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AT&T “celebrates” by promising sliver of tax savings to employees

You probably saw the headlines this morning: “AT&T giving $1,000 bonuses after tax bill.”  According to press reports, AT&T plans to give those bonuses to 200,000 US employees. That’s $200 million AT&T is promising to share with its employees. Sounds like a lot of money.

New AT&T Logo in Dallas, TXBut according to its annual report, AT&T would have paid $6.9 billion in federal taxes at the 35% corporate tax rate.[1]  Congress just cut that tax rate by 40%. For AT&T, that could mean a tax savings of $2.76 billion a year.

Do the math.  AT&T is celebrating – and making headlines – by promising a one-time employee bonus equal to about 7.25% of what it can expect to save on taxes next year.

One other thing: AT&T paid stockholders $11.8 billion in dividends during 2016.

So, this headline-grabbing employee bonus is equal to about 1.7% of what AT&T paid to stockholders last year.

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Just weeks ago, proponents of the tax bill promised that it would “mean at least $4,000 more in income every year for the average household.”

Communications Workers of America asked some of the country’s largest employers to guarantee “that working people will receive the raises the administration promised and ensure that the bill’s treatment of overseas profits will not result in domestic job loss.”

“Together, through collective bargaining, we can ensure that promises about wages and jobs are kept,” wrote CWA President Chris Shelton.

“By pushing employers for this raise, CWA proves that working people have power when we join together to negotiate for a fair return for the work we do. Unions remain the most effective means for working people to stand together and achieve wage growth and keep good jobs in the U.S.,” Shelton said. “If you don’t ask for your fair share you’ll never get it – so join a union and start asking.”

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The $1,000 per-employee bonus announced yesterday is a good start.  But even if AT&T raises those 200,000 employees’ wages by $4,000 (as the tax bill proponents promised):

  • that would still be less than one-third of what AT&T can expect to save from the 40% drop in the corporate tax rate
  • that would still be less than 7% of what AT&T paid out to stockholders as dividends last year.

And if this tax “reform” is followed by Social Security and Medicare “reform” – as Congessonal leaders promised, earlier this month – we’re all going to need to remember this, come next November’s elections.

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ICYMI, here are some other recent headlines about AT&T:

AT&T plans to lay off nearly 300 at center in Dallas next year

AT&T lays off DirecTV workers despite pledge to create jobs

AT&T layoffs in 2018 to take place across Missouri, Michigan, & 4 more states

AT&T looking to cut 80,000 jobs in five years

[1] According to Note 11 of the annual report, AT&T’s effective tax rate was only 32.7% last year – not 35% – so its windfall from yesterday’s tax bill may be lower than $2.76 billion/year.

Doug Jones’ Victory Is A Major Win For Labor And Could Be The Vote To Stop The GOP Tax Scam

“Doug Jones’ victory is not only an enormous win for working people in Alabama, but it’s also a victory for all Americans who are ready to stand up to the current Congressional leadership’s politics and policies,” wrote CWA in a brief statement.

Organized labor pushed hard in Alabama with what they called the “largest political program in state’s history.”

“The largest labor political program in the history of the state of Alabama has propelled Doug Jones to victory. Rarely considered an important union state by political analysts, Alabama has a higher union density than Florida and Virginia and nearly the same union density as Iowa, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin,” stated the AFL-CIO.

“This victory proves working people are a powerful political force, even in states where most people count us out,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Working people are tired of the status quo and Alabama proved that we have the power to change it and improve the lives of everyone. This is only the beginning of a potent movement to win back the freedoms of workers in America.”

“CWA members in Alabama know that Doug Jones has spent his career fighting for workers’ rights and civil rights,” said Richard Honeycutt, Vice President of CWA District 3 which includes Alabama. “I’m confident that Senator Jones will push for policies that protect working families and keep good jobs in Alabama.”

Overall the coordinated labor campaign sent out more than 116,000 mail contacts, nearly 40,000 worksite fliers and speaking with nearly 100,000 union members on the phone and at the door, Alabama working families were educated and mobilized in this historic election. African American women, who were a major factor in electing Doug Jones, make up 12% of union membership in Alabama and were nearly a quarter of all contacts by the labor program.

