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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Organizing Update

Monday - August 08, 2022
Organizing Update

Verizon Wireless

Workers at a Verizon Wireless Express store in Portland, who recently formed a union with CWA, filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) this week. The workers, who have a pending union representation election, filed the charge after being forced to attend mandatory captive audience meetings during the last six months. These meetings are a common union-busting tactic in which company representatives intimidate workers in an attempt to interfere with organizing efforts. Inspired by the groundbreaking union win in Everett and Lynnwood, Wash., Verizon workers in Portland are demanding a voice on the job and remain united in their efforts to form a union, while Verizon continues to force anti-union rhetoric on them. Joining the growing movement of retail workers organizing for a union across the county, Verizon Wireless retail workers at two stores in Flint, Mich., also have a pending NLRB union election. Read more here.


Meow Wolf

Workers at Meow Wolf in Denver, Colo., won voluntary recognition for their union after a super majority of workers voted in favor of forming a union with CWA. The workers, who have been organizing for the last eight months, are the second group of workers at Meow Wolf to join CWA. In late 2020, Meow Wolf workers in Santa Fe, N.M., voted to join CWA and they ratified their first contract earlier this year. The new unit includes more than two hundred workers and will be part of CWA Local 7055. “I think it shows how much Meow Wolf as a whole has grown since the Santa Fe union started,” said Patrick Peterson, a creative operator and union organizer, in an interview with Colorado Public Radio. “If they did not unionize, I feel like we would’ve had a lot harder struggle than we have had. Every road’s gonna have its bumps, you know? But I feel like ours was a lot smoother because Santa Fe kinda set a precedent.”


Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard is 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. In response, the workers released a statement saying, “It appears that Activision Blizzard’s management has once again decided to take the low road by choosing to fight against our union, in spite of the fact that 95% of us have signed union representation cards. Almost every time this company has the opportunity to begin to repair its reputation and demonstrate that it respects its workers, it declines to do so. Earlier this year, Activision fought fiercely against the supermajority of Raven QA workers who wanted a union voice. Activision lost that fight. And it's clear that the company will lose again this time.”

Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard, and has entered into a legally binding agreement with CWA to remain neutral when workers want to organize a union. “Instead of following Microsoft’s lead and committing to a labor neutrality agreement, Activision has made the clear and conscious decision to deny us our basic labor rights while once again spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a union-busting firm,” the workers added in their statement.


Norse Atlantic Airways

After demonstrating unanimous support for joining AFA-CWA with signed authorization cards, Flight Attendants at Norse Airlines filed for official recognition and certification of their union by the National Mediation Board (NMB). Norse Atlantic Airways has also filed a letter of support with the NMB for the Flight Attendant’s request. AFA-CWA negotiated a pre-hire agreement with Norse management in May 2021. The full contract, subject to ratification after certification of the union, includes industry-leading starting pay and job protections, healthcare, and a 401(k) among other key benefits. Read more here.

Bargaining Update

Monday - August 08, 2022
Bargaining Update

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless retail workers in Everett and Lynnwood, Wash., and Brooklyn, N.Y., voted to ratify their contracts last Friday. This first contract is a major milestone for the Everett and Lynnwood workers, who recently joined CWA, after overcoming years of poor working conditions, including understaffing and unlivable wages, along with aggressive union-busting efforts from Verizon.

This win and the latest organizing efforts by Verizon Wireless workers in Portland, Ore., and Flint, Mich., signal a growing movement among Verizon Wireless workers to build power and add to the labor momentum taking place nationwide.

Worker Power Update

Monday - August 08, 2022
Tennessee Right to Work

The Inflation Reduction Act Will Create Jobs, Slow Inflation, and Lower Prescription Drug Costs for Seniors

The Inflation Reduction Act, introduced in the Senate last week, is a major step toward lowering the cost of living for working families, while creating good jobs across the country and making sure that corporations finally pay their fair share of taxes.

The bill will allow Medicare to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs, saving seniors an average of $800 per year. In addition, it will create thousands of new green energy jobs with strong Buy American protections and provide significant home energy rebate programs so families can make their homes more energy efficient and save money in the process.

The bill funds these programs through a 15% corporate minimum tax and closes the notorious "carried interest" loophole, which allows executives at private equity and hedge funds, who routinely push for job cuts for CWA members, to pay a lower tax rate than anyone else pays for their earned income.

Corporate lobbyists are fighting hard to stop the bill so that executives and wealthy shareholders can continue to boost profits by dodging taxes.

