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Update on Presidential Endorsement

August 11, 2015

To: CWA Local Presidents
Dear Colleagues:
I wanted to update you on the recent discussions and actions by our CWA Executive Board for determining whether and how our union will endorse a Presidential candidate.
CWA has not made an endorsement for the presidential primary elections. CWA doesn’t get out in front of our members, and our members will decide what action we take on endorsement. The Executive Board has moved forward on a process to provide information about the candidates, along with an online poll for members to make their views known. I want to outline that process here.
CