the past year, Frontier Communications has failed to achieve its promises to consumers. To save on costs, Frontier has begun to cut corners, using lower-tier contractors and neglecting its workers,” said Connecticut State Senator Jorge Cabrera. “This is especially important to our constituents as Frontier has been cited as conducting "reckless" practices in Connecticut and fined $5 million. I am disappointed to hear that Frontier is continuing to ignore its valuable workers and will be supporting CWA in its efforts to hold Frontier accountable"

“To truly reach our shared vision of “Internet for All,” Frontier must be held accountable to deploying high-speed fiber-to-the-home to the communities that need it most, and using trained union labor from those already eager for work in our state,” said Connecticut State Senator Julie Kushner. “With the influx of federal and state broadband funding, Connecticut has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build new, expansive broadband infrastructure, and build it right. We cannot risk a haphazard broadband buildout by unskilled contractors who lack the necessary training or expertise, often cut corners, and risk safety and the quality of high-speed internet.”

The campaign was announced at a press conference Thursday in Hartford, Connecticut, Frontier’s home state of operations.

“Frontier Communications broke its promise. Instead of maintaining its experienced, Connecticut-based workforce, Frontier has cut hundreds of good jobs and replaced them with under-trained, out-of-state contractors — putting service quality and public safety at risk,” the ad running in Connecticut says.

The ads are running on local television, radio, and digital platforms beginning today across Connecticut, California, and Texas. The Communications Workers of America represents roughly 8,000 Frontier employees nationwide.

“Frontier has a responsibility to their workers and to the residents of Connecticut,” said Connecticut State Senator Matthew Lesser. “As a long time customer and a member of the Energy & Technology Committee, I will continue to ask tough questions and hold their feet to the fire.”

“Frontier’s attempt to replace highly skilled union workers with lower-cost, under-trained contractors is a misguided attempt for more profit, that presents a concern for public safety and will only cost our municipalities and taxpayers in the long run,” said Connecticut State Representative Josh Elliott. “Instead of hiring hundreds of contractors from out-of-state, Frontier should be providing more good-paying jobs with healthcare and retirement benefits that help families to become upwardly mobile here in Connecticut.”

Connecticut State Representative David Arconti added, "I am disappointed that Frontier has decided to put profits over commitments to its union workforce when contracting for building major broadband work, ignoring earlier warnings from Connecticut regulators about their unsafe excavations and improper practices which resulted in a $5 million fine back in July. I stand in full support of CWA members and urge Frontier to reconsider their priorities when it comes to delivering for those who have supported the company through their toughest times. Union workers are equipped and capable of handling any projects that need to get done."

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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.

cwa-union.org @cwaunion

On Strike: CWA Members at Frontier Communications in California Walk Off the Job

Monday - August 22, 2022
CWA Press Release

Nearly 2,000 workers in California are on strike to protest the company’s continued subcontracting of work

Frontier Communications continues to jeopardize good jobs and service quality by hiring low road contractors

CALIFORNIA — Members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at Frontier Communications in California went on strike today to protest the company’s continued subcontracting of work in violation of the collective bargaining agreement between CWA and Frontier. Approximately 2,000 CWA members walked off the job after several failed meetings with management to resolve a grievance filed over the issue. The company admits it is in violation of the subcontracting limit but has refused to provide the union with information about current subcontracting levels.

“Our members are fed up. We will no longer allow Frontier to line the pockets of its executives and jeopardize our members’ livelihood by hiring cheaper and inexperienced contractors who provide inferior service,” said CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce. “We are simply asking for Frontier to respect the agreed upon protections included in our contract and we are prepared to stay out on the picket line until our demands are met.”

By contracting out critical telecommunications services to low-road contracting companies who provide subpar services, Frontier is not only threatening the jobs of CWA members but also putting customer safety and satisfaction at risk. Low-road subcontracting has become increasingly prevalent in the telecommunications industry and CWA has been actively raising concerns about its impact on workers and consumers. An October 2020 report by CWA exposed the extent to which carriers rely on a vast network of contracting companies to build out their networks and connect customers to broadband, often cutting their own union employees out of much of this work.