Make sure your Senators hear from you! Click here to tell your Senator to vote yes on the Inflation Reduction Act and support working families.


U.S. Senate Candidate For Wisconsin Mandela Barnes Endorsed by CWA State Council

The CWA Wisconsin State Council endorsed longtime labor champion and CWA ally Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes ahead of the primary elections next week. Growing up in a union household, Barnes understands the role organized labor plays in creating a fair economy for all workers. “CWA was one of the major unions to support Barnes’ bid for Lieutenant Governor and we are proud to continue to support him as he fights to represent our interests in Washington. He has always been by our side and our members know he is committed to defending the rights of working people everywhere,” said CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton. Barnes has consistently been an advocate for CWA members in the state. Just last month, he participated in a rally organized by CWA to call on lawmakers to vote for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, national legislation that will make it easier for workers to form unions. "It was [my parents'] union membership that gave me the opportunity to stand here in front of you all today as your lieutenant governor, and I will never give up that fight for working people,” said Barnes speaking to workers during the rally.


CWA Members in Tennessee Gear Up to Defeat So-Called “Right to Work” Amendment

CWA members in Tennessee have been actively mobilizing to defeat a constitutional amendment that will enshrine so-called "right to work" laws into the state’s constitution in the upcoming election on November 8. Right to work laws force unions to advocate on behalf of workers who haven’t paid their fair share in dues. They are part of the ongoing attempt by big corporations and their political allies to drive down wages and benefits by weakening the power of union workers. CWA activists have partnered with community organizations, other labor unions, and advocacy groups like the Tennessee NAACP, the Tennessee AFL-CIO, the Tennessee chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, United Auto Workers, United Steel Workers, and many more to mobilize working families against this harmful amendment.

CWA members in Tennessee mobilize to defeat the so-called “right to work” constitutional amendment in the upcoming election.


CWAers in District 9 Building Broadband Better

CWA District 9 leaders and activists from California and Nevada gathered for a virtual town hall last week for a critical discussion with state lawmakers and community leaders on broadband expansion. The participants discussed how they can work together to ensure that federal broadband buildout funds from the bipartisan infrastructure bill are used to support good jobs for CWA members and expand affordable internet access to all communities in their states.

CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce spoke at the beginning of the discussion, followed by other invited guest speakers, including Democratic Congressman Lou Correa, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, and California State Assemblyman Ash Kalra. In addition, the CWA District 9 Broadband Brigade team members gave a detailed presentation about CWA’s Build Broadband Better campaign. The team also briefed participants about the Affordable Connectivity Program, a federal program that subsidizes internet service costs for low income households. The Brigade members wrapped up their presentation by helping participants develop action plans to get other members, their families, and community members involved in the campaign.

CWA Applauds Enactment of CHIPS Act: “A step forward in strengthening U.S. competitiveness and creating good jobs for American workers.”

Monday - August 01, 2022
Press Release

The Communications Workers of America (CWA), which represents workers at the only unionized semiconductor fabrication plant in the U.S., celebrated the passage of the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act by the U.S. House of Representatives today.

Among the provisions advocated by CWA, including $200 million towards a dedicated workforce and education fund, the bill includes key protections to prevent companies that receive funding from turning around and investing in semiconductor production in China instead.

“The CHIPS Act is a step forward in strengthening U.S. competitiveness and creating good jobs for American workers, and a crucial part of rebuilding our manufacturing sector as a whole. This investment in America’s workforce, and American ingenuity, will undoubtedly strengthen our ability to compete on a global scale,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “There is no question that we need a comprehensive approach to compete and take on China’s unfair trade practices, and this bill is a great first step in putting that approach together.”

“The passage of the CHIPS Act is going to drive a huge amount of investment in semiconductor manufacturing across the country, and CWA is ready to help thousands of workers organize to join our union to ensure that the middle class shares in this investment,” said Carl Kennebrew, President of CWA’s IUE-CWA Industrial Division. “For those workers, this bill will be a ticket to a better life. I hope that Congress sends this bill to President Biden’s desk immediately, and continues working to strengthen our competitiveness and create good jobs for American workers.”

CWA members at the onsemi plant in Mountain Top, Penn., fabricate semiconductor chips that power the electric vehicle, solar power, battery storage, 5G, medical, aerospace, and smart appliance industries. It is currently the only union-represented final assembly semiconductor manufacturing workforce in the United States.


