CWA Collective Briefing November 5, 2019

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NOVEMBER 5, 2019

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HAPPENING NOW


Lower Prescription Drug Costs Now

For far too long, the pharmaceutical industry has put corporate profits over the lives of individuals. The rising cost of prescription drugs has forced consumers to make drastic choices between their healthcare and their basic needs.  

To combat this issue, House Democrats released their bold plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs. H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Cost Now Act, would lower the cost of prescription drugs for working people who get their health insurance through their employer as well as people enrolled in Medicare. The bill contains provisions that would allow Medicare to negotiate prices for the first time, limit the ability of drug companies to spike their prices overnight, and ensure that actions to address egregious prices apply to coverage beyond Medicare. 

CWA will work to ensure that legislation providing much-needed relief on drug prices makes its way through the legislative process.

CALLS TO ACTION


NAFTA 2.0 Still Does Not Work

Trump’s NAFTA 2.0 does not get the job done to stop the damages that the original NAFTA has done to millions of working families. The agreement’s workers’ rights provisions cannot be enforced, and it still includes provisions that would make NAFTA worse by locking in high drug prices. 

From the beginning of the renegotiation process, CWA has asked for language to be included to keep good call center jobs in the United States, but the language has not been added to the agreement. The offshoring of call center jobs raises risks for consumer data and puts downward pressure on standards in the U.S. It is important that we have a way to enforce the labor law agreements so that there are real penalties for violators.

We must demand changes to Trump’s broken NAFTA 2.0 proposal to make a serious effort to end the race to the bottom in wages and standards. Call your Member of Congress today: 1-855-973-4213 and tell them that unless they fix labor standards and strengthen the enforcement provisions, we will never support it!

LABOR CHAMPIONS


Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (IL-4)

Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia represents Illinois’ 4th congressional district in the city of Chicago. Garcia is a Mexican-born American politician and was elected the first Mexican-American member of the Illinois Senate in 1992. 

Congressman Garcia introduced the Reward Work Act (H.R. 3355), which would ban open-market stock buybacks that overwhelmingly benefit executives and wealthy shareholders, at the expense of workers, communities, and the long-term prospects of businesses. He is a strong progressive ally who always stands on the side of working families, advocating for strong financial reform and calling companies out when they offshore work.

He has been a strong advocate of CWA workers like Marsha Vaughn — a 29-year tenure worker at AT&T Southwest. She was forced to move away from her family for work, with little notice, after her call center was closed in Pensacola. In a related congressional hearing on stock buybacks, he called out vulture capitalist Paul Singer’s decision to push AT&T to do stock buybacks instead of investing that money in their workforce or infrastructure. (See more on vulture investors.)

During contract negotiations with AT&T Puerto Rico, Garcia signed a letter urging AT&T and its CEO, Randall Stephenson, to keep good jobs in Puerto Rico instead of outsourcing them. 

Congressman Garcia has also been a vocal advocate for bank reform and spoke out about the predatory practices at Wells Fargo. He called out former Wells Fargo CEO, Timothy Sloan, about the decline in customer experience incentive bonuses, indicating that Wells Fargo values profit over its customers and employees.

LABOR CHAMPIONS


How did American CEOs get so rich? [Article]
UAW touts ‘major gains’ in tentative agreement with GM [Article]
House Dems After Meeting With Richard Trumka: No Vote On Trump’s NAFTA If Worker Concerns Go Unaddressed [Article]