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bludog

Communications Workers of America; Expanding Unionism

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I was a union steward in CWA, Local 1101 for many years.  They are still my union in retirement.  CWA has always been in the forefront of organizing new industries.  The top union brass, who face regular elections, required of themselves to spend periods organizing in other industries than communications ....  Very difficult and dangerous work.

 

The union movement remains alive.  Even during this dark time.

 

For more info go to www.local1101.org
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Parking Production Assistants Vote UNANIMOUSLY to Join CWA Local 1101
Six production companies, six elections, and a UNANIMOUS YES vote to Join the Union!
 
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Parking Production Assistants, newest members of
CWA Local 1101, at the NLRB today after the vote count
 
Congratulations and a warm welcome to the nearly 600 Parking Production Assistants, our new CWA 1101 brothers and sisters, who fought long and hard, to bring a union to their workplaces. 
 
And a big shout out to the Local 1101 organizers who worked tirelessly to help make that happen: Keith Hogarty, Zeke Cousins, Kim Marshall, and Joe O'Donnell.
 
CWA Press Release
 
Film Industry's Invisible Workforce Votes for Dignity, Respect
 
New York, NY - In an unprecedented show of unity, Parking Production Assistants in New York City voted unanimously to join the Communications Workers of America, Local 1101.
 
Over 400 ballots were received by the National Labor Relations Board and counted on Monday for six separate elections for Parking Production Assistants (PPAs) employed by ABC, CBS, NBC TV, NBC Cable, HBO, and SONY. The decision was loud and clear: all PPAs voted "yes" to unionizing.
 
"This vote was about dignity, about humanity," said Lanere Rollins, a PPA who spoke last month at the National Action Network's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration about the organizing efforts. "Film and TV productions couldn't happen without us, but PPAs have been on the bottom rung of the entertainment industry for a long time. Not one PPA in the city voted 'no' for the union, because we're stepping up to demand the respect and fair treatment that we deserve."
 
PPAs, who are predominantly low-wage workers of color, secure parking in the New York City area for film and television productions, usually arriving 12 to 24 hours prior to production and working through the night in their personal vehicles to ensure that parking spaces are secured for production vehicles and equipment. The work requires PPAs to spend long hours alone, overnight, usually without access to a bathroom, and risk violent altercations with drivers seeking parking. They were also the only group of workers in the multi-billion dollar film and television industry who were not unionized prior to today's vote count.
 
"I'm very pleased to welcome Parking Production Assistants to the CWA family," said Dennis Trainor, Vice President of CWA District One. "These workers have been struggling for far too long to make ends meet in unfathomable working conditions, and today's unanimous vote is a historic moment for both CWA and the hard-working men and women who help ensure that the City's film industry can function."
 
The campaign to organize the city's more than 800 PPAs picked up steam in recent months as the PPAs gained support from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rev. Al Sharpton, the New York State NAACP, Martin Luther King III, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, and many others - a strong demonstration of New York City's commitment to its labor force.
 
"I'm so proud of the work we've done to get here," said Ms. Rollins after the vote count was completed. "And proud to be a CWA member!"
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Where are we 11% union represented workforce in this country? That needs to go way up also if we want to see wages go up not some BS tax break to corporations.

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14 hours ago, fourputt said:

Where are we 11% union represented workforce in this country? That needs to go way up also if we want to see wages go up not some BS tax break to corporations.

 

Considering the times in which we find ourselves, we cannot expect gains but at best, a holding action.  At worst ... Labor unions temporarily abolished.  But an idea can never die despite the power of wealth and the all-invasive propaganda it buys.  The Parking Production Assistants unanimous embrace of CWA, Local 1101 is just one demonstration, during an administration which could not be more hostile to it. 

 

The Parking Production Assistants unanimous vote to join CWA, Local 1101 is just one demonstration that, as  wages for the many decline and wealth continues to increase for the very few, the incentive to instate collective bargaining among workers should grow, despite all efforts to suppress it.

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10 hours ago, bludog said:

 

Considering the times in which we find ourselves, we cannot expect gains but at best, a holding action.  At worst ... Labor unions temporarily abolished.  But an idea can never die despite the power of wealth and the all-invasive propaganda it buys.  The Parking Production Assistants unanimous embrace of CWA, Local 1101 is just one demonstration, during an administration which could not be more hostile to it. 

 

The Parking Production Assistants unanimous embrace of CWA, Local 1101 is just one demonstration that, as  wages for the many decline and wealth continues to increase for the very few, the incentive to instate collective bargaining among workers should grow, despite all efforts to suppress it.

I'm not a member of a union but I've supported unions my entire life.  My father was a master electrician and paid his union dues (as well as walked the picket lines every now and again) for over 40 years.  My mother was a teacher and was a member of the teachers union.  Both these unions worked to get each of my parents good pay, benefits, and a more than adequate retirement plan.  Without the unions, I think they probably would have been nickel and dimed into abject poverty in their retirement.  That shouldn't be happening in this country.

 

I think you're correct in that a holding pattern is the best we can hope for with this idiotic administration in power.  It certainly beats the alternative of getting rid of unions altogether.  In some companies, unions are the only thing that give the average worker a shot at a decent wage and benefits.   If they could get away with it, a lot of employers would lower wages and slash benefits. 

 

The 2018 midterms can't get here fast enough.

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There's a fundamental economic issue that unorganized labor doesn't have power and gets paid much less, and organized labor has more power and gets paid more, fairer, wages.

 

It's always been the case, since before there were unions, and it still is. And this is a big reason we have record inequality with all new wealth going to the top.

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2 hours ago, RollingRock said:

If they could get away with it, a lot of employers would lower wages and slash benefits. 

 

It's in the nature of lightly regulated capitalism to increase the quarterly bottom line by EVERY method possible.  That includes starvation wages and zero benefits.  It would take a fantasy management team, altruistic and dedicated, to voluntarily provide good wages and benefits to ordinary workers.   Real life management needs to be forced to share some of the bounty.  Since the bargaining power of individual workers is negligible, at best, collective bargaining, through labor unions, is the only solution.

 

Virtually the only instances of non-unionized firms with good worker compensation, are in industries where unions have already been established.  It is done in an effort 1 - To keep the union out  2 - To draw decent new-hires who would otherwise join unionized companies.  For the vast majority of industry owners and execs profit comes first.  But their own egos play a huge role also.  They want to call all the shots.  The presence of a union brings them back down down to earth, kicking and screaming.

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It just baffles me why these companies think paying employees a mere pittance works in the long run, the data supports that taking better care of employees increases productivity just look at the Costco vs Sam's club comparison.

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Further proof that belonging to a union will insure a better living, I decided to just check my hourly wage since 1995 and multiplying at 3% every year it's right there at that rate, didn't check other benefits yet but at least the hourly rate has maintained a 3% growth rate.

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So if Unions were to be stronger today let's say, that would require productivity to accelerate to a new strata which would make companies reduce workers they no longer needed which would increase the rate of pay for all. So you don't need Walmart greeters or in New Jersey or in Oregon you don't need workers to pump the gas. The rate of pay increase would reduce the hours people needed to work. All things being equal. And the unions would and do hold that people are retrained, and higher education should be affordable. If you have the skill to learn math you should be an engineer, or a statistician or a computer scientist, or a doctor or whatever is needed. 

 

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One undeniable fact is pay people better wages they usually spend more on goods and services that in turn increases demand everywhere.

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1 minute ago, fourputt said:

One undeniable fact is pay people better wages they usually spend more on goods and services that in turn increases demand everywhere.

yes, but there is also this dreading thing called inflation that comes along the productivity curve. 

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