What's Next? Unite and Fight!
As you know, the Tentative Agreement between CWA and Piedmont was not ratified by the membership last week, and we know that many of you are wondering what's next. We have heard your concerns about the TA, and we want to assure you that we will fight for the strongest possible contract for every member.
However, we cannot win a strong contract alone. Success at the negotiating table depends on the unity and determination of our members. We need every member to get involved in the process. So what does that mean in practical terms?
Our first step is to conduct a detailed survey of members to find out what you thought worked and didn't work in the TA and what you're each willing to do to reach a better agreement. Your responses will inform our strategy in negotiations. Look out for that survey in your email box next week.
The next step is to return to the bargaining table ready to fight for more. The company has asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to oversee the negotiations going forward. CWA has also requested mediation, and we will work with both the NMB and the company to schedule our next bargaining session as soon as possible.
The Railway Labor Act (RLA) is the federal law that dictates the process by which we negotiate an agreement in the airline industry. According to the RLA, if the parties do not reach an agreement through mediation, then the union can call a strike vote and request a release to strike from the NMB after one year.
It's important for every member to understand the RLA process and the implications of a strike, should it come to that. Of course, our goal is to reach a strong agreement without going on strike, but it's absolutely essential to demonstrate our unity and willingness to strike if we don't reach a fair agreement.
The best way to demonstrate our unity is to take collective action. Many of you have already participated in pickets and other solidarity actions. We need to turn up the heat by getting every member involved. How will we do that?
- Stay informed. We need a correct, personal email address and cell phone number for every member so we can reach you when it's time to take action or let you know what's happening at the bargaining table. Click here to sign up. Click here to follow our official Facebook page.
- Build a mobilization structure with trained union stewards and mobilizers ready to share accurate information with members at their stations.
- Take action, whether it's wearing a pin, joining a picket, signing a petition, or whatever it takes to show the company and the flying public that we're united and ready to strike.
We urge every member to get involved in supporting our fight for a fair contract. If we are strong and unified, we can and will get the contract we deserve. If you are interested in joining the Mobilization Team, please contact a Local officer or your steward today. And remember, Piedmont agents are not alone. We will draw on the full strength of the CWA and our allies. When we fight, we win!
Anthony Barden, President, CWA Local 3645
Rick Brower, President, CWA Local 7040
Paul Castandeda, Bargaining Co-Chair
Marge Krueger, Bargaining Co-Chair