“Doug Jones’ victory, and the defeat of Roy Moore, should send a shockwave to those elected officials who have had a single-minded focus on advancing their agenda of destroying programs that help working families in order to finance tax breaks for corporations and the 1%. Just as we saw in the elections earlier this year in Virginia, the voters are demanding that political leaders be held accountable for their broken promises to working people,” conclude CWA.

“I am so proud of every person who volunteered and worked tirelessly to make this the biggest, most successful political program in the history of our great state,” said Alabama AFL-CIO President Bren Riley, a member of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 12L. “Together with the support of so many unions, we turned out union members and households to drive home an incredible win for Alabama’s working families.”

Seating Senator Jones

Today is was reported that the House and Senate have reached a compromise on the GOP Tax Plan and are pushing for a vote by the middle of next week.

“The GOP tax bill that passed the Senate by one vote is nothing but an attack on America’s workers,” said Trumka in a statement following the party line vote in the Senate earlier this month. “We will pay more, corporations and billionaires will pay less. It’s a job killer. It gives billions of tax giveaways to big corporations that outsource jobs and profits.

“President Trump said that he wanted to lower taxes for everyone as a Christmas gift to America, but this bill is simply a lump of coal to working families across the country. The only real gift is the major tax giveaways to Wall Street, big corporations and the super-rich, when what our country needs is investment in our schools and infrastructures that creates jobs,” Trumka concluded.

“The Republican tax plan is a handout to millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations that will raise taxes on working families and give corporations new incentives to send more U.S. jobs overseas,” said CWA President Chris Shelton after the tax plan passed the House in early November.

Now that Doug Jones has won the special election, people are calling on Senator Mitch McConnell to seat him before any more votes are taken, specifically the GOP Tax Plan.

Jason Kander a Democrat and the former Missouri Secretary of State said he certified the special election of Congressman Jason Smith, a Republican, so that he could be seated less than 18 hours later.

The advocacy group Social Security Works is encouraging people to sign the petition demanding that Sen. McConnell seat Jones before voting on what they call the “GOP Tax Scam.”

Social Security Works wrote, “Alabama voters didn’t just reject Roy Moore. They rejected the Republican Party’s disaster of a tax bill, which is a handout to billionaires and corporations―paid for by gutting Medicare, Medicaid, and other vital programs.”

“Doug Jones could be the vote that kills the Republican tax scam. But Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are rushing to jam through the tax scam before he has his chance.”

The people of Alabama have spoken and they want Doug Jones to be their voice in the Senate and that includes his vote against the GOP Tax Plan.

CWA: Employers Should Guarantee ‘$4,000 Wage Increase’ Promised by Trump Tax Plan

The Communications Workers of America wants to make sure that the nation’s biggest employers actually give working families the average $4,000 wage increases that the Trump administration says will result from cutting the corporate tax rate.

Urging CEOs to “cut through the rhetoric,” CWA President Chris Shelton said that if the cuts proposed in the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” go into effect, corporations should guarantee that working people will receive the raises the administration promised and ensure that the bill’s treatment of overseas profits will not result in domestic job loss.

Yesterday, Shelton sent individual letters to CEOs of some of the largest corporations where CWA members work including Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications, American Airlines, General Electric, NBC Universal and ABC Entertainment asking them to sign a memorandum of agreement as part of the current contracts with CWA now in force. “Together, through collective bargaining, we can ensure promises about wages and jobs are kept,” Shelton wrote.

President Trump and his economic advisers have been very clear that working families will receive these wage increases. Speaking in Pennsylvania in October, President Trump said the tax cuts “would likely give the typical American household around a $4,000 pay raise.”

Trump’s claim appears to come from a Council of Economic Advisors report that states, “Reducing the statutory federal corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent would…increase average household income in the United States by, very conservatively, $4,000 annually. The increases recur each year, and the estimated total value of corporate tax reform for the average U.S. household is therefore substantially higher than $4,000,” as much as $9,000.

Many economists, however, are skeptical, and predict that corporations will use the money from the tax cuts to buy back stock or issue dividends. That’s why CWA members are asking employers to “show us the money” and to make sure working people receive the wage increases they’ve been promised.