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

Organizing Update

Monday - August 01, 2022
Organizing Update


On Monday, workers at Maximus, who are organizing with Call Center Workers United/CWA, announced the launch of a new solidarity fund to support their fight for better working conditions. The fund was launched with hundreds of thousands of dollars in initial pledges to aid workers at different Maximus call centers if they ever need to go on strike, without jeopardizing their housing or ability to cover critical expenses like medications.

Workers at two of Maximus’ largest call centers went on their first-ever strike on the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act in March to protest Maximus’s anti-union campaign and demand pay parity with other federal contractors. In May, workers at some sites staged a two-day strike to call for more affordable healthcare and higher wages. CWA members, other union members, and community allies, who have stood in solidarity with Maximus workers throughout their organizing campaign, are making individual contributions as a show of continued support. Click here to make a contribution and help strengthen the power of workers at Maximus.


Verizon Wireless

Hannah Borstel, a Consultant at Verizon Express in Portland who is organizing with her co-workers to form a union with CWA, was the featured guest for 90.7 FM KBOO’s Labor Radio program. In the episode which aired on Monday, Hannah explained why she and her co-workers are organizing a union including the working conditions that led the workers to want to organize and fight back. During the interview, Hannah also highlighted how being part of the national wave of organizing among retail workers who face similar challenges has been inspiring for her and her co-workers to keep the fight going. Hannah ended her interview by calling on community members to support the workers’ organizing efforts and sharing the various ways they can do so through social media and other means.


The Atlantic

Workers overseeing the tech infrastructure and business operations of The Atlantic announced they are forming a union with The NewsGuild of New York (TNG-CWA Local 31003). Their union covers 130 workers including data scientists, analysts, software engineers, product managers, project managers, assistants, designers, and employees of the in-house creative studio, sales and marketing department, and customer care department. Workers are calling for more equity and diversity in the workplace, fair compensation, and meaningful professional development and growth opportunities for employees, particularly junior staff. Workers are also calling for a stronger say in the company’s digital and revenue strategy, particularly when it comes to advertisers. The tech and business workers will be joining their colleagues on the editorial team, who won voluntary recognition and joined The NewsGuild-CWA in June 2021.


Tender Claws

Workers at the Tender Claws game studio announced last week that they are forming the Tender Claws Human Union-CWA. All of the eligible workers have signed union authorization cards, and management has agreed to recognize TCHU-CWA.


More Organizing Updates

Workers at the Everett Herald formed the Everett NewsGuild, part of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA Local 37082), to represent the newsroom workers at the Washington state publication.

Workers at Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center, who have been fighting for a voice on the job for themselves and their animal patients, voted last week to join CWA Local 1168.

Bargaining Update

Monday - August 01, 2022
Bargaining Update

Star Tribune

Workers at the Star Tribune, members of the Minnesota Newspaper and Communications Guild (TNG-CWA Local 37002), ratified a new contract earlier this month. The wage increases the workers gained in the new contract are the highest at the Star Tribune since 2006, before the company entered bankruptcy. In addition to the wage increases, the new contract also includes a one-time bonus payment, increased paid parental leave, paid wellness days, and the addition of MLK Jr. Day as a paid holiday. The workers were highly involved throughout the six weeks of negotiations, helping them win one of the best contracts for newsroom workers in recent years.


Southern Poverty Law Center

Close to 200 workers at Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) overwhelmingly voted to ratify their first contract. The contract covers workers at eleven SPLC offices in five states. The workers, who are members of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild (TNG-CWA Local 32035), stayed committed through more than a year-and-a-half of bargaining. Highlights of the contract include wage increases, just cause protections, 401(k) retirement benefits and matching employer contributions, paid holidays, parental leave for birth, fostering, or adoption, bereavement leave, paid leave to accommodate gender affirming care, and a remote and telework agreement.

CWA President Shelton Joins President Biden to Urge Passage of the CHIPS Act

Monday - August 01, 2022

CWA President Chris Shelton joined President Joe Biden for a roundtable on the importance of passing the CHIPS Act to promote domestic production of semiconductors and create good jobs in the United States.

“The CHIPS Act is a key component of both creating good jobs here in the U.S. and strengthening our ability to compete with China,” Shelton said. “Passage of this bill is going to drive a huge amount of investment in semiconductor manufacturing across the country. It will result directly in tens of thousands of jobs to help grow a key component of our manufacturing sector.”

IUE-CWA represents workers at onsemi, a semiconductor manufacturer in Mountain Top, Penn., which is currently the only union-represented final assembly semiconductor manufacturing workforce in the United States.

