Family Updates & Retirements

Congrats to Mike Phillips on his retirement

In Sympathy

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

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Communications Workers of America Responds to Microsoft Layoff Announcement

Monday - January 23, 2023
Press Release

Yesterday's announcement that Microsoft will be laying off more than 10,000 workers, like similar recent announcements at other companies, highlights the growing need for tech workers to organize and lock in meaningful worker protections.

Representatives from CWA have been in touch with Microsoft, and the company recognizes its obligation to bargain over any proposed layoffs of CWA members at ZeniMax. Members of the ZeniMax worker bargaining committee will be developing proposals that reflect their needs and provide alternatives to layoffs.

Working with Microsoft over the past year we have developed a blueprint for companies that want to take the high road when workers choose to form unions. We are optimistic that the collective bargaining process at ZeniMax will provide a similar opportunity to chart a new path in tech, with innovative, worker-developed alternatives to the boom-bust cycle of layoffs in the tech industry that have had devastating consequences for tens of thousands of tech workers and their families.

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Worker Power Update

Monday - January 23, 2023
AFA House Lobbying Visit

AFA-CWA Activists Meet with the New Congress

AFA-CWA activists visited Capitol Hill last week to meet members-elect to brief them on Flight Attendant issues. During their meetings, the activists discussed the union’s several priorities for the new Congress, including the upcoming FAA Reauthorization Bill, stopping disruptive passenger incidents with a banned passenger list, improving cabin air quality, updating evacuation standards for certifying cabin configurations and proper staffing, and establishing cabin temperature standards.

AFA House Lobbying Visit
AFA-CWA activists visited Capitol Hill last week to meet members-elect to discuss the union’s priorities for the new Congress.

CWAers Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday - January 23, 2023
e-Newsletter

Every year, CWAers across the country celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and honor his legacy. This year, CWA members and leaders, including IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew and District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton, attended the 2023 AFL-CIO Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference. The conference brought together organizers, activists, and leaders for a series of timely and important discussions on the labor movement’s pivotal role in protecting and strengthening our democracy and how we can make life better for workers across America.

CWA Public, Healthcare and Education Sector Vice President Margaret Cook attended United Campus Workers-CWA Local 3865’s MLK Day celebration in Knoxville, Tenn. The event featured AFA International Vice President Keturah Johnson as the keynote speaker.

In a video message, AFA International Secretary-Treasurer Dante Harris reflected on King’s legacy. "Today we honor a great leader, a pioneer for diversity, and an advocate for labor,” he said.

Bargaining Update

Monday - January 16, 2023
Bargaining Update

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Workers at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, members of the Fort Worth NewsGuild (TNG-CWA Local 39213), ended their strike after 24 days. The workers went on an unfair labor practice strike because of the company’s continued refusal to bargain in good faith. They made history as the first media workers in Texas, and the first at a newspaper owned by McClatchy, to strike. They ended their strike two weeks ago after the company began to engage in good faith bargaining by making movement towards meeting the workers' demands for livable wages, proper parental leave, and other policies. During the strike, the workers picketed, wrote letters, spoke at local groups, and bargained for over 20 hours. The workers also received overwhelming community support. They return from this strike more empowered than ever to fight for better working conditions for all current and future journalists.

Cash Back Deals for CWA Members

Monday - January 16, 2023
Cash Back Deals

Start your new year off with up to 40% cash back! Union members get paid every time they shop with Union Plus and Be Frugal. Join today and get a sign-up bonus! Click here.

Cash Back Deals

CWA Urges Swift Action on Sohn’s Nomination to the FCC

Monday - January 16, 2023

We fully support the nomination of Gigi Sohn as Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and urge swift action on her nomination.

We are in a critical period of increased federal investment in broadband networks and digital equity initiatives, and the FCC has gone for too long without a fully seated commission. Continued delay on this nomination is inexcusable and only benefits large corporations who wish to avoid oversight and accountability.

Gigi Sohn has over 30 years of experience working on communications policy. Her meaningful leadership, dedication, and contributions cannot be overstated, as she has been instrumental in the success of many FCC programs, including on the issues of affordability, competition, open internet, modernization of the Lifeline program, and adoption of strong privacy rules for broadband providers. Sohn has also ensured that working people and underrepresented communities are front and center in charting the course for an equitable communications and media ecosystem. During the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, Sohn was a key ally in the fight to protect the jobs of the working families who ultimately ended up being harmed by the merger. Additionally, Sohn supports constructive collaboration with states to ensure effective mapping and oversight of broadband services and infrastructure.

Gigi Sohn is a highly qualified nominee. Her voice, experience, and expertise are just what the FCC and our country need to protect workers and consumers in our complex telecommunications and media landscape. The U.S. Senate majority must do what it should have done last year and end the needless delay tactics by a minority of Senate Republicans beholden to industry actors and swiftly confirm Gigi Sohn to the FCC.

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Quality Assurance Workers at Microsoft’s ZeniMax Studios Establish Company’s First Union with Communications Workers of America, Become Largest Certified Video Game Studio in U.S.

Monday - January 16, 2023
Zenimax Workers United Logo with Dragon

(Rockville, Md.) — A supermajority of quality assurance workers at Microsoft’s ZeniMax Studios have indicated that they wish to join ZeniMax Workers United/CWA either by signing a union authorization card or voting via an online portal. In accordance with its stated labor principles, Microsoft has recognized the union.

ZeniMax is a video game production company with studios in Maryland and Texas known for its popular games such as Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Quake Champions, and Fallout. ZeniMax Workers United/CWA is the first studio at Microsoft to secure union representation, and the largest group of union-represented Quality Assurance testers at any U.S. game studio.