Links to Letters

Verizon

AT&T

NBC Universal

Frontier

General Electric

ABC Entertainment

CenturyLink

American Airlines

NH Elected Officials, Seniors Group, And Labor Unions Speak Out Against Senate Version Of Trumpcare

By now you have probably heard about the Senate Republicans plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a terrible new bill called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017“.

The text of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” was released yesterday and it is worse that we thought it would be.  ThinkProgress laid out some of the details in their post last night.  Here are a couple of the top issues with the new legislation from ThinkProgress.

  • The bill would strip health care coverage from millions of low income Americans by rolling back the expansion of Medicaid — and then making even deeper cuts.
  • The bill would follow the Obamacare subsidy model, but help fewer people.  Subsidies would only be available to those making 350% of poverty instead of the ACA’s 400%
  • The Senate bill is a massive tax cut for the rich. Rolling back taxes on those who make $200,000 a year.
  • The bill will mean higher out-of-pocket medical costs for many people with insurance.
  • The bill will seek to limit the ability of insurers to provide coverage for abortions.
  • The bill will hit older Americans especially hard. Rates for older Americans raise astronomically, making healthcare completely unaffordable.

New Hampshire’s elected leaders are speaking out against this new GOP plan.

“The Senate Republican’s secretive healthcare repeal bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that would be devastating to the health of Granite Staters,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “If passed, it would mean less coverage for fewer people at higher costs, all while giving a tax cut to the wealthy. It would significantly cut Medicaid and the program’s expansion, hurting our state’s response to the opioid epidemic, place an age tax on New Hampshire seniors, and take aim at women’s health by defunding Planned Parenthood, which provides vital healthcare services to more than 12,000 Granite State women. Taken together, this is a bad deal for New Hampshire and a bad deal for the American people. I will do everything that I can to fight it, which is why I am holding an emergency field hearing in Concord tomorrow with Senator Hassan to hear directly from Granite Staters. I will also continue to urge my Republican colleagues to work across the aisle to make needed fixes to the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it, so that more Americans have affordable, accessible healthcare.”

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans took the House Trumpcare bill, which even President Trump admitted was ‘mean,’ and managed to make it even more heartless,” said Senator Maggie Hassan. “Under the Senate Trumpcare bill, if you buy your own insurance, you could have to pay more for your coverage. You could face an age tax, which would be especially harmful if you are between the ages of 50 and 64. And you could see states undermine the requirement that insurance companies must cover the most important services.

“The Senate Trumpcare bill also ends Medicaid expansion and makes even deeper cuts to the Medicaid program than the House bill, jeopardizing care for tens of thousands of Granite Staters including children, people struggling with addiction, seniors in nursing or at-home care, and people who experience disabilities. Trumpcare also fulfills Washington Republicans’ partisan agenda of defunding Planned Parenthood.

“There is no doubt that the Affordable Care Act needs to be improved, but Trumpcare would make things worse for most Americans – whether they currently get their insurance through their employer, buy it privately, buy it through the exchange or have Medicaid. Trumpcare would raise costs, take away coverage, and hurt people across New Hampshire, all to give billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. I will do everything in my power to stop this devastating Trumpcare bill from ever becoming law, and I urge all Granite Staters to continue telling your stories and making your voices heard about how harmful this bill would be for you,” concluded Hassan.

Senator Shaheen and Senator Hassan are holding an emergancy field hearing on the Senate version of Trumpcare, today June 23rd, at 2pm, at the UNH School of Law. (More info here)

“Senate Republicans have crafted a cruel healthcare bill behind closed doors that would threaten access to healthcare for thousands of Granite Staters and millions of Americans,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “This misguided legislation would be a disaster for hardworking families in New Hampshire and cannot be allowed to become law. I’m eager to work across the aisle to repair, not repeal the Affordable Care Act. There are members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, who want to work in a bipartisan way to make constructive improvements to the Affordable Care Act to expand access to care and lower costs. It’s long past time Republican leadership abandon its single-minded focus on repealing the Affordable Care Act and instead got down to the hard work of actually improving our healthcare delivery system for all Americans.”

