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Momentive workers have reached a tentative agreement to end the 14-week strike in Waterford, NY. Supporters like you came out to the picket line, signed petitions, came to rallies, and donated thousands of dollars that helped support the working families on strike. Your help has been invaluable and we offer our sincere thanks. Details of the agreement are being withheld until they are presented to workers at contract explanation meetings this weekend, but we are confident the agreement addresses the concerns of workers about retirement and health and pension security. Workers will vote on the contract next week and, if the contract is approved, will return to work on Wednesday, February 15. Thank you again for standing with the working families on strike. Your support helped strengthen the power of working people not only in Waterford, but across the country.
Robert Reich on Why Right-to-Work is WRONG
In a number of states, a battle is being waged over so-called Right-at-Work laws, which should really be called Right-to-Work is wrong laws. Right-to-Work DOES NOT guarantee anyone a right to work. Right-to-Work laws are designed to destroy unions, take away member benefits, and put a choke-hold on the voice of working men and women. To watch a short video on Right-to-Work laws and why they are meant to destroy labor and the working class, click here
Robert Reich Resistance Report -- January 2017
Some Democrats are starting to stand up—boycotting committee hearings, joining protests, and promising to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee—but we need all Senate Democrats to catch up with the resistance in the streets and do their part in this unprecedented moment.
America's Great Working-Class Colleges
The heyday of the colleges that serve America’s working class can often feel very long ago. It harks back to the mid-20th century, when City College of New York cost only a few hundred dollars a year and was known as the “Harvard of the proletariat.” Out West, California built an entire university system that was both accessible and excellent. More recently, these universities have seemed to struggle, with unprepared students, squeezed budgets and high dropout rates. To some New Yorkers, “City College” is now mostly a byword for nostalgia. It should not be. To read entire story, click here
Technology vs. The Middle Class
There is a reason we live in a golden age of dystopian science fiction: Increasingly, it feels like it is coming true. From “The Hunger Games” to “Elysium,” stories depict a world in which the trend of growing wealth and income inequality continues to its logical conclusion.This narrative seems inevitable because it has occurred throughout history. The Luddites who attacked the automated looms that displaced them aren’t so different from the millions of truck drivers who could be displaced by self-driving vehicles. What we’re going through now is called the fourth industrial revolution, marked by rapid innovation in automation, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, nanotechnology and other areas. "This will have a direct impact on the work our members do in the next decade. Just ask a phone worker or bank teller," said Local 1180 President Arthur Cheliotes. To reach full story, click here
The U.S. Mail is Not for Sale
Union Victory Over Staples and Postal Privatization
Five years ago the Post Office began a series of moves aimed at the step-by-step privatization of the U.S. Postal Service, the country’s largest unionized employer. One such move was a 2013 program to farm out postal window services to so-called “postal counters” at 500-plus Staples office supply stores.
The American Postal Workers Union confidently swung into action, with an ambitious campaign to beat back the Staples challenge – from nationwide boycott, internet organizing and mass demonstrations at Staples stores, to legal action, Inspector General investigations and Labor Board appeals.
Union activists organized a mailing of 100,000 postcards to the company CEO, attended stockholders’ meetings, and intervened to help scuttle Staples’ proposed $5.5 Billion merger with Office Depot. The two big teachers unions, AFT and NEA, acting in solidarity with the postal workers, saw to it that Staples’ substantial revenue from sale of school supplies suffered a drastic cut.
On Jan. 5, the Postal Service informed the union that its scab partnership deal with Staples was finished (effective the end of February). The union, in its victory statement, announced that the Staples boycott was over, and that “the U.S. Mail is not for sale”!
“This is a big win,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “Staples is out of the mail business. This is also a big win for those who care about their neighborhood post office, and for all those who think that workers should earn a fair living wage with decent health care and a pension, rather than the Staples model of minimum wage, part-time hours and no benefits.”
“If Staples was going to take our work and jobs for their private profit, we were going to hit back and affect their bottom line,” Dimondstein said. He added that this is not only a victory over Staples, but will affect USPS plans to privatize retail services using other corporations, as well. “Those companies,” he said, “have largely backed-off and gotten the message – mess with postal workers and our customers and you will have to tangle with the APWU family.”
He thanked the many Stop Staples activists who worked day-in and day-out to see this struggle through. “A job well-done, sisters and brothers,” he said. “This victory helps strengthen and steel us for the battles ahead.”
Local 1180 Sues City After Administrative Employees Discover They are Underpaid
On December 21, PIX11 broadcast a segment on Local 1180's ongoing fight to obtain equitable pay for women and minorities. To see the broadcast, click here.
For 33 years, Lourdes Acevedo has worked hard for the city, starting as a traffic enforcement agent and moving her way up to an administrative manager position. Her salary has climbed since she started, but over recent years she’s discovered she’s grossly underpaid, especially when you compare her $60,000 a year salary to the $125,000 a year salary her white male counterpart is allegedly making.
