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 in New Jersey are ‘Steward’ Strong

Monday - July 11, 2022
NJ Stewards

Last week, new CWA Shop Stewards at La Casa de Don Pedro and the Leaguers, members of CWA Local 1037 in New Jersey, held their first stewards training as they continue to fight for a fair contract to improve working conditions and standards in early childhood care.

Verizon Retail Workers in Oregon Fight to Form Union With Communications Workers of America

Monday - July 11, 2022
CWA Press Release

Portland-based Verizon Express workers ramp up organizing efforts following historic union win by Verizon Wireless retail workers in Washington earlier this year

Verizon workers are the latest to join the wave of retail worker union organizing in the U.S. despite the company's aggressive union-busting efforts

PORTLAND, ORE — Verizon Express retail workers at two stores in Portland, Ore., are organizing to form a union with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) after facing years of poor working conditions including understaffing, unlivable wages, and disrespect by management. Verizon Express workers have requested voluntary recognition from the company and filed for a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election. These workers are the first Verizon Express store workers in the country to file for formal union representation and the latest to stand up to one of the most notoriously anti-union companies in the U.S.

If Verizon Express workers successfully form a union, they will join hundreds of thousands of telecommunications and customer service employees with CWA, including Verizon Wireless retail workers in Everett and Lynnwood, Wash., who formed a union with CWA in April, despite Verizon’s aggressive, anti-union tactics. Verizon Wireless flew their in-house union-busting team to Seattle the day after workers in Everett and Lynnwood publicly announced their organizing efforts and asked for voluntary recognition.

“I have worked for Verizon for three years, and the treatment we receive from management has only gotten worse. We are severely understaffed, underpaid, and have no work-life balance,” said Hannah Borstel, a Consultant at Verizon Express in Portland. “We are so understaffed that we go through extended periods without a supervisor, burdening workers with managerial tasks that we do not get paid for. It is very clear that we are not a priority for this company. After seeing Verizon workers in Washington win a union, we felt inspired and motivated to demand a voice and fight for the respect and dignity we deserve.”

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. Fair compensation, comprehensive health benefits, wage increases, appropriate staffing levels, and safe working conditions are among workers’ demands.

The latest organizing efforts signal a growing movement among Verizon workers and add to the labor momentum taking place nationwide, especially amongst retail and hourly workers.

“Every day, we try to keep the stores running as best we can, but when you are understaffed and have little support, it’s hard to provide the best service possible to customers. Change is possible, and we know that by standing together and organizing, we have an opportunity to make both our workplace and our lives better,” said Antonio Orellana, who has worked as a Consultant for the last three years at Verizon Express in Portland. “We are proud to be part of the larger movement of Verizon retail workers across the country taking action and demanding better from the telecom giant.”

Verizon has a long history of union-busting. In 2014, corporate executives and upper level management at Verizon Wireless launched an aggressive anti-union campaign targeting organizing efforts at its retail stores in Brooklyn, N.Y., the first Verizon Wireless retail store to form a union.

Despite workers in both New York and Washington ultimately triumphing and forming a union with CWA, Verizon Wireless has continued to retaliate against workers interested in forming unions at its stores. In fact, CWA filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the NLRB against Verizon Wireless on behalf of Jesse Mason, a retail worker at Seattle’s Northgate and Aurora Village stores who was illegally fired after joining with his coworkers to organize a union. The retaliation firing happened days after Mason attended the Everett and Lynnwood workers’ union vote count in solidarity. Mason is now supporting union organizing efforts at Verizon Wireless stores across the country.


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

Organizing Update

Monday - July 11, 2022
Marty Walsh with Maximus Workers

Verizon Wireless

Workers at Verizon Express stores in Portland, Ore., have formed a union with CWA and are seeking voluntary recognition from the company. The workers have also filed an election petition with the National Labor Relations Board, should the company fail to recognize the union. The workers stand firm in their commitment to form a union and collectively work to implement their stated values, including fair compensation, adequate staffing levels, health benefits, work-life balance, and a safe work environment that is built on respect and positivity.


Eastern Airlines

Flight Attendants at Eastern Airlines have overwhelmingly voted to join AFA-CWA in an election certified by the National Mediation Board. Eastern Airlines, formerly Dynamic International Airways, operates as a scheduled carrier employing 65 U.S.-based and 35 internationally-based Flight Attendants in Miami, New York, Ecuador, Guyana, and Venezuela. “Eastern Flight Attendants have spoken loudly and clearly,” said AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson. “Our entire union is thrilled to welcome them, and ready to work shoulder-to-shoulder to negotiate a contract that gives them real voice on the job, safe conditions at work, time to rest, clarity with pay protections, and benefits that reflect their contribution to the airline.” Read more here.