“I am appalled by today’s Senate Republican healthcare repeal bill,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “Like the House bill I vehemently opposed, it would kick millions off their coverage, charge older Americans more, and leave people who have pre-existing conditions without coverage for the care they need. The bills don’t stop at repealing the Affordable Care Act – they also end Medicaid expansion and drastically reduce funding for Medicaid. Ending Medicaid as we know it would set our state back in the fight against the heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid crisis and put millions of kids, seniors in nursing homes, and people with disabilities at risk of losing their care.

“Senate Republicans know the majority of Americans oppose their plan, so they wrote it in secret sessions and are now trying to rush it to a vote next week. Every person in New Hampshire who gets health coverage through the individual market, Medicaid, or the New Hampshire Health Protection Program will be affected by this bill if it passes. Even people with coverage through their employer aren’t protected because states could strip back requirements that plans cover essential benefits like hospitalization, prescription drugs, or maternity care. Over the coming days, we must all speak out and make our voices heard,” Shea-Porter added.

The Alliance for Retired Americans represents over 4 million older Americans and “stand fervently against this legislation” calling the legislation as “mean” as the House version of Trumpcare.

“We all heard President Trump say he hoped the Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would be less ‘mean’ than the House version. Today, we finally got to see the secret Senate version, and it is still ‘mean’ by any reasonable test,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “No wonder Majority Leader McConnell hid this dangerous plan for so long. It will cause harm to millions of older Americans, all for the sake of tax breaks for the wealthy.

“The Senate bill decimates Medicaid. In this respect, it is worse than the House bill, enacting even deeper long-term cuts. Medicaid covers long-term care for millions of seniors and health care for people with disabilities, making this bill devastating to older and vulnerable Americans. President Trump promised on the campaign trail that he would not cut Medicaid and Medicare. He should promise to veto a bill that does not keep that promise.”

“The 4.4 million members of the Alliance for Retired Americans stand fervently against this legislation and urge senators to vote ‘no’ for the sake of seniors, the disabled and millions of working families,” Fiesta concluded.

Labor unions were quick to point out how terrible this legislation would be for working people across the country.

“The Senate’s bill follows the same failed approach as the House-passed bill. It would deny health care coverage to millions of Americans in order to lavish huge tax cuts on corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent,” said David Cox, President of the American Federation of Government Employees National, that represents over 700,000 workers. “The Senate may have written its health care bill behind closed doors, but the harmful effects this bill would have on millions of Americans could not be clearer. What Congressional leaders are doing is shameful and disgusting, and anyone with an ounce of compassion for their fellow humans should be outraged.”

“I wouldn’t have believed it possible but the health care proposal released today by Senate Republicans is in many ways worse than the version that House Republicans adopted,” Chris Shelton, President of the Communications Workers of America. “This plan, drafted in complete secrecy by a handful of Republican leaders – all men – would leave millions of Americans without health care coverage. It allows states to drop coverage for services like maternity care and emergency services.”

“Many states would be forced to kick low-income and disabled people off their health care coverage once federal funding for the Medicaid program is cut, as this Senate bill would do. The Senate’s attack on Medicaid is even worse than that of the House bill,” Shelton added 

The Communication Workers warned that union members would be punished under this new proposal as well saying “it is a slap in the face to millions of hard-working Americans who need and want access to quality, affordable care.”

“Health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and of course the wealthiest Americans still would get tax cuts, just like in the House version.  Union members fortunate enough to keep their coverage, however, will be punished with higher costs under the “Cadillac tax” that Republicans left in place. Many Americans will find the cost of health care premiums simply unaffordable.”

The good news is that Democrats in the Senate are united against this horrible piece of legislation, but Republicans should also be outraged at this bill and take a stand for the American people.

“It’s time for those Republican Senators who today are expressing such concern about the impact of this shameful plan on ordinary Americans to show the courage of their convictions,” Shelton concluded.”

CWA: Working People Will Fight Against Shameful Trump Budget

Following is a statement by CWA President Chris Shelton on the budget released today by the Trump Administration:

“President Trump’s budget is a slap in the face to millions of people who voted for him based on the promises he made on the campaign trail. During the election, Trump visited struggling communities and vowed to preserve and strengthen Medicare and Social Security. His first budget proposal shows that the promise was an outright lie.”