“We’re thrilled to kick off 2023 in a workplace that’s stronger and more equitable than it was last year. This is an empowering victory that allows us to protect ourselves and each other in a way we never could without a union. Our hope and belief is that this is the year in which game workers across the country exercise their power and reshape the industry as a whole,” said Skylar Hinnant, Senior QA Tester II, Rockville.

Before us is an opportunity to make big changes and bring equity to the video game industry. We want to put an end to sudden periods of crunch, unfair pay, and lack of growth opportunities within the company. Our union will push for truly competitive pay, better communication between management and workers, a clear path for those that want to progress their career, and more,” said Victoria Banos, Senior QA Audio Tester, Hunt Valley.

Quality assurance workers across ZeniMax have been organizing for months to positively transform ZeniMax for the benefit of workers, the company, and the players who enjoy the studios’ games. Workers began signing union authorization cards in November 2022, and started the official voting process through a confidential online portal that opened on Friday, December 2 at 8am PST and closed on December 31 at 6pm PST. The unit includes all QA employees in the U.S. across ZeniMax's various studios.

Unlike other video game and tech corporations, Microsoft made a public commitment around its labor principles which included respecting its employees’ right to form a union. When ZeniMax employees announced that they were organizing a union in December, Microsoft agreed to remain neutral and allow workers to make their own decision about whether or not to join the union. The company swiftly recognized ZeniMax Workers United/CWA after a neutral third party confirmed that a majority of workers favored joining the union.

“Microsoft has lived up to its commitment to its workers and let them decide for themselves whether they want a union,” said Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton. “Other video game and tech giants have made a conscious choice to attack, undermine, and demoralize their own employees when they join together to form a union. Microsoft is charting a different course which will strengthen its corporate culture and ability to serve its customers and should serve as a model for the industry and as a blueprint for regulators.”

"It's difficult to express in words just how much winning our union matters to us. We've been working so hard to get here that it would be impossible not to be excited. We know this is not the end of our hard work, but reaching this milestone gives us faith that when workers stand together, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to," said Dylan Burton, Senior QA Tester, Dallas.

Zenimax Workers United/CWA joins the wave of game and tech workers at Activision, Alphabet, Apple, and dozens of other companies who have organized with CODE-CWA to build a better workplace.

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Follow ZeniMax Workers United/CWA at @ZeniMaxWorkers

The Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA) is a network of worker-organizers and their staff working every single day to build the voice and power necessary to ensure the future of the tech, game, and digital industries in the United States and Canada. CODE-CWA is a project of the Communications Workers of America which represents hundreds of thousands of workers throughout tech, media, telecom, and other industries who stand together to fight for justice on the job and in our communities.

Apple's Workers Deserve a Real Commitment to Change

Monday - January 16, 2023
Apple Grand Central Station CWA Press Release

Apple's announcement in its proxy statement that it will conduct an assessment of its policies on workers' freedom of association comes in the same week as the National Labor Relations Board held a hearing on its finding that the company broke the law by interfering with and coercing workers who were trying to form a union at its World Trade Center store. This is not an isolated case. Apple has repeatedly interfered with the right of workers' to join unions, and is under investigation by the National Labor Relations Board for forcing workers to attend anti-union meetings, launching an illegal company union, interrogating and surveilling workers, and other violations.

Apple claims to abide by the International Labour Organization's principles on workers' freedom of association and collective bargaining rights which define freedom of association as "the right of workers ... to create and join organizations of their choice freely and without fear of reprisal or interference.” There's no mystery here. The company's response to workers forming unions at its retail stores has clearly shown that it does not abide by these principles.

While a credible, independent assessment by individuals or organizations with the appropriate expertise on workers' freedom of association could uncover important information about Apple's response to worker organizing, including its use of union busting consultants, workers need concrete solutions now. Apple must commit to a true policy of neutrality toward union organizing efforts. Instead of forcing store managers to recite anti-union talking points, Apple should train managers to leave the conversation about joining a union to the workers themselves.

Apple's workers deserve respect and a voice on the job, not just another self-congratulatory exercise in corporate image management. We support investor advocates’ efforts to ensure this is a credible audit.

Organizing Update

Monday - January 16, 2023
Organizing Update

RaterLabs/Google

After months of mobilization efforts demanding fair pay and working conditions, thousands of Alphabet contract workers won the first ever raises in the history of RaterLabs, a vendor whose only known client is Google. Workers, known as raters, are responsible for training, testing, and evaluating Google’s search algorithms. The workers were previously paid as little as $10/hour, directly contradicting the standard minimum pay and benefits Google had announced for its extended workforce workers in 2019. In May of 2022, the workers launched a petition on behalf of Alphabet Workers Union-CWA (AWU-CWA) and met with management in October of 2022 to demand that all of Alphabet’s extended workforce were included in Alphabet’s standards, and that these standards themselves are just.

Thanks to efforts led by AWU-CWA Local 1400 members, starting on January 1, 2023, workers will now be making $14.00 or $14.50/hour, based on years of experience. This is the first ever salary increase to be won by AWU-CWA workers and the second instance in which members of AWU-CWA received their fair share with support from AWU-CWA. In 2021, AWU-CWA members organized and led workers at Modis data centers to win back hundreds of thousands of dollars in hazard pay.

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Lake Michigan Credit Union

South Division branch workers at Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) in Grand Rapids, Mich., voted last week in favor of forming a union with CWA in an official National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election, the first successful NLRB election in the financial services industry in decades. The workers, who organized with the Committee for Better Banks-CWA, join more than a hundred banking and credit union workers at CWA including workers at Beneficial State Bank and Genesee Co-Op Federal Credit Union, who won voluntary recognition for their unions. With their new union and a voice on the job, LMCU workers are looking to improve working conditions, transparency, and communication at their branch. Read more here.

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