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Bargaining Updates Around CWA - Brightspeed, United Flight Attendants, Desert Sun Workers, and more

CWA Members Tell Brightspeed to Hurry Up with a Deal

CWA members held an informational picket in downtown Dothan, Ala., last week to help build community support for their stalled contract negotiations with Brightspeed. “We are just trying to get the company to come back to the bargaining table with us and find a fair resolution for a new 5-year contract,” Jerry Sain, President of CWA Local 3972, told local news station WDHN.

Members of local 3972 and 3974 have been without a contract for over a month and are negotiating increased pay to keep up with inflation and better healthcare benefits, including sick days.

Brightspeed Bargaining 
Member of CWA Local 3972, part of a bargaining unit with Brightspeed that includes CWA Local 3974, gathered in Dothan, Ala., for an informational picket and to demand Brightspeed return to the negotiating table.


United Flight Attendants Hold International Day of Action

Last week, the skies were turbulent as United Airlines Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) held demonstrations at 17 airports around the globe. While many Flight Attendants haven’t seen significant wage increases since the pandemic, a recent statement from United Airlines shows that United executives saw major compensation increases in 2023, with the CEO, Scott Kirby, receiving a 90 percent compensation increase.

“If the airline has money to award execs with massive compensation increases, we expect to receive the same,” said Ken Diaz, AFA-CWA United MEC President. “United Flight Attendants are the lifeblood of this airline, and management needs to come to the table now with an offer that reflects our critical contribution.”

United Flight Attendants kept service going through the pandemic, even with passenger violence at an all-time high, while forgoing contractual improvements for the continued viability of air travel. The current contract negotiations represent improvements that are years overdue. The Flight Attendants are hopeful that negotiations will progress but plan to be ready to return to the picket line should bargaining break down again.

United Airlines Bargaining 
AFA-CWA United Flight Attendants in Guam kicked off a day of action to demand a fair contract that recognizes their critical contribution.


Desert Sun Workers Win New Contract 

In early March, journalists at the Palm Springs Desert Sun—members of Media Guild of the West/TNG-CWA Local 39213—engaged in an open-ended unfair labor practice strike over Gannett’s illegal behavior, refusal to offer consistent raises that reflect the skyrocketing cost of living, as well as its unwillingness to offer any protections against exorbitant health care cost hikes. Two days later, that strike ended with one of the best new contracts journalists have won at Gannett in the last several years.

Under the new contract—ratified earlier this month after over three years of negotiations—employees will be paid a minimum $26 hourly wage, or just over $54,000 a year. Across the newsroom, members are slowly moving up to be more in line with the cost of living in the Coachella Valley. They won annual raises during the life of the contract, language that protects against layoffs from artificial intelligence, held onto the 401(k) match, and more.

“Our first contract comes after three years of important and nuanced work that reflects our unwavering, mutual commitment to serving the Coachella Valley and preserving the legacy of The Desert Sun,” said Desert Sun Executive Editor Kate Franco.

The Desert Sun strike was the 25th strike of NewsGuild-CWA members in 2024 so far. It also marks the seventh contract won by new bargaining units in 2024.

Desert Sun Bargaining 
Members of TNG-CWA Local 39213 and supporters picketed for two days before reaching a new contract agreement, ending over three years of negotiations.


Community Safety Workers Win Recognition as First Responders

For the last two years, in Albuquerque, N.M., when someone calls 911 for a non-violent, non-medical crisis, the people who’ve responded haven’t been police. The city created the Albuquerque Community Safety Department (ACS), which employs trained behavioral and mental health specialists, to respond to these emergencies. Last week ACS workers, represented by CWA Local 7076, signed a contract with the Mayor granting them first responder classification status. This constitutes the first CWA contract with the city of Albuquerque.

According to, last August, an ACS worker was shot with a high-powered BB gun while responding to a call. Though unrelated to the call, this opened the new department to questions about how workers can be protected while on duty and what a standard procedure for this type of incident would be. “There’s currently not a process in place, and that really does vary from incident to incident and employee to employee,” said Crystal Little, CWA Local 7076 ACS Vice President. “The next step will be to update the laws for these workers to receive the same protections from assault as other first responders.”

The union will now focus on the importance of establishing and maintaining consistent incident policies and procedures for the safety and wellness of responders, both during and after incidents occur.

Albuquerque Community Safety Department 
Members of CWA Local 7076 have signed a contract with the city of Albuquerque, N.M., a first for CWA. This contract begins the process of recognizing members of the Albuquerque Community Safety Department as “first responders.”


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