“The Trump budget takes a hatchet to Medicaid, Social Security disability benefits, food assistance for older Americans, food stamps, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), cutting these and other programs by more than $1.7 trillion in order to give an enormous tax cut to the wealthiest.”

“This budget is shameful. Millions of Americans would face draconian cuts to programs that help them with basic needs while billionaires pad their bank accounts with new tax breaks.”

“President Trump, contrary to his campaign promises, has put the concerns and interests of working families dead last. We’re putting Members of Congress on notice: working people will fight back against this vicious budget that targets average Americans in order to give a big handout to the top 1%.”

Judge Orders T-Mobile to Disband Illegal Workplace Organization

WASHINGTON — A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative law judge has ruled that T-Mobile created an illegal workplace organization while workers have been organizing a real, independent union for a voice at America’s fastest-growing wireless company. The judge ordered T-Mobile to immediately disband the company-controlled organization.

“If T-Mobile wants to address its workers’ concerns and ideas, we have democratically-elected representatives ready and willing to meet with management to discuss how we can improve our workplace,” said Angela Melvin, a T-Mobile customer service representative in Wichita, Kan., who sits on the steering committee of the employee-backed union, T-Mobile Workers United (TU). “We’re telling our co-workers: Your voice matters. Across the country, call center representatives, retail associates, and technicians are coming together to support one another and fight for fairness on the job.”

The ruling is just the latest victory for TU, an organization anchored by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Germany’s largest union ver.di, which represents workers at T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom. From Maine to New Mexico, TU activists have won key workplace improvements, including paid parental leave and critical schedule improvements. NLRB judges have repeatedly sided with workers, ordering the company to rescind illegal policies that prevented employees from discussing working conditions, silenced victims of sexual harassment, and required employees to act happy.

In a desperate attempt to stop TU, T-Mobile launched its company controlled organization, T-Voice, in 2015. This copycat organization was “chartered” to be the “voice” of employees and address their “pain points.” Yet management has funded this organization, handpicked T-Voice representatives, and selected the issues that would get resolved.

In February 2016, CWA filed a NLRB charge outlining how T-Mobile had adopted this anti-union tactic that has been illegal since Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act in 1935.

In striking down T-Voice, NLRB administrative law judge Sharon Levinson Steckler wrote, “Whenever an employer unlawfully establishes and maintains a dominated labor organization, that organization must be disestablished. … The rationale for doing so dates back to the earlier days of enforcing the Act: The dominated labor organization cannot function as a bargaining representative of employees and employees must have a choice to begin anew for organizing purposes.”

T-Voice has failed to stop the growing momentum and energy of the real union’s organizing campaign. One year ago, TU took a major step forward by formally electing Chief Stewards, co-workers who are their union representatives. Workers opened their first national field office in Wichita, and they continue to forge workplace partnerships with ver.di.

“Everyday, workers are seeking out TU for help tackling the challenges we face at work,” said Victoria Singer, a T-Mobile customer service representative in Albuquerque, NM. “T-Voice is not the voice of T-Mobile workers. It’s an illegal organization run by the company to create the illusion of respect for workers. Everything we’ve accomplished is the result of TU members uniting, standing up, and speaking out. We will continue pushing for justice — particularly concerning the company’s unrealistic sales metrics and performance goals.”

CWA Reaches Tentative Agreement With AT&T Mobility

CWA Statement on Tentative Agreement Reached with AT&T Mobility

Washington, D.C. — The Communications Workers of America AT&T Mobility National Benefits Bargaining committee has reached a new tentative agreement with AT&T Mobility covering 42,000 workers. 

This proposed national agreement covers health care and other benefits.

CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor said CWA “accomplished our main goal, which was to put health care benefits bargaining back in the regional bargaining agreement process and to make health care affordable for all Mobility workers.” There are four separately negotiated Mobility contracts that now cover compensation and working conditions. 

An earlier agreement was voted down by the members last month, and continued negotiations resulted in the tentative proposal that is being provided to the membership for a ratification vote. 

Ratification will be conducted over the next several weeks. 

Among the highlights of the new proposed agreement: 

  • Reduced premium costs for 20,000 employees hired after 2014.
  • Employees with dependent children and no covered spouse will pay lower rates under a new 4-tier contribution structure.
  • Employees in Puerto Rico will be able to take advantage of popular HMO plans with much lower contribution rates.
  • A new “Option 2” plan will be introduced with lower premium costs. 

