with your Union. Go to 7102
Contacts/Email to find out how.
meetings are now at 6:30 PM (time change) on the 2nd Thursday of each
Financial Group has assisted our members with questions on pensions and
reitrement. Feel free to take advantage of their services. See
to contact them in our Resource
Expanded links to CL Benefits &
in our Resource Info
have all the
links to what you may need. They are right here when you need
Check Out This New Feature
Attached is the first edition of Centurylink's Retiree Benefits and
Wellness newsletter .
It can be accessed at www.centurylinkbenefits.com.
and then clicking on Retiree Status.
Benefits and Wellness Newsletter for CenturyLink Retirees
It is planned as a quarterly newsletter.
union revolt no one is talking about: This election proved that you
overlook the labor movement at your peril
took rank-and-file union members for granted. They must make labor
central to the conversation again
Trump’s election victory has sent the Democratic Party into a circular
firing squad of recrimination. But the folks that should really be
worried are the leaders of organized labor who opted to back
Hillary Clinton, the “sure thing,” over the right thing, Bernie
Sanders. This decision by the union leadership was in the face of consistent
polling throughout the primary season that showed
Sanders holding a commanding lead over Trump in head-to-head matchups.
74-year-old Vermont firebrand just did not have all of Clinton’s
baggage on free trade, Clinton Foundation self-dealing, and the
six-figure speeches she gave to the likes of Goldman Sachs that had
pillaged America’s Main Street for fun and profit,
since the Reagan Revolution has the leadership of organized labor been
so repudiated by the vote totals in the very states and counties data
would indicate they should be able to deliver. NBC reports that Trump
flipped 225 counties that President Obama carried in states like
Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, where union registration is well
above the national average. Yet the exit polls indicate the rank and
file union voters split with their leadership over who should lead the
polls documented that in Ohio,
that went for Obama in 2008 and 2012, Trump’s anti- free trade stance
and messaging on the economy carried the day with union households that
Romney lost to Obama by 23 points. Four
years later Trump
carried those same union households by 6 points. For these communities,
the loss of good paying factory jobs to global free trade was life
altering with generational consequences the elites missed.
corporate news media had to concede that the Trump working class wave
had come from states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan where the
damage done to the Main Street economy by the Great Recession (or Great
Wall Street Heist) had been far more extensive and enduring than they
had reported. If the media did not see Donald Trump coming, it was
because they had become entirely disconnected from the circumstances of
the working class.
alleged “recover” that President Obama hoped would be a
corner stone of his legacy made the banks more than whole but left
many rust belt many households twisting in the wind. Whatever income
gains there were went overwhelmingly to the top one percent.
surprisingly, the places where Donald Trump made inroads with union
households were the counties that had not recovered from the
financial crisis, and in many cases were already in decline from
before the official start of the Great Recession. As I have previously
reported, as late as this early this year the National
Association of Counties had documented that a full recovery
had actually only occurred in seven percent of America’s more than
is important to note that there were unions who were more in touch with
this growing working class anger and backed Senator Sanders. They knew
that Clinton had everything going for her but the arc of history.
The Communication Workers of America, The American Postal Workers
Union, the National Nurses United, the Amalgamated Transit Union, and
TWU Local 100, which represents New York City’s transit
workers backed Sanders.
the election, I interviewed TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen for
As Samuelsen saw it, Mr. Trump’s vocal opposition to the proposed
Trans Pacific Partnership free trade pact and his pledge to roll back
NAFTA wooed millions of blue collar union workers looking for a
shake-up of the political status quo.
think that it is now absolutely clear the Democratic Party has
lost touch with its working class roots,” Samuelsen told Salon. “These
fissures between the working class have been exploited and blown wide
open by Donald Trump. Democrats need to take a step back and ask why,
with all the ridiculous things Trump said, he was ultimately more
palatable to working class trade union Democrats?”
the bruising primary campaign there were reports of a split between
union leadership and rank and file when it came to the Sanders-Clinton
face-off. Back in April Politico reported that, despite the
enthusiastic endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers for
Clinton, a search of Federal Election Commission contribution
data base indicated Mr. Sanders had garnered $413,000 in donations from
9,000 teachers to her $394,000 from just 4,500 educators.
victory certainly raises the stature of Gov. Scott Walker of
Wisconsin, whose success at pitting taxpayers against public
unions catapulted him to the national stage, where he pledged as a
presidential candidate to eliminate unions from the federal
more than any other faction of the Democratic Party’s base the labor
movement is the one that faces an existential threat to its own
existence in Trumpworld. Currently, thanks to anti-union campaigns in
Wisconsin and West Virginia a majority of the fifty states are as so
called ‘right to work’ states where unions can’t get
traction. For decades the percentage of Americans in a union
has been in decline since its high of 35
percent in the mid-1950s. Now, it is 11
percent, less than a third of that even though, according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics the annual earnings for a union member are
significantly higher than non-union workers. According to the latest
Bureau of Labor Statistics union workers make $980 a week contrasted to
$776 for non-union workers. It is no coincidence that as
the prevalence of unions continues to wane income inequality has become
now what? Yes, Clinton has the popular vote and Trump has the
Presidency based on the Electoral
College, which is a vestige of white male oppression that can trace
its roots back to when the slave states could hold dominion over
our entire republic. The challenge for labor is to
insert itself with a new militancy into the national conversation
by zeroing in on the thing that many parents and grandparents
of all political perspectives are most anxious about, the ability
of their kids and grandchildren to support themselves.
