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CODE-CWA Press & Updates

CODE-CWA Newsletter: July 9

09 Jul, 2022

CODE-CWA Newsletter: July 9

“The Supreme Court is dangerously out of step with the American people. From recent decisions eliminating public sector fair share fees, to allowing employers to force workers to sign arbitration agreements giving up their right to participate in class action lawsuits, to striking down laws that allow union organizers to meet with workers, the anti-worker majority on the Court has relentlessly pursued its ideologically driven agenda at the expense of working people.” -
CWA Women’s Committee on the Supreme Court’s Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade

It’s been a rough couple of weeks here in the United States of America. In times like these, it's easy to throw in the towel and walk away, but as organizers we know that the enemy never takes a break, and they’ll continue to pick apart our rights if we stop fighting. When times are tough because the ruling classes use their institutions to stamp out progress, it's vital to remember that the people hold the power to organize, care for, and support one another.

In light of some of the tragic and regressive moments we’ve had over the last two weeks, workers are still making strides. After six months of negotiations, wireless workers at AT&T reached a tentative contract agreement that raises base wages, includes adjustments for inflation, limits mandatory overtime, curtails the outsourcing of jobs to third-party authorized retailers, and adds privacy protections for call center representatives who are working from home. And recently, video game workers around the world made a video discussing how they are building unions in their country, organizing and transforming the industry for the better. Watch the full video here.

Let's not get tired of raising our voices and standing up against injustices. We need to keep mobilizing with each other and keep talking about the issues that matter to us. We need to continue to fight in whatever capacity we can. No matter how big or small, it counts. Organize. We will prevail. Reach out!  

Trainings

On Sunday July 10th, join us for an organizer training at 12 PM PST where we talk about union basics, the CWA organizing models, and some key ways to connect with co-workers through organizing. And on Saturday July 16, join us for a building the committee training at 10 AM PST where we talk about how to build a strong organizing committee. Check the CODE-CWA organizer training program for upcoming classes!

Worker News

CWA Tech Unions, Then and Now

CWA has been organizing tech for a long time, even in the early days of the internet and the dotcom boom. Lots of the major corporations today were small companies, and considered hip places to work at; but they too had their problems and people wanted change. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of information available about other workers, and workers usually met in small groups in people’s living rooms. One prominent union group was WashTech. They started with Microsoft and Amazon during the dotcom days, and were even able to win employee benefits for countless temp workers. Their strategy was simple: try and increase the density of members in a workplace, and then start talking to employers with a majority. Another crux of unionization is information sharing amongst each other. However, although these strategies are still relevant, the focus of discussions has changed over the years. Most of the discussion back then was centered around wages and issues like employer sponsored visas. Now workers discuss work life balance, climate change, racial equity, and gender identity. Traditional issues like wages are still in discussion, but unionization has evolved to try and get rid of any oppressive system. Read more here

Facebook Asks Judge to 'Crack the Whip' in Attempt to Silence a Black Whistleblower

Facebook is trying to silence black South African whistleblower Daniel Motaung for speaking to the media about the poor working conditions he and his colleagues faced. Motaung was a Facebook content moderator in Kenya, and in 2019 he led a unionization effort with over 100 employees, but was subsequently fired for his actions. Earning only $2.20, Motaung was fighting for better working conditions and higher pay; he has even alleged that him and his colleagues were victims of forced labor and human trafficking. After suing his employer Sama (facebook’s outsourcing partner) and Meta (facebook’s parent company), facebook’s lawyer asked the judge to “crack the whip”. Rashad Robinson, president of racial justice group Color of Change said, “We need to make sure that Black employees suffering under Facebook’s ‘sweatshop’ labor conditions are free to blow the whistle without Facebook ‘whipping’ them into silence.” Read more on Time

Verizon Express Stores in Portland, Oregon Are Unionizing with CWA

These workers will join already unionized Verizon stores in Brooklyn, and the Everett/Lynnwood stores that organized earlier this year. Details in this tweet.


Op-Ed: The Rise of Tech Unions Shows Workers Reckoning

“More workers in tech seem to be waking up to the reality that if you have a good job and want it to stay that way, you cannot rely solely on management’s assurances. Unionization is a basic bulwark against a turbulent future.” Tech and game dev bosses have touted the industry as white collar and progressive with higher wages, and better benefits, and a love for the work to deter workers from joining a union. However, things are changing. More and more workers are wanting a say in the decisions that affect their work, and want to hold the companies accountable to do better. As an organizer at a unionized Apple store said, “We love our jobs. We just want to see them do better.” Workers at google were able to delay a mandatory return to the office mandate because of a lack of covid safety protocols, and Pixar employees were able to restore scene that was taken out of the Lightyear movie. Another concern is the rise of AI. As technology gets more advanced, and tasks become automated, people can be replaced. However, by unionizing workers can ensure they have job security. Read more on the LA Times


This Week in History

July 8 1903 – Mary Harris “Mother” Jones begins “The March of the Mill Children,” when, accompanied part of the way by children, she walked from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt’s home on Long Island to protest the plight of child laborers.

July 5 1935 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the National Labor Relations Act.

Song of the Week

All My Friends Are Nobodies by Zebrahead

To all my friends who are just like me

Another cog in the big machine

Another victim of the industry

It just don't mean nothing to me

To all the lost who have had enough

To everybody that has given up

Life is tough, are you tough enough?

It just don't mean nothing to me

    ……

To all my friends who've had enough

If you should fall, we'll pick you up

To all my friends who've had it rough

If you should fall, we'll pick you up

We'll pick you up



ORGANIZING NEWS!

OVER 200 WORKERS AT MEOW WOLF DENVER WIN CERTIFICATION!

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