CWA Praises Nomination of Hillary Clinton for President

CWA-blue-line

Following is a statement by Chris Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America, on the nomination of Secretary Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. 

“The nomination of Secretary Hillary Clinton for President of the United States is a historic step forward for our nation, and the Communications Workers of America is proud to work with her as together we build an America that works for working families. 

“Hillary Clinton is smart, thoughtful and experienced. She brings decades of commitment on behalf of working families, and for economic and social justice for all. 

“She doesn’t just talk, she delivers. Her record of public service shows a leader who stands up for workers’ bargaining and organizing rights, for family and medical leave and other programs that help working families.

“Secretary Clinton has pledged to ‘do everything in my power to defend American jobs and American workers. Any trade deal must meet three tests to earn my support: It must create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security. I do not believe that the Trans-Pacific Partnership meets this high standard. That’s why I oppose the TPP — and that means before and after the election.’   

“CWA has a large number of members and retirees in all the battleground states, and activists will be mobilizing and engaging to elect Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States.” 

On Day One Of The DNC, Labor Advocates Push For A Higher Minimum Wage #RaiseItDamnIt

On First Day Of Democratic National Convention, CWA, SEIU Presidents, PA Senate Candidate, L.A. Mayor Call On Congress To Raise the Minimum Wage

CWA President Chris Shelton speaks at #RaiseItDamnIt Event at DNC

CWA President Chris Shelton speaks at #RaiseItDamnIt Event at DNC

National and state advocates launch #RaiseItDamnIt campaign to declare $7.25 is not enough on the 7th anniversary of last increase in the federal minimum wage

As Republicans in Congress block minimum wage increase, 17 states and Washington, D.C., have raised the wage since 2014

PHILADELPHIA — Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton, Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry, Pennsylvania Senate Democratic candidate Katie McGinty, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Working Families Party National Director Dan Cantor, Bishop Dwayne Royster and airport worker Onetha McKnight today called for policymakers and businesses to ensure all working people earn a living wage.

Coming on the heels of the most divisive and anti-worker Republican National Convention ever, over 100 advocacy groups, including Center for American Progress, Center for Popular Democracy, Economic Policy Institute, the Fairness Project, National Employment Law Project, the Working Families Party, and others are holding a national day of action on the anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25 an hour.  More than 50 canvassers arrived in Philadelphia as the Democratic National Convention began, and actions in states around the country are demonstrating support to #RaiseItDamnIt on social media with a trending hashtag and over 1 million social media impressions so far today. Popular Twitter accounts also tweeted about the day of action, including: @BarackObama, @SenatorReid, @LaborSec, @PattyMurray. and others. The website, RaiseItDamnIt.org, will continue to be the online organizing hub of activity.

“Working families are suffering because, for too long, our elected officials have refused to act. A living wage isn’t a luxury, it’s a right that must be enforced by raising the federal minimum wage,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. 

“All workers deserve $15 an hour and the ability to have a voice on the job by joining a union,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “This November, working families face a clear choice between Hillary Clinton, who supports our movement, and Donald Trump, who thinks wages are already too high. This election is the most consequential of their lifetime and the stakes could not be higher.”

The last increase to the minimum wage was signed into law in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and supported by Republicans in both the House and Senate. Raising the wage is popular with the American public: 63 percent of Americans support a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2020, and a September 2015 poll found that, by a 3-1 margin, voters are more likely to support political candidates who favor raising the minimum wage.  

“It is time for us to enable our citizens to be able to make a living wage and have the opportunity to thrive,” said Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty. “Right now, people making the minimum wage are struggling to get by, and we need to do better for Pennsylvania workers and for workers around the country.” 

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who signed a $15 an hour minimum wage bill into law in Los Angeles in 2015 said, “No American who works hard should be forced to live in poverty. For the 600,000 Angelenos this will affect, the bill is a lifesaver. But we can’t stop until all Americans earn a living wage.”

“There are millions of Americans in states red, blue, and purple who struggle to put food on the table everyday. It’s a national disgrace,” said Dan Cantor, National Director of the Working Families Party. “Politicians should shut out the lobbyists for the 1 percent long enough to hear the truth, and those who can’t should pay the price.”