Sadly, it appears Acevedo is not alone. In fact more than 1,500 minority women who hold administrative managerial jobs across virtually every city agency are making similar claims. CWA 1180, the union representing these women, said they were left with little option and just last week filed a notice of claim against the city, demanding retroactive pay amounting to $243 million ... to read the entire story and to watch the broadcast, click here.
Carbon Monoxide -- an Invisible Killer
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is the “invisible” killer. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. Every year more than 100 people in the United States die from unintentional exposure to carbon monoxide associated with consumer products.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is produced by burning fuel. Therefore, any fuel-burning appliance in your home is a potential CO source. When cooking or heating appliances are kept in good working order, they produce little CO. Improperly operating appliances can produce fatal CO concentrations in your home. Running a car or generator in an attached garage can cause fatal CO poisoning in the home. So can running a generator or burning charcoal in the basement, crawlspace, or living area of the home.
For more information on Carbon Monoxide, how to detect if it's in your home, and how to help prevent it from entering your home, click here
City Workers Now Entitled to Four Hours of Excused Leave
for Prostate and Breast Cancer Screenings
City of New York employees now are entitled to excused leave to undertake a screening for breast or prostate cancer. Effective July 21, 2016, City employees can take an excused absence for prostate cancer screenings under Chapter 96 of the Laws of 2016. Effective September 25, 2016, City employees are entitled to an excused absence for breast cancer screenings according to Chapter 74 of the Laws of 2016. Both laws were enacted to include City employees among public employees entitled to take excused leave for these cancer screenings. These provisions permit employees to take a paid leave of absence for a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours, on an annual basis to undertake either of these screenings. The entire period of leave is excused leave, not to be charged against any other leave that the employee is entitled to receive.
New York's Government Grows to Record Level
New York City is undergoing a rare explosion in city government: More people now work for the city — 287,002 full-time employees as of July — than at any other point in its modern history, with thousands more scheduled to join them. The projected growth finds few parallels in other major American metropolises; most, like New York, trimmed their numbers after the financial crash of 2008. To read full story
Arbitration Award Summary
Arbitrator's $5,000 Increase in the Minimum
For full Administrative Manager Arbitration Decision, click here
Affordable Housing Opportunities
As you know, we’re currently in the middle of a housing crisis, which is effecting New Yorkers across all demographics and classes. Too many hard-working residents are struggling to pay high rents for less than decent quality housing. Stability starts in the home. The affordability of housing makes a major difference in the lives of New Yorkers. By increasing the availability of affordable housing, we will make it possible for more families to succeed.
Many members have asked for more information about the housing lotteries and affordable housing in general. I encourage you to visit the NYC Housing Connect website, and share this information with anyone who may benefit. Find and apply for Affordable Housing with NYC Housing Connect at:
NYC Housing Connect helps you:
• Learn how to apply for affordable housing in New York City.
• View current and upcoming housing opportunities.
• Start, save, and complete an application for your household.
• Apply to housing options for which you may qualify
Below are a couple of Affordable Housing opportunities and links from Housing Connect:
297 NEWLY CONSTRUCTED UNITS AT 535 Carlton Avenue, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
110 NEWLY CONSTRUCTED UNITS AT 560 Winthrop Street, Brooklyn, NY 11203 Wingate
Open Society Foundations Staff Vote to Unionize with CWA Local 1180
On Thursday, July 21, 209 staff members at the Open Society Foundations (OSF) unionized in their New York and Baltimore locations by electing to join Communication Workers of America Local 1180. Votes were cast by non-managerial employees with the exception of HR and IT staff members. The final vote count totaled 109 to 80 in New York and 7 to 2 in Baltimore. Local 1180 represents several non-profits such as Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, and many others. OSF's unionized employees will work to broaden and diversify structures of decision making and further demonstrates how organized labor has a future in non-traditional, non-profit organizations. "We want to pave the way and uplift this effort in solidarity with other workers organizing across the United States and the world," said Karina Claudio Betancourt, OSF Program Officer. "Thursday was a great victory for the workers at Open Society Foundations (OSF). We are excited to have OSF join us at CWA 1180. These individuals will now have a seat at the table to bargain with management and have a greater say in organizational decisions that affect their jobs and lives. We look forward to having a collaborative relationship with OSF," said Arthur Cheliotes, CWA Local 1180 President. "The unionization of the Open Society Foundations is a watershed moment. We are thrilled to be members of CWA and are ready to work to refine our workplace culture, which in the end serves to make us more impactful and effective grantmakers," said Donysha Smith, OSF Communications Coordinator.
Why the Fight for $15 Is Our Fight, Too
Across the country, CWA activists took to the streets to demand higher wages and a voice on the job. We stood with thousands of fast-food, bank, airline, home care and other service-sector workers, fighting for $15 an hour. Read More
An Epic Documentary Film Series about the History of the American Labor Movement! STRENGTH IN UNION (Full Trailer) Fundraising Trailer Short
Robert Reich: The Big Picture #SaveTheEconomy by MoveOn.org