The workers have been working without a contract since April 16, 2022, when the extension of the previous agreement expired. In March 2022, CWA members rejected a proposed tentative agreement that did not reflect the value they bring to the company and consumers. Shortly after, CWA and Frontier entered into federal mediation and are currently in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. The company is obligated to maintain the limitations on subcontracting that were part of the prior agreement until a new contract has been agreed upon and ratified.

The union has also filed several unfair labor practice charges against Frontier in California for the company’s failure to meet its obligations under the collective bargaining agreement, as well as the company’s refusal to provide pertinent information.

Frontier workers have stayed dedicated and loyal to the company and their customers even through its recent bankruptcy. They have been on the front lines of the pandemic, installing and maintaining communications services for their customers, ensuring their local communities are able to work and attend school remotely and in-person, receive medical care, and visit with friends and families. The members deserve better and will remain on the picket lines until the company fulfills its obligation to limit the subcontracting of work.

Key Picket Locations Where Strikers Are Available for Interviews:

CWA Local 9003
1450 S Bundy Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90025

CWA Local 9400
2819 182nd St., Redondo Beach, CA 90278
1960 Mentone Blvd., Mentone, CA 92359
1796 N I St., San Bernardino, CA 92405

CWA Local 9404
16280 Church St., Morgan Hill, CA 95037

CWA Local 9568
13155 Alondra Blvd., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
5077 E Lew Davis St., Long Beach, CA 90808

CWA Local 9588
280 Locust St., Pomona, CA 91766
2849 Ficus St., Pomona, CA 91766
207 W D St., Ontario, CA 91762

CWA Local 9510
7242 Slater Ave., Huntington Beach, CA 92647

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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, including approximately 2,000 Frontier workers in California.

cwa-union.org @cwaunion

Organizing Update

Monday - August 22, 2022
New Flyer Joins IUE-CWA

New Flyer

Workers at the New Flyer bus manufacturing facility in Jamestown, N.Y., have formed a union with IUE-CWA. New Flyer agreed to recognize the union after the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service verified that a majority of the workers signed union representation cards. The unit includes more than 50 workers who make components for New Flyer buses, including electric buses, and are critical to supporting green manufacturing in New York. These workers join more than a thousand workers at two New Flyer facilities in St. Cloud and Crookston, Minn., who are represented by the union. With a union and seat at the table, New Flyer workers in Jamestown are looking to improve relationships with management, create pathways to promotion, and secure better wages and benefits.


Workers at the New Flyer bus manufacturing facility in Jamestown, N.Y., formed a union with IUE-CWA.

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Activision Blizzard

Workers at Activision Blizzard have filed an unfair labor practice charge against the company for continuing to ignore labor law by illegally surveilling workers and shutting down protected speech. Activision Blizzard engaged in illegal surveillance of workers during their walkout in July to end gender inequity; cut off access to a chat channel where workers were discussing wages, hours, and working conditions; and threatened to shut down other internal channels of communication where workers discussed labor issues. This is the third unfair labor practice charge CWA has filed against the company, which is also currently refusing to voluntarily recognize the Albany Game Workers Alliance/CWA union, a group of quality assurance testers at the company’s location in Albany, N.Y.

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Norse Atlantic Airways

The National Mediation Board this week certified that a majority of Flight Attendants at Norse Atlantic Airways had signed cards authorizing AFA-CWA as their union representative. The Flight Attendants filed for official recognition and certification of their union earlier this month after demonstrating unanimous support for joining AFA-CWA. In a statement following the certification, AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson said, “We are thrilled for the Flight Attendants at Norse, and they are ready to vote on the historic tentative agreement we reached with Norse management last year. Norse Flight Attendants strengthen our union, our career, and our industry. Our agreement will immediately set a new standard in aviation—both in the terms of the content and how it was reached. Norse Flight Attendants will have the highest starting pay in the industry, strong work rules, and the knowledge that management worked to reach that agreement as a partner, not an opponent.” Read more here.

