Family Updates & Retirements

Congrats to Mike Phillips on his retirement

In Sympathy

Amy Fogg for the loss of her mother

Elden Tucker, loss of Mother in Law

Ricky Houck, loss of grandmother

The Family of John Whitehair

Marnetta Daniels and Calvin Daniels

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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Bargaining Update

Monday - March 27, 2023
Bargaining Update

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Striking CWA workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette launched the “Today in Pittsburgh Labor” radio show this week. The first episode aired on Sunday, March 19, on KDKA Radio (1020 AM/100.1 FM) and the show will continue to air on Sundays at 11pm ET. The show, which is hosted by J-Doc and Joe Krause, explores the state of labor unions in the Pittsburgh area and features union leaders from across the community with an inside look at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette workers’ strike. Upcoming episodes will follow the progress of the Post-Gazette strike and feature the voices of supporters, including elected officials and members of the business community. Journalists from the Pittsburgh Union Progress, the striking workers’ publication, will highlight stories they are covering, and leaders and members from other Pittsburgh-area unions will join “Today in Pittsburgh Labor” to discuss the issues facing working families in the region.

You can listen to the first episode of “Today in Pittsburgh Labor” here.

Worker Power Update

Monday - March 27, 2023
Florida CWAers Mobilize

Florida CWAers Mobilize to Defeat Anti-Worker Legislation

CWA activists in Florida have been working hard to stop SB 256, anti-worker legislation which is designed to circumvent the Florida constitution and destroy Floridians’ right to be union members. The bill targets Florida's public sector unions by banning paycheck dues deduction and decertifying locals below 60 percent membership. Last Thursday, CWA members joined over 100 union activists to speak out against the bill during a committee hearing in the state legislature. On Tuesday, CWAers and other union activists participated in a day of action at the state capitol in Tallahassee and Miami to call on state lawmakers to vote against this harmful bill. The CWA activists are committed to continuing to mobilize along with other labor partners to defeat this bill and hold their state representatives accountable.

Florida CWAers Mobilize
CWA activists participated in a day of action in Florida as part of their mobilization to defeat SB 256, anti-worker legislation which is designed to weaken unions and destroy Floridians’ right to be union members.


CWAers in Minnesota Build Support for Pro-Worker Legislation That Will Ban Mandatory Anti-Union Meetings

CWA and other labor partners, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Minnesota, are mobilizing to build support for new legislation that will ban mandatory anti-union “captive audience” meetings that employers use to prevent workers from forming unions. The legislation, which makes it illegal to retaliate against workers who decline to participate in these meetings that are designed to intimidate workers and weaken their organizing efforts, is co-sponsored by State Representative and AFA-CWA Local 27048 member Kaela Berg, who is a staunch advocate of workers’ rights in the state legislature.

“[W]e were subject to numerous tactics by our employer to try and divide our united group and scare our colleagues. As an open committee member, I expected and experienced hostile management and retaliation. But the captive audience meetings, billed as ‘programming meetings’, was where this was turned onto every employee in our unit right before the vote,” said Michaela Arellano, a worker and organizing committee member at M Health Fairview who testified in support of the bill at a committee hearing last Tuesday. Arellano and her colleagues are organizing to form a union at their workplace with support from CWA and SEIU. In lieu of national legislation to ban captive audience meetings, advancing such legislation on the state level will have a significant impact in curbing anti-union tactics and increase workers’ ability to organize freely.

Michaela Arellano Testimony MN
Michaela Arellano, a worker and organizing committee member at M Health Fairview, testified at the Minnesota State Capitol in support of legislation to ban mandatory anti-union “captive audience” meetings.