too long labor unions have been perceived as protectors of the status
quo who look out for their most senior members, even if it means
cutting rotten deals for their new hires that are most often young
people. In too many workplaces in America this has created a two
tier system where the legacy union worker makes $25 an hour and the new
hires make $9.10 cents. That was my recent experience in a New
Jersey supermarket where
I was a member of the United Food & Commercial Workrs Local
1245. I was blown away when I looked up the six figure salary the
head of that union local made, even as the bulk of the union workers
were making pathetic wages based on scheduling that was based on whimsy
I talked to the twenty somethings, working in the
“union” supermarket with me they felt the union was actually
a predator, a dues collecting machine disconnected from the misery
of a single mother struggling to feed her children on
sub-standard “union wages.” Where unions have to focus like a
laser is on these young people, making their struggle and aspirations
their own, just as some unions like the SEIU are already doing,
with their national $15 an hour campaign. Any union
not pushing for a livable wage should be called out.<>
unions got traction because they became incredibly relevant to people’s
lives by offering a path to something better in life, even if it had to
be redeemed by struggle. Right now, in too many American cities
millions of 16 to 24 year olds are not in school and not at work. They
are a generation wasting in waiting. By some estimates as
many as six million are idle. There are millions of un-employed and
know that every year that goes by without them being engaged in work or
school increases the likelihood of them running afoul of the law. Labor
needs to champion these young people and lead a national campaign for
job training and placement.
even in a place as progressive as New York City, despite an
historically large commitment to funding for 60,000 slots youth
employment, close to 80,000
kids went away empty handed from the lottery based system.
That’s about a one percent improvement from 2015 when 130,000 young
people applied for 54,000 openings.
are massive changes already underway in the world of work that could
mean the emergence of a permeant underclass in American life,
disconnected from productive society because year after year we ignored
their circumstance. In many communities we have seen such a trend get a
foothold as a consequence of our decision to criminalize drug use and
brand a generation as unemployable.
path to employment is getting steeper all the time in ways that
transcends the economic cycle. A study just released by the National
League of Cities, entitled the “Future
of Work In the Cities” , describes a pretty sobering state of
affairs where by 2025 15 to 25 percent of jobs linked to manufacturing,
packing, construction maintenance and agriculture could all be
automated. We need to be focused on job training
and entrepreneurial coaching for the world yet to be not the
one that has been.
are real world examples where young people of color, from
neighborhoods where good jobs are hard to find, are being
embraced by the labor movement, a dramatic contrast to just
twenty years ago. Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and
Construction Trades Council, which represents the city’s construction
unions, says in New York City a robust
apprenticeship program has
made all the difference in helping shape a far more diverse building
trades union workforce in the 21st century.
many years ago, twenty years ago, there was no question that diversity
was a challenge in the trade,” LaBarbera said during a phone interview.
“Today it is a very different picture and I will tell you frankly that
the current membership is extremely diverse. Our estimates are that
there is over 50 percent diversity within the trades currently,
over 50 percent, which is a very good number.”
credits a collaboration between the unions and the Building Trades
Employers’ Association of New York on an apprenticeship program that
was created more than ten years ago that helped the unions and
contractors tap tnto a broad cross section of New York City high school
seniors willing commit to the trades.
the workforce side the union members employed by BTEA contractors are
highly diverse,” said Lou Coletti, President and CEO of the BTEA.
“Today, there are about 8,000 apprentices. With 65 per cent being
African American Latino and women 75 percent are NYC residents.
Edward J. Malloy Construction Skill Pre-Apprenticeship program,
along with the city’s Department of Education, offer eligible
seniors the chance to enter into a three to five year training
program, depending on the trade, that will lead directly into a well
in 2014 Columbia’s
School of International and Public Affairs conducted a
comprehensive examination of the program and found that it has an
80 percent retention rate and that almost 90 percent pf the graduates
were black, Hispanic or Asian. Between 2001 and 2013 the program had
produced 1,443 graduates directly into union
apprenticeships. But program just wash’t racially diverse. A
third of the participant came from Brooklyn, 28 percent from the Bronx,
23 percent from Queens and 6 percent from Staten Island.
what amounted to a $7,500 investment per student investment the
gradates of the program were projected to earn $1.6 million over their
work lifetime compared with a classmate who found work as a short order
cook. The union, DOE, contractor collaboration was placing the
program’s graduates into industry positions that paid a $67,110
salary on average. Authors of the Columbia study “Expanding
Opportunity for Middle Class Jobs In New York City” say the program is the
“most successful construction industry pre-apprenticeship program in
as organized labor identified with civil rights, back fifty years
ago, it now has to be championing more than the preservation of their
own fringe benefits and pensions. It needs to be seen as the
leading champion of full youth employment and engagement. It’s an
opportunity that is wide open. And there is no time to
waste. It is time to get all of America back to work again.
and Sisters of CWA 7102.