Four states will also bring minimum wage referendums to their voters this fall, as Colorado today submitted 200,000 signatures, more than twice the required amount, to join Arizona, Maine, and Washington. This comes on the heels of two of the most populous states in the country – California and New York – passing a $15 an hour minimum wage increase, earlier this year.

“As a father, husband, minister and social justice advocate in Philadelphia, I see first-hand how the minimum wage marginalizes people of color and contributes to the cycle of poverty we are stuck in,” said Bishop Dwayne Royster, Founding Pastor of Living Water UCC. “Economic justice must be sought alongside racial justice.”

“I stood with my brothers and sisters on strike to demand what we deserve: a higher wage and access to a union,” said Onetha McKnight, a wheelchair attendant at Philadelphia International Airport. McKnight and her co-workers have been organizing for more than three years and just last week were victorious in their demands for a fair process to form their union and negotiate a living wage

“Because of Republican obstruction, the federal minimum wage has been frozen at just $7.25 for seven years – locking more than 35 million American workers in low-paying jobs. Today, families and voters across the country are saying enough is enough – we need national leadership that will #RaiseItDamnIt,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project Action Fund.

“The call for a higher minimum wage is getting louder all around the country – because it’s getting harder and harder to put food on the table, afford rent, or support a family,” said JoEllen Chernow, Director of Economic Justice at Center for Popular Democracy. “We’ve waited nearly a decade for a meaningful raise, and we simply cannot wait one more. It’s time to give Americans a raise and ensure we support all working families in this country.”

CWA Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

CWA-blue-lineWashington, D.C. — The Communications Workers of America whole-heartedly endorses Secretary Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

We know that elections are about choices. The contrast between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, couldn’t be greater.

Hillary Clinton has stood with CWA members and pledges her commitment to making life better for working families.  She’s walked with us on the Verizon picket line. She supports the call to get big money out of politics. She is committed to ending special treatment for Wall Street and the 1 percent. She wants to help students end the cycle of education debt. She has a solid record on the issues that are critical for working families: bargaining rights and the right to organize; family and medical leave; closing tax loopholes that benefit the 1 percent at the expense of our communities; secure health care and retirement benefits, and equal pay legislation. She has reaffirmed her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, now and in a possible lame-duck session of Congress.  

Donald Trump also has been telling us exactly what he would do. He supports “right to work” laws that weaken workers’ bargaining rights.  He thinks the minimum wage is too high and that workers who want good jobs should accept lower wages.  He dismisses the need for equal pay for women.  He talks a good game about bad trade deals but manufactures his fancy ties offshore.

Hillary Clinton is thoughtful and experienced. Donald Trump is reckless, unthinking and much more likely to cut a deal with his billionaire colleagues than look out for working families.

In a Donald Trump administration, we’d be watching our backs for four years. We’d have no opportunity to move forward on real gains for working families, instead, we’d be forced on defense, just to defend the jobs and gains we’ve made over the years. With Hillary Clinton as president, we will have the ability and opportunity to push forward on our agenda to build a just, democratic society for working families.

The choice is clear.  CWA will do everything we can to mobilize our members and activists to elect Hillary Clinton President of the United States.

The largest number of CWA members and retirees are in California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Ohio. Activists will be engaged in worksite actions, staffing phone banks, neighborhood walks, and other support.

After receiving the endorsement of the Communications Workers of America, Hillary Clinton issued the following statement:

“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of the Communications Workers of America.

“For decades, the CWA has connected Americans to each other—and along the way, they’ve helped build the American middle class.

“As President, I will always stand with the CWA to protect workers’ fundamental rights to organize, to bargain collectively, to be safe on the job, and to retire with dignity and security after years of hard work. I was proud to join the CWA on the picket line this year as they stood up to Verizon and fought for a fair deal.

“And I will do everything in my power to defend American jobs and American workers. Any trade deal must meet three tests to earn my support: It must create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security. I do not believe that the Trans-Pacific Partnership meets this high standard. That’s why I oppose the TPP — and that means before and after the election.

“Above all, we must make sure unions have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House. Because when workers are strong, families are strong—and when families are strong, America is strong.”

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