CWAers Build Support for Pro-Worker Candidates in Upcoming Local Elections

In Wisconsin, the election for the open Supreme Court seat is coming up fast on April 7. CWA members, along with a coalition of other pro-labor and pro-democracy activists, are continuing to mobilize to build support for Judge Janet Protasiewicz​, a CWA-endorsed candidate who won her primary election last month. This is a critical election that will determine how the court will rule on issues like worker protections, voting rights, and even how legislative district maps are drawn. Every vote counts to fight back against the anti-labor groups who are spending millions of dollars on this race. Click here to register for upcoming phone banking opportunities and to help turn out the vote.

In Chicago, CWA members are mobilizing to build support for mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson, who recently received CWA’s official endorsement ahead of the election on April 4. Johnson is an experienced union organizer, teacher, and county commissioner with a proven track record of supporting workers and communities over corporations. He supports making the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share in taxes and is committed to fight for good jobs, fully funded public schools, affordable housing, public transit, and more.

CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens Highlights the Power of Organizing at “Labor Spring” Forum

Monday - March 27, 2023

CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens joined Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Secretary Treasurer Elissa McBride, and other speakers at a workers’ rights forum hosted by the Workers’ Rights Institute of Georgetown Law as part of Labor Spring 2023, a nationwide series of more than 60 labor teach-ins and events on campuses and in communities nationwide.

Union leaders, organizers, lawmakers, and union member activists discussed workers’ rights and labor law in this moment of sweeping organizing and activity among the nation’s working people, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Participants learned about how already vulnerable workers (especially workers of color) have been made more vulnerable since the pandemic through inadequate wages and safety protections, abusive monitoring causing a proliferation of workplace injuries, surveillance of union activity, unlawful termination, and laws and policies on captive audience speeches designed to coerce, intimidate, and silence of workers’ voices.

Learn more about Labor Spring at


Monday - March 27, 2023
Today in PGH Labor KDKA

CWA’s new weekly radio show to highlight voices of Pittsburgh’s union workforce

“Today in Pittsburgh Labor” kicked off with an inside look at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette strike, where workers have been off the job for over six months

PITTSBURGH - This weekend, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) launched “Today in Pittsburgh Labor,” a radio show airing in partnership with KDKA Radio. The show, which explores the state of labor unions in the Pittsburgh area and features union leaders from across the community, kicked off on Sunday, March 19, with an inside look at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette workers’ strike. One of the most important labor struggles happening in Pittsburgh today, the Post-Gazette strike shines a light on the broader issues across the labor movement and media industry. The strike started on October 6 after Post-Gazette owner Block Communications effectively cut workers’ healthcare and is now in its sixth month.

“Today in Pittsburgh Labor” is hosted by J-Doc and Joe Krause and airs on Sundays at 11pm ET on 1020 AM/100.1 FM. It comes as Pittsburgh sees a major uptick in union activity and calls for corporate accountability. You can listen to the first episode of “Today in Pittsburgh Labor” here.

“Pittsburgh has a long, proud history of worker activism, and this show will honor that by putting workers’ voices front and center,” said CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney. “This is a community that supports workers rights, and our members at the Post-Gazette are proof of that. We’ve been on strike for over six months, and our friends, families, and elected officials in Pittsburgh have been there for us every step of the way. This city does not stand for corporate greed and the anti-worker behavior of companies like Block Communications, and we’re excited to be able to raise these important issues on this weekly show.”

CWA Locals 14842 and 14827 represent Post-Gazette production, distribution, advertising, and accounts receivable workers and The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, TNG-CWA Local 38061, represents journalists at the paper. Post-Gazette workers with Teamsters Local 205/211 and Pressmen’s Union GCC/IBT Local 24M/9N are also on strike. In addition to workers at the Post-Gazette, CWA represents Pittsburgh-area telecommunications, healthcare, higher education, advertising, passenger service, hospitality, brewing, and manufacturing workers.

"Unfortunately, the owners of the Post-Gazette, the Block family, aren't logical people,”
The NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss told “Today in Pittsburgh Labor.” “They would rather spend millions of dollars crushing workers who are just trying to support Pittsburgh with community news through the Post-Gazette website and through the newspaper, and the company would instead rather spend millions of dollars than settle for what would be tens of thousands of dollars to restore health insurance that’s affordable to all the workers in the production facilities and to go back to the contract that was negotiated by the workers in the newsroom three years ago.”