I thought now would be a good time to send out a reminder that we are
just a little over a year away from the end of our current contract.
Our brothers and sisters at Verizon just ended a nearly 7 week strike.
Their fight is going to be our fight. They were able to make big gains
by standing together. Corporate America’s attack on the working class
is never ending. When companies like Verizon that make a billion
dollars a month in profit want to take more away from its workers. We
need to be prepared.
We hope to never have a strike or lockout. That being said they do
Now is the time everyone should be putting money away in preparation
for a work stoppage.
We need to be signing up non-members.
Just remember united we bargain divided we beg.
President CWA 7102
WE MISS YOU AND WANT YOU BACK!
The best way to keep in touch with fellow CWA retirees and receive
current information, is to join the Retired Members Chapter. At this
time, we are meeting at the CWA 7102 Union Hall at 3612 SW 9th St. in
Des Moines, on the third Tuesday afternoon of each month, at 1 PM. Our
meetings usually last for around an hour, and you may feel free to
bring a guest. If you’ve not been attending these gatherings, you’ve
been missing out! Please come join us!
Our membership dues are $24 per year, which helps with the cost of
keeping us informed of news that affect us and our wallets. This small
amount, widens the scope and power of the union, and provides the
strength and foundation for positive changes.
Why should you join with your fellow CWA retirees?
SOLIDARITY… Since we no longer
meet at work, it is an opportunity to remain united with your fellow
members, and stay informed on issues of contract negotiations and
endangered healthcare benefits.
STRENGTH… If we remain silent
and isolated, we won’t be heard by those who affect our union
benefits. By joining with us in unity, our strength increases,
and we WILL be heard!
ACTION… As an organized
group, we strive to resolve our shared issues and concerns.
learn about news affecting our lives. Enlightening program speakers
share insightful current information from which we can benefit.
COMARADERIE … After union business
has been discussed, we have time for food, fun, and friends!
AND, even though we have retired, IT IS IMPORTANT
THAT WE REMAIN UNITED,
with upcoming contract negotiations, the results of which could
certainly impact us! Our health care benefits are of vital concern,
both for those who are Medicare-eligible, and –ineligible, as well as
for future retirees. WE NEED TO SHOW OUR
STRENGTH AND UNITY, toward a positive outcome within the new
Please complete the attached/enclosed survey (if receiving this
communication via e-mail, the survey link is
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YZ5FDW2 , and return your completed
survey WITHIN THE WEEK, so we can compile your responses to better
serve your needs.
We look forward to SEEING YOU, and RECEIVING YOUR COMPLETED SURVEY!
Thank you, in solidarity,
The CWA RETIREES Local Board
Robbie Thompson-Blythe, President
Jackie_blythe@yahoo.com 515 490-9571
Loretta Hansen, Vice President
Danita Sapp, Treasurer firstname.lastname@example.org 515 238-8656
Roberta Summy, Secretary
email@example.com 515285-7432 or 515 537-3121
Labor Leaders and members
gathered to have a discussion with former
CWA International President
Friday Jan. 8
Mark Rocha had the privilege
Through its Next Generation
Communications Workers of America (CWA) is connecting members aged 35
under with seasoned member-mentors over the age of 35 to form a network
of committed union activists across the country. Next Gen activists
youthful energy and unique insights to the task of advancing economic
If you are a CWA member who is
35 or under
and want to learn and lead, you belong in Next Gen. If you are a
CWA member who is over 35 and willing to share your experience as a
Next Gen needs you.
Be part of CWAs future.
Download the CWA app and
directly on your phone.
IN REAL TIME
know about events in your area and breaking news.
from your phone to CWA
Or on your smartphone search for CWA app
one solution to skyrocketing inequality that most of the TV talking
love to ignore: Unions! It is no surprise.
unions, big companies like Walmart or Amazon can cut benefits, allow
working conditions, slash wages, and pocket the massive profits.
I am not afraid to talk about how unions are essential and I am relying
on you to get the word out. Please watch and share now:
wages, shared prosperity all by strengthening unions. 50 or 60 years
it was considered obvious; today, folks are afraid to talk about it.
is what decades of right-wing propaganda will do.
The first step
is to spread
the word by sharing this message right now, because MoveOn will be
for the idea that gets the most traction in our Big Picture series.
This video is
in the â€Å“Big Picture: Ten Ideas to Save the
series I am working on with MoveOn. And MoveOn has committed to
on the ideas that get the most traction. So
if you believe in fair pay for a hard days work, you wont want to skip
watching and sharing this video.
Thanks for all
of workers, union members, leaders and activists coming together in
of ALL labor. Click HERE
to go to the UNIONS4WORKERS facebook page
|New from your Union.
They are $40 each.
you just wonder down the road of life without speaking up for your
you are just ROAD KILL.
But you can occupy the
road telling the 1% you are not going to be run over by them anymore.