Last Friday, Christina Jimenez, a Maximus worker, participated in a roundtable discussion on workers’ rights with U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh in Jackson, Miss. The discussion was organized as part of a national effort for labor officials to better understand rural workforces and how to address issues workers are facing in their workplaces and beyond. Jimenez, who is organizing with her colleagues at Maximus to form a union with CWA, spoke about the challenges of being denied a living wage. "I am here because I am a mother of three and fifteen dollars an hour is not enough. Me and 40 of my coworkers recently went to the headquarters of Maximus in Washington, D.C., to voice our concerns and we won’t stop until we are heard," said Jimenez. Speaking about the barriers she and her colleagues are facing to form a union and fight for their rights, Jimenez added, “They say unions are evil. They don’t give specifics. They just say unions are evil. You are led to believe you are stuck and can’t do anything about the working conditions you are in.”

Secretary Walsh, who headlined the roundtable discussion and heard from Jimenez and the other worker organizers on the panel, said, “I think most people understand that $15 an hour minimum wage is where we need to go. That’s the floor, that’s not the ceiling. I think the fact that in every state that has incorporated a $15 minimum wage, the conversation in the very beginning was that it was going to put businesses out of business, and every state that’s instituted it, including my own state [Massachusetts], business has gotten better.”

Christina Jimenez (second from right), a Maximus worker organizing with her colleagues to join CWA, participated in a roundtable discussion on workers’ rights with U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh (center) in Jackson, Miss.

Bargaining Update

Monday - July 11, 2022
Bargaining Update


CWA District 7 members at Lumen (formerly known as CenturyLink) have reached a tentative agreement. This agreement includes an increase in wages, job security, new work brought into the bargaining unit with a commitment to hire CWA workers, and no changes to benefits and pensions for active employees. The workers have been engaged in early bargaining for the contract which is set to expire next year. The members built a strong mobilization plan via the Fight Forward at Lumen campaign for 2023 bargaining, and they continued to build power and solidarity on and off the bargaining table until the company met their demands.


American Red Cross

Last Thursday, blood service workers at the American Red Cross (ARC), represented by a coalition of labor unions including CWA, reached a tentative agreement on the 2022-2024 national addendum. The workers have been mobilizing for the last year by holding workplace actions, rallies, educating the public about their working conditions, and engaging elected officials. Although they were met with resistance on various proposals including a healthcare proposal that would allow workers’ to continue to have high quality, affordable healthcare, the workers triumphed. In addition to affordable healthcare benefits, the new agreement also includes wage increases, new language that promotes health and safety, additional resources, and more.


DirecTV (Orange)

CWA members at DirecTV covered by the Orange Mobility contract in Eden Prairie, Minn.; Huntington, W.Va.; and Englewood, Colo., continue to mobilize for a fair contract. The company has proposed major cuts to the workers’ healthcare benefits and inadequate raises that do not match with inflation. Management continues to put profits before workers in order to appease their partners at the private equity firm TPG Capital. The workers are fighting back and making their demands for a fair contract heard by participating in workplace actions, online mobilization, and more. Workers are currently engaged in a letter campaign to let the company know that the proposed cuts are unacceptable and they will not stop until they reach an agreement on a fair contract.



CWA Local 13500 members have reached a new agreement with LifePath, an organization that serves individuals with disabilities. The new agreement includes a ratification bonus for the 450 full-time and part-time workers, wage increases, continued cost of living adjustments, increased matching 401(k) contributions by the employer, and improvements to bereavement leave. In addition, the workers successfully fought back against the company’s regressive proposals to reduce their short-term disability benefits and paid time off.

Beirne Scholarships Awarded for 2022-2023

Monday - July 11, 2022
Beirne Scholarship

The CWA Joe Beirne Foundation was established in October 1974 by the CWA Executive Board to honor the name and memory of the founding President of CWA, who served for more than 30 years.

Sixteen partial college scholarships of $4,000 each are being awarded for the 2022-2023 school year. Winners, selected in a lottery drawing, also will receive second-year scholarships of the same amount contingent upon satisfactory academic accomplishment. Part-time students, taking fewer than 12 credits, will receive half of the scholarship amount.

Eligible for the awards are CWA members and their spouses, children, and grandchildren, including those of retired or deceased members.