Future episodes will follow the progress of the Post-Gazette strike and feature the voices of supporters including elected officials and members of the business community. Journalists from the Pittsburgh Union Progress, the striking workers’ publication, will highlight stories they are covering, and leaders and members from other Pittsburgh-area unions will join “Today in Pittsburgh Labor” to discuss the issues facing working families in our region.

“The workers at the Post-Gazette have been on strike for months, I mean, these guys and gals have been out there standing up for a basic thing every worker in this country has earned, some dignity on the job, and they've gone more than 15 years without a pay raise,” Rep. Chris Deluzio (PA-17) told “Today in Pittsburgh Labor.” “I've been supporting those workers and standing with them. I had one of those folks, Hutchie VanLandingham, [was my guest] at [the] State of the Union address. I got him down in Washington a couple months back to take their fight to the national stage where I think they need more attention across the country, what's going on here in Western PA.”


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

Verizon Wireless reinstates illegally fired worker, provides compensation for lost wages

Monday - March 27, 2023
Verizon reinstates illegally fired worker

SEATTLE, Wash.  In a major victory for workers, Verizon Wireless has reached a settlement with Seattle-based retail worker Jesse Mason following the company’s illegal termination of Mason last year. The settlement includes Mason’s reinstatement at his Seattle and Shoreline stores as well as compensation for back pay and damages. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Verizon Wireless in April 2022 after the company illegally fired Mason for his engagement in union activities. In November 2022, the NLRB formally issued a complaint alleging the telecom giant broke labor laws and terminated Mason as an act of retaliation for his union activity.

In addition to offering Mason immediate and full reinstatement to his former position, the settlement provides nearly $15,000 in back pay and about $8000 in stock, 401k contributions, and other compensation. The settlement also requires Verizon Wireless to put up posters at the Northgate and Aurora Village locations informing employees of their rights to form a union, along with commitments to not interfere with these rights or terminate employees who engage in union activity. Mason is scheduled to return to work on March 20. 

“Verizon thought that they could shut me up by firing me. Not only am I getting my job back, but I get to walk into my old stores with my head held high, knowing I beat Verizon’s union-busters. Between all the money Verizon spends on union-busters, lawyers, and the $23,000 in compensation they’re giving me, they could have saved a lot of money and hassle by firing those union-busters instead of me,” said Jesse Mason. “This isn’t just a win for me, it’s a win for everyone across the country who is organizing. To anyone who wishes they had a union, but doesn’t want to get fired for organizing: don’t be afraid. One way or another, you will win.”

Verizon Wireless terminated Mason from his position as a Specialist after Mason attempted to organize his colleagues and attended Verizon Wireless workers’ union vote count at nearby Everett and Lynnwood stores in solidarity. Mason had received no prior disciplinary actions during his time working at the Northgate and Aurora Village retail locations.

Mason’s return to work marks another major victory for Verizon Wireless workers, who have been organizing at stores across the country to secure living wages, better working conditions and staffing levels. Verizon retail workers first organized at three stores in Brooklyn, NY in 2014 and have since been gaining momentum, organizing and forming unions in WashingtonOregon and Illinois.  In August 2022, Verizon Wireless retail workers in Everett and Lynnwood successfully ratified their first union contract after facing years of poor working conditions, including understaffing and unlivable wages, along with aggressive union-busting efforts

The settlement serves as an example of the importance of watchdog agencies like the NLRB to enforce labor laws and hold major corporations accountable.  Since his unlawful termination in April, Mason has been an advocate for labor rights and has been speaking out about the importance of a fully funded NLRB and has called on the Senate to bolster worker rights by passing the PRO Act, which would would make it easier for workers who want to form or join a union to do so.