Bargaining Update

Monday - August 22, 2022
Bargaining Update

DirecTV

CWA members at DirecTV covered by three contracts reached tentative agreements this week. The Orange Customer Care contract covers members in Minnesota, West Virginia, and Colorado who primarily work as call center representatives. The Midwest contract covers members in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois who work as technicians, dispatchers, office coordinators, administrative support assistants, and technical support representatives. The DirecTV Field Services Telecommunications and Technologies Labor Agreement covers members in Delaware, Oregon, New Mexico, and Maryland who primarily work as technicians and administrative support assistants. The members have been mobilizing and working closely with their respective bargaining committees for months to harness their collective power and win contracts with substantial improvements to wages and working conditions, including pay increases, adjustments to healthcare costs, added protections for employees who work from home, the addition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday, improved scheduling and attendance policies, and much more. The members will be voting to ratify each of the contracts in the coming weeks.

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Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, and Bradenton Herald

Workers at the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, and Bradenton Herald, members of CWA Local 3108, voted unanimously to ratify their first contracts with McClatchy. Throughout the bargaining, the members engaged in escalating actions including a letter-writing campaign, a press conference and rally, and a one-day work stoppage. Highlights of the new contract include wage increases and retroactive pay, protections against layoffs, adjustments to healthcare costs, paid parental leave, and the recognition of Juneteenth as a paid holiday.

Worker Power Update

Monday - August 22, 2022
Atlanta Infrastructure Presser

CWAers Highlight Critical Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Investments in Atlanta

CWA Local 3204 President Ed Barlow joined White House Infrastructure Coordinator and Senior Advisor to the President Mitch Landrieu, Georgia Democratic Congresswoman Nikema Williams, and community leaders at a press conference in Atlanta, Ga., to discuss the positive impacts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law on Georgia families. The event especially highlighted how the law will expand access to affordable, high-speed internet.

“President Biden likes to call the law the blue collar blueprint for America. I couldn’t agree more. This law is getting to work right here, right now. For the CWA, this funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law means more union jobs in all kinds of industries in our states. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping to rebuild Atlanta’s roads and bridges so we can all get to work faster and safer. It’s expanding access to affordable high-speed internet for households of thousands of families. These projects are going to benefit our communities for decades to come. They’re an investment in the people of Atlanta,” said CWA Local 3204 President Ed Barlow.

Following the press conference, Landrieu met with a group of CWA members who expressed their support for the Administration’s efforts to support working families and strengthen unions.


CWA Local 3204 President Ed Barlow joined White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu, other elected officials, and community leaders at a press conference in Atlanta, Ga., to discuss the positive impacts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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CWA Political Activists Participate in the First Ever Activist Academy Ahead of Upcoming Elections

Last week, lead CWA political activists from District 3, District 4, District 6, and IUE-CWA completed a week-long intensive Activist Academy, a first of its kind training focused on leadership development and electoral mobilization. The activists who came from key battleground states including Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas learned how to lead phone and text banks, facilitate presentations, edit scripts and slideshows, research CWA-endorsed candidates, and utilize voter targeting tools. CWA National Political Director Cory Medina spoke to the activists about what's at stake in this election cycle. The activists also heard from guest speakers including Robert Asencio, who is running for Congress in Florida's 28th District, and Arizona Secretary of State candidate Adrian Fontes.


CWA political activists participated in the first ever activist academy ahead of upcoming elections.

Hundreds of Gannett Journalists Represented by NewsGuild-CWA Walk Out Over Layoff Threat

Monday - August 22, 2022
Gannett Journalists Walkout

Hundreds of workers employed by Gannett-owned newsrooms took part in a coordinated walkout during their lunch break last week in response to a string of emails from upper management that threatened layoffs due to the company’s second quarter financials. The workers believe that the financial austerity at Gannett is a result of financial mismanagement and frivolous spending by executives and cannot be solved by further staffing cuts. The NewsGuild-CWA represents more than 50 Gannett-owned newsrooms across the country. Over half of those newsrooms participated in the action and gathered on Zoom to discuss next steps to fight back against the company.

“Gannett continues to show that it puts investors and executives before journalists. In contrast, local journalists are organizing all across the country because of their deep commitment to their work, their communities, and their newsrooms. Well-staffed and fully functional newsrooms are a critical component of democracy, especially in an election year,” said NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss. Read more here.


Hundreds of Gannett journalists represented by the NewsGuild-CWA walked out in protest of potential staffing cuts.

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