2022-2023 Winners:

Marcel Oliart, son of Antonio Oliart, NABET-CWA Local 51018
Sehaye Luks, daughter of JoAnna Luks, CWA Local 1081
April Garcia, daughter of Ana Garcia, CWA Local 1040
Christopher Herbert, son of Robin Herbert, CWA Local 1180
Caitlin Lambe, daughter of Norman Lambe, CWA Local 1101
Anna Wallace, daughter of John Wallace, CWA Local 2201
Jason Andrews, grandson of Walter Andrews, CWA Local 3204
Shelby Hill, daughter of Nathan Hill, CWA Local 3803
Christopher Tran, son of Anthony Tran, Chicago Mailers/PPMWS-CWA Local 14430
Bea Traum, daughter of Kurt Traum, CWA Local 4340
Ameena Khan, daughter of Aisha Sultan, TNG-CWA Local 36047
Floyd Bell, III, son of Floyd Bell Jr., CWA Local 6300
Paavo Passi, son of Peter Passi, Minnesota Newspaper Guild/TNG-CWA Local 37002
Jewel Johnson, dependent of Decovan Rhem, CWA Local 9415
Nathan Guerrero, son of Anibal Guerrero, CWA Local 9586
Leah Flatman, daughter of Trevor Flatman, CWA|SCA Canada Local 30223

Click here to learn more about the Joe Beirne Scholarship Program.

Worker Power Update

Monday - July 11, 2022
CWAers for Tom Perez

CWA Next Generation to Host Political Briefings Ahead of the Upcoming Elections

CWA Next Generation will host two virtual briefings this month to explore labor's strategy for victory on Election Day 2022. In 2020, CWAers mobilized with the entire labor movement to put a pro-labor administration in the White House. If we want to advance our social and economic justice agenda, we must continue to mobilize to elect pro-worker, pro-equality, and pro-democracy candidates to Congress and state legislatures this November. During the two virtual briefings, Cory Medina, CWA’s National Political Director, and Yolanda Bejarano, CWA’s National Legislative and Political Field Director, will discuss what CWA activists are doing in critical states across the country and how members can get involved to make their voices heard.

Sign up to join one of two virtual political briefings on July 20 or 27.


CWA District 7 Members Building Broadband Better

Last week, CWA leaders and activists participated in a virtual town hall to learn more about CWA’s campaign to build broadband better. The town hall, organized by CWA District 7 Broadband Brigade members, included state lawmakers and community leaders. 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. CWA District 7 Vice President Susie McAllister spoke at the beginning of the discussion, followed by other invited guest speakers including Steve Berch, State Representative from Idaho, and Richard Andrade, State Representative from Arizona.

Representative Andrade, who was the primary sponsor of CWA-supported state broadband regulation legislation in Arizona, discussed the importance of expanding affordable high speed internet access to rural and underserved communities in the state using experienced union workers. Representative Berch gave a brief family history of his association with labor unions, and expressed his appreciation for CWA’s partnership on a number of issues including equitable broadband access.


CWAers Turn Out to Build Support for Tom Perez

CWA members in Maryland took part in a 4th of July Parade in Baltimore County with CWA-endorsed Maryland gubernatorial candidate Tom Perez to build support for his campaign. The members wore their CWA red and demonstrated their commitment to elect Perez, a pro-worker candidate who has an outstanding record when it comes to improving the lives of working families, fighting discrimination, and taking on the forces that want to restrict democratic rights. Perez also participated in a number of other parades over the 4th of July weekend across the state, including in Takoma Park, where he was joined by CWA Secretary Treasurer Sara Steffens.

Bargaining Update

Monday - July 04, 2022
Frontier Workers with Scabby

AT&T Mobility (Orange)

CWA members under the Orange contract at AT&T Mobility have won a groundbreaking tentative agreement that met or exceeded all of the goals they had set for the bargaining committee. The Orange contract covers retail workers, call center representatives, and technicians in 36 states in the Northeast, Midwest and West, and the District of Columbia.

Members mobilized around the need for wage increases to address rising costs and the effect of AT&T’s shifting of work from company-owned stores to third-party authorized retailers. The proposed contract contains substantial increases to base wages, title-specific upgrades, and unprecedented adjustments to protect against inflation. It also has a first-time requirement for at least 20% of AT&T stores to be company-owned.

“This is your victory,” the bargaining team wrote in an email announcing the agreement. “Our bargaining team could not have achieved this breakthrough tentative agreement without the hard work that you did mobilizing.”

Other improvements in the four-year contract include limits on mandatory overtime, privacy protections for call center representatives who are working from home, the addition of two weeks of paid parental leave, and new health care options.

“These workers provided essential services during the pandemic, putting themselves at risk to enable us to stay connected to one another,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “They stayed united during contract negotiations and won an agreement that recognizes the importance of the work they do and shows what working people can achieve when they join together and demand respect.”

Click here to get all the details about what’s in the tentative agreement.


Frontier Communications

CWA members at Frontier Communications in California are ramping up their mobilization efforts to build their strength at the bargaining table as they continue to negotiate a fair contract with the company. On Sunday, members and supporters gathered in Covina, Calif., for a rally hosted by CWA Local 9586 to make their demands heard loud and clear.

Organizing Update

Monday - July 04, 2022
Seven Seas

Seven Seas Entertainment

Workers at Seven Seas Entertainment won voluntary recognition last week, becoming the first manga and light novel workers in North America to form a union. The workers, members of United Workers of Seven Seas/CWA, systematically organized around issues such as healthcare, paid leave, work-life balance, higher wages, and increased transparency. Despite the fact that a super majority of workers expressed their interest in forming a union with CWA, Seven Seas Entertainment initially refused to voluntarily recognize their union and even hired a notorious union-busting firm to undercut their efforts. However, the workers persisted and ran a powerful public campaign using creativity and humor to galvanize support from fans and apply pressure on the company. Inspired by the groundbreaking Comic Book Workers United (CWA Local 7901) campaign, workers at Seven Seas organized with CODE-CWA and they hope their victory serves as an inspiration for a growing movement of workers organizing in the publishing industry.

Throughout the organizing campaign, members of United Workers of Seven Seas/CWA changed their icons to one of these two mascots, Nyacola (left) or Bartolomeow (right), as a show of solidarity.


Public News Service

Workers at the Public News Service (PNS), a member-supported news service that advocates for journalism in the public interest, won voluntary recognition earlier this month. The group of about 25 reporters, editors, audio engineers, and outreach and membership specialists will join the Minnesota Newspaper & Communications Guild (TNG-CWA Local 37002). They look forward to negotiating their first contract and working with management to create a sustainable and equitable future for PNS.

Worker Power Update

Monday - July 04, 2022
Kennebrew White House

CWAers in North Carolina Building Broadband Better

CWA leaders and activists in North Carolina 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 the state. CWA District Vice President Richard Honeycutt spoke at the beginning of the discussion, followed by other invited guest speakers, including State Senator Wiley Nickel, State Representative Ben Moss, Deputy Secretary for Broadband and Digital Equity Nate Denny, and Wayne Stewart, a high school principal.

Sen. Nickel, who is currently the Democratic nominee for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, spoke to CWAers about his plans to continue advocating for equitable broadband expansion and more good union jobs in Congress, while Rep. Moss, who was the primary sponsor of the CWA-supported state broadband regulation legislation, discussed the importance of expanding affordable high speed internet access to rural and underserved communities in the state using experienced union workers. Secretary Denny spoke about his agency’s role in ensuring broadband funds go towards good jobs instead of low road contractors. Principal Stewart highlighted how the lack of quality broadband service has hindered educational opportunities for students in the community and stressed the need to close the digital divide.


IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew Visits White House to Support Partnership for Union, "Made in America" Manufacturing for Offshore Wind Energy

Last Thursday, the White House launched a formal partnership with 11 East Coast governors to boost the growing offshore wind industry. IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew joined other labor leaders to meet with the governors and top Administration officials to discuss ways to expand important segments of the offshore industry, including manufacturing facilities, ports, and workforce training and development.

“IUE-CWA is very supportive of state and federal efforts at building out an ambitious agenda for offshore wind turbine manufacturing and installation here in the United States. Many new jobs can be created, electricity generated, and carbon emissions reduced. We want all the offshore wind manufacturing jobs of the future to be family-sustaining union jobs,” President Kennebrew said. IUE-CWA represents thousands of General Electric workers, including manufacturing workers in Schenectady, N.Y., America’s original “Electric City.” “GE is a major player in the wind energy industry globally, but they have not committed to manufacturing their next-gen Haliades offshore wind turbines here in the United States. We are asking them to do so, and expand unionized employment right here in America,” added President Kennebrew.

IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew (second from right), along with other labor and industry leaders, met with governors and Administration officials at the White House to promote a new partnership for union, "Made in America" manufacturing for offshore wind energy.


Building Support for Pro-Worker Candidates in Maryland

On Wednesday, CWA activists participated in a phone bank to build support for CWA-endorsed Maryland gubernatorial candidate Tom Perez in the upcoming primary election. As Secretary of Labor under President Obama, he played a key role in resolving the 2016 Verizon strike which resulted in big gains for CWA members. He has an outstanding record of public service when it comes to improving the lives of working families, fighting discrimination, and taking on the forces that want to restrict democratic rights.

Click here to view all CWA-endorsed pro-worker candidates for national and local offices in the upcoming Maryland primary election on July 19.

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