Worker Power Update

Monday - March 20, 2023
Good Jobs for Good Airports Press Conference

Repealing Right to Work and Restoring Worker Freedom in Michigan

Thanks to the hard work and commitment of CWA activists and other labor activists in Michigan and across the country, on Tuesday, the Michigan Senate voted to repeal the state’s decade old so-called “right-to-work” law that has weakened workers’ power. “Right-to-work” laws prohibit agreements that ensure workers covered by a contract pay for their share of the costs of work done on their behalf by the union. That means that some workers reap the benefits the union provides without paying dues.

CWA activists have been on the forefront of the fight to repeal this law and restore workers’ freedom and power. During the 2022 midterm elections, CWAers mobilized with the rest of the labor movement to re-elect labor champion Governor Gretchen Whitmer and ensure that pro-worker Democrats held the majority of the seats in the state legislature. Following the election, CWA activists continued to participate in phone banks and lobby meetings and actively mobilize to get their state representatives to support the repeal of the state’s “right-to-work” law.

Last week, CWA District 4 held a virtual town hall where over a hundred participants tuned in to hear from state lawmakers and CWA leaders. CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens and CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton, who spoke during the townhall, thanked and acknowledged State Representative Regina Weiss and State Senator Darrin Camilleri for their leadership in sponsoring the repeal legislation.

Michigan Activists
CWA activists in the gallery of the Michigan State Legislature during the vote to repeal the “right-to-work” law.


Building Broadband Better in Connecticut

Last Thursday, David Weidlich, president of CWA Local 1298, testified at a Connecticut House Labor and Public Employees Committee hearing in support of legislation introduced by Senator Julie Kushner and State Rep. Manny Sanchez to attach strong labor standards language to Connecticut’s broadband funding budget. The measure would ensure that public dollars benefit the public good by requiring that all federally-funded broadband deployment across the state be subject to prevailing wage requirements and carried out by high-road employers and a directly employed workforce. During the hearing, Weidlich encouraged the committee to support the bill, underscoring the importance of using local, highly-trained workers to ensure the state maximizes this historic investment. Upholding high standards in broadband deployment and supporting good jobs across the state, Weidlich explained, would curb hiring of out-of-state subcontractors, whose subpar work not only results in poor-quality internet service, but also threatens the safety of workers and communities.

“Public dollars should be used to fund high-quality networks – which require the use of a well-trained workforce,” Weidlich said. “Typically, these [low-road] contractors are non-union, lack adequate safety training, have very high turnover, and undermine the wages and standards established by union-represented telecom employees through collective bargaining agreements. The result is a disturbing record of accidents that cause damage to utilities, public property, and homes while presenting serious risks to workers and public safety.”


CWA Member Participates in White House Roundtable Highlighting the Importance of Respecting Workers’ Right to Organize

On Friday, CWA Local 2108 member Autumn Mitchell, a Quality Assurance tester from Microsoft’s Zenimax studio, participated in a White House roundtable hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. The roundtable highlighted forward-looking companies that are respecting their workers’ right to form unions and included union members and executives from Microsoft, Ford, Orstead, and Siemens. “When Quality Assurance workers at Activision announced they were joining CWA, they were threatened, intimidated, and illegally denied raises. Nothing like that happened when we decided to organize at Zenimax. I have a lot of respect for Microsoft’s leadership for taking a different approach and continuously working with us in good faith. I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure on them to act just like all of the other tech and video game companies. But they made a commitment to trust us to make the decision that was best for us and they stood by that commitment,” said Mitchell.

Autumn Mitchell at White House Roundtable
CWA Local 2108 member Autumn Mitchell (left), a Quality Assurance tester from Microsoft’s Zenimax studio, participated in a White House roundtable hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.