“Passing the CHIPS Act is an important first step toward creating good, union jobs in a competitive U.S. semiconductor manufacturing sector,” said Carl Kennebrew, President of CWA’s IUE-CWA Industrial Division. “Semiconductors are essential for everything from appliances to cars to medical imaging devices to fighter jets. We are ready to build on the expertise of our members and help secure the supply chain for these critical components.”

Read more here.

Worker Power Update

Monday - August 01, 2022
Florida PRO Act Action

CWA Members Demand a Vote on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act

The Worker Power Coalition, a group of more than forty major labor unions and progressive organizations including CWA, launched a new national campaign pushing for a U.S. Senate vote on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The increased pressure comes as workers across the country, like Apple retail workers who are organizing with CWA, experience illegal union-busting intimidation tactics from corporations. Under the PRO Act, these tactics would carry heavy penalties. The coalition also released a new national letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democratic leadership that underscores the urgency of holding a Senate vote.

“We must do everything possible to support the growing number of workers who are joining together to improve their workplaces. Our labor laws are outdated and broken. Employers flagrantly violate workers’ rights, hold mandatory anti-union meetings, and intimidate and even fire workers for organizing,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “Workers need for the Senate to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act now so they can organize for safer jobs, better working conditions, and higher pay.”

Last week, CWA members in Florida held a rally and press event urging Republican Senator Marco Rubio to vote for the PRO Act. The CWAers were joined by other union allies, activists, and community members to demand that Rubio—who has a history of consistently voting against working people—stand with working families by supporting this vital piece of legislation that would put the power back in the hands of Florida’s workers.

CWA members in Florida held a rally and press event urging Republican Senator Marco Rubio to vote for the PRO Act and support workers.


CWA Next Generation Members Gearing Up for Fall Elections

More than 30 CWA members joined CWA Next Generation this month for a crash course in mobilizing for Election Day 2022. The online political briefing provided a look at upcoming challenges and opportunities with National Political Director Cory Medina and National Legislative and Political Field Director Yolanda Bejarano. District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton and other mentors in the CWA Next Generation program also joined the briefings.

According to Medina, if key pro-worker legislation such as the PRO Act is going to escape death in the “Senate graveyard,” members must help elect Democrats in eight critical states, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. He emphasized that governors’ races and contests for state attorneys general and secretaries of state are more important this year than at any time in recent memory, because the winners of those races will set the rules for the presidential election in 2024.

Both Medina and Bejarano talked to members about the power of member-to-member contact. “We want to have persuasive conversations with members to make sure they understand the issues. We want to build the long-term power of our union,” said Bejerano, speaking about the field plan for the next few months. She also discussed the various ways members can volunteer for member-to-member outreach in November. “We know democracy is under threat right now,” she added, “and that’s why we’ve got to leave it all on the field. It will take each and every one of us to win in November.”


CWA District 3 Members Build Political Power

Last week, CWA District 3 activists from central and north Florida came together for a political bootcamp training that was held in person for the first time in three years. Over the two-day training, participants learned about the decades-long strategic campaign corporations have engaged in to undermine workers’ rights, and worked on building critical skills including member-to-member organizing, volunteer recruitment, creating organizing plans, and much more. Attendees also discussed how to strengthen the CWA Political Action Fund (PAF) and discussed CWA's national legislative efforts to fight for pro-worker legislation, as well as CWA’s field mobilization for upcoming elections.

Several CWA-endorsed candidates including Maxwell Frost, who is running for Congress in Florida’s 10th District; Florida Senate Candidate Eunic Ortiz; and Angel Perry, Executive Vice President of CWA Local 3108 and Florida House of Representatives candidate, stopped by the training and spoke to participants. The members left energized and committed to putting in the work to elect pro-worker candidates in the upcoming election.

CWA District 3 activists in Florida came together for a political bootcamp training that was held in person for the first time in three years.

CWA Member Killed on the Job in New York

Monday - August 01, 2022

Johnny Pizarro II, a member of CWA Local 1101, was shot and killed early last week while working as a parking production assistant on Law & Order: Organized Crime in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“CWA offers our deepest condolences to Johnny Pizarro’s family and friends. Our members’ safety is our highest priority and the PPAs perform an inherently dangerous job which entails long hours at night, sometimes by themselves, on the New York City streets securing parking. The union has raised these safety issues in negotiations with the production companies. We will continue to pursue provisions in our Agreements that will provide the safest possible working environment for our members,” said Keith Purce, president of CWA Local 1101.

While the investigation is ongoing, a fundraising page has been set up to help support his family, including his six children.

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