Skip to main content

Mississippi CWAers Share Concerns with Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su

Last week, federal call center worker​ Lakeisha Preston and Mississippi Alliance of State Employees/CWA Local 3570 member Johnny Byrd joined other labor activists in Jackson, Miss., to discuss working conditions in the state with Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su.

Preston and her co-workers at federal call center contractor Maximus are organizing to join CWA. She​ described how she and other workers struggle to afford healthcare and essentials like food and utilities. “Maximus wants us to feel like we are on our own,” she told Acting Secretary Su. “Last year, a supervisor suggested that layoffs were because of the union and implied that if we kept supporting the union, our call center could close.”

Su made it a point to address Preston’s concerns directly, saying, “In President Biden’s America, ‘union’ is not a bad word; it is the reason America is strong.” She went on to say, “It is the reason why we have a middle class in this country, and it is a key lever for how we achieve racial justice.”

Byrd highlighted his local’s efforts to ensure that Mississippi state workers have “a seat at the table and a voice to be heard.”

Su told workers that she is glad she visited and that she is going to ensure that, under her leadership, labor laws will be strictly enforced to sustain the lives of working families and secure workers’ rights.

Maximus Workers and Julie Su width= 
CWAers Lakeisha Preston and Johnny Byrd attended a roundtable discussion with Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su where they shared stories of adverse working conditions.


This post originally appeared on