CWA Airport Workers Fight for Good Jobs

Last week, CWA airport workers, members of other unions including the Service Employees International Union and UNITE HERE, and supporters joined Senator Ed Markey and Rep. Chuy Garcia at a press conference on Capitol Hill announcing the reintroduction of 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. “Miami International Airport is one of the largest economic centers in the state and yet my members must take extraordinary measures to support themselves,” said James McKnight, President of CWA Local 3146, during the press conference. “Passing the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act would improve wages for my members and improve their quality of life as they continue to serve on the front lines of the aviation industry.”

Good Jobs for Good Airports Press Conference
CWA Local 3146 President James McKnight spoke at a press conference announcing the reintroduction of the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act.


Good Jobs for Good Airports Lobbying

The bill's introduction capped off a powerful week on Capitol Hill that included a gathering of activists such as CWA Local 3645 President Donielle Prophet (second from right) to lobby members of Congress in support of the legislation.


AFA-CWA Activists Fight for FAA Reauthorization on Capitol Hill

FAA Reauthorization

Over 60 AFA-CWA activists gathered in Washington, D.C., last week for Government Affairs 101 training and meetings with lawmakers. Flight Attendants urged members of Congress to work swiftly to support Flight Attendant priorities in the upcoming FAA Reauthorization Bill, which include establishing a national banned passenger list for violent passengers, improving cabin air quality, establishing cabin temperature standards, stopping flags of convenience carriers, updating aircraft emergency evacuation standards, seatbelts for all ticketed passengers, and more.

Organizing Update

Monday - March 20, 2023
Organizing Update

TCGPlayer (eBay)

Workers at eBay-owned TCGPlayer won their union election last Friday and will become members of CWA Local 1123. TCGPlayer is one of the largest online marketplaces for verification services, card games, comics, and collectible trading cards. It was acquired by eBay in November 2022. The workers are the first group of eBay workers to win union representation in the U.S.

Throughout their organizing efforts, the workers faced an onslaught of attacks and multiple labor law violations from the company. Those attacks have continued. On the first business day after the election, TCGPlayer illegally fired Iris St. Lucy in retaliation for her union activity. “Throughout our union campaign, TCGPlayer management has waged a ruthless intimidation campaign to stop us from joining our union, including holding mandatory meetings with anti-union propaganda and creating a culture of fear among employees," said St. Lucy. “They want to make an example of us, but this egregious action only reveals how terrified TCGPlayer and eBay are of our collective power.”

The union-represented group will include close to 300 non-supervisory workers within TCGPlayer’s authentication center in New York.

Bargaining Update

Monday - March 20, 2023
Bargaining Update

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As the strike against the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stretches into its sixth month, two striking workers were assaulted on the picket line by a scab truck driver late Saturday night. The unprovoked attack sent one of the strikers to the hospital with a broken jaw, which required surgery. Unfortunately, the workers are out on strike without health insurance due to the actions of the Post-Gazette, which back in October of 2022 refused to pay the additional contractually obligated $19 per employee, per week, and instead made a proposal that could cost workers close to $14,500 more per year in out-of-pocket medical expenses. Some of these workers have not seen a raise in 16 years. Throughout the strike, the Post-Gazette ownership has been wasting money on frivolous litigation and union-busting efforts when they could be paying for the contractually obligated healthcare of their dedicated employees. The striking workers, labor leaders, and elected officials participated in a press conference on Monday, calling for an immediate investigation into the assault on peaceful strikers.

The striking workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are launching the “Today in Pittsburgh Labor” radio show, which will air on KDKA Sundays at 11pm ET, beginning on March 19. The show will cover the ongoing strike as well as other important local news. You can tune in at

Reminder: Sign Up for the Women’s History Month Event Hosted by the CWA Human Rights Department

Monday - March 20, 2023
Women's History Month Event

In honor of Women’s History Month, the CWA Human Rights Department is hosting a special virtual event on Tuesday, March 21, at 7pm ET, with Ellen Cassedy, a labor leader of the renowned 9to5 Movement. The 9to5 Movement was not only the inspiration for the iconic film and song, 9 to 5, but it is a testament to the fact that anyone can organize—and win. Click here to register.

Women's History Month Event

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