Click HERE to subscribe to the CWA Collective Briefing.
|SEPTEMBER 10, 2019|
Off-Season Elections Critical to Working People
With most of the country focused on the 2020 elections, CWA members are focused on electing pro-worker candidates and defeating anti-worker politicians this fall. Just this past week, CWA conducted a Tier I Political Activist Training in Kentucky, where members strengthened the skills they need to build worker power this election cycle. The electoral races heating up this fall are in Louisiana, Kentucky, Virginia, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Mississippi.
In Louisiana, CWA is supporting Governor John Bel Edwards, who is running in a tough re-election campaign, facing two right-wing, anti-union challengers. Edwards has a solid pro-working families record including being the first governor to sign the most expansive state bill helping protect call center and other jobs from offshoring, expanding Medicaid and protecting funding for public education and hospitals.
CWA and IUE-CWA locals in Kentucky are working to unseat Governor Matt Bevin, who has been notoriously anti-worker since taking office in 2015. His first act as Governor was to sign “Right to Work (for Less)” into law and for the last 3 years, he has staged an all-out attack on working people in Kentucky. The work done this year is helping build infrastructure to challenge SenateMajority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020, who is an anti-labor legislator and has been the primary block for pro-worker legislation getting passed in the Senate.
Virginia and New Jersey have state legislatures up for re-election in 2019. Virginia is fighting to flip the seats of politicians who are not supportive of labor and protect legislators who have stood with CWA. Changing just one seat in each chamber could take control of the entire state legislature away from some of the most aggressively anti-worker state legislators in the country. New Jersey CWA members are fighting to hold anti-worker legislators accountable for attacking public workers’ collective bargaining rights. In North Carolina and Mississippi, two CWA members running for office. Yvonne Kinston is running for Fayetteville city council in North Carolina, challenging incumbent Jim Arp. Vice-President Juan Barnett of Local 3509 is running for re-election to the Mississippi State Senate.
Protect Workers Against Heat Stress
Heat is the leading weather-related killer, and it is becoming more dangerous as 18 of the last 19 years were the hottest on record. Yet, there are no federal heat protections for workers. Exposure to heat, both outdoors and indoors, affects so many of our CWA members in many sectors including airlines, telecommunications, IUE-CWA, NABET-CWA, and public sector such as traffic enforcement.
As the climate crisis gets worse, we must protect workers from extreme heat. The Asuncion Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act (H.R. 3668) requires the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to issue a heat standard for impacted outdoor and indoor workplaces, giving workers access to water, rest breaks in shaded or climate-controlled spaces, a plan to help workers adjust to the heat, training, anti-retaliation rights, and other measures.
Ask your Representative to support H.R. 3668 and let them know we need heat stress protections that keep our workers safe!
Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04)
Congressman Peter DeFazio represents Oregon’s 4th Congressional District. He was the former commissioner of Lane Country, Oregon, and a veteran of the United States Air Force Reserves. The Congressman has been a long-time ally of working people. Recently, he joined CWA on the picket line to demand that United and Air Wisconsin pay up for our AFA-CWA members, Aviation’s First Responders.
Time and time again, he has proven his commitment to Labor. When PenFed Credit Union announced over 100 layoffs at a call center in Eugene, Oregon, shortly after the workers had started efforts to unionize, Congressman DeFazio wrote to PenFed’s CEO. He urged PenFed to remain neutral while Eugene employees worked to unionize and to not hinder their efforts of engaging in concerted protected activities in any way.
As Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman DeFazio has fought hard for the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA members, including leading the fight to ensure that flight attendants get adequate rest time between shifts. As a member of the House Trade Working Group, he helped lead the fight to save jobs and oppose the TPP. The Congressman fought back against the GOP corporate tax cut and urged that those funds be used to help create jobs by investing in our infrastructure. He is the lead sponsor of the “Tax Wall Street Act,” a bill to ensure that Wall Street traders pay sales taxes on their trades just like we have to pay on our purchases. CWA supports this bill as part of our effort to fight back and Take on Wall Street. Finally, he is a consistent supporter of good jobs and was an original sponsor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to strengthen workers’ rights to form unions and the Raise the Wage Act to increase the minimum wage to $15.
A DEEP DIVE
The Worker’s Friend? Here’s How Trump Has Waged His War on Workers [Article]
The Coming Wave of Primary Challenges to Corporate House Democrats [Article]
North Carolina Gerrymandering Trial Could Serve As Blueprint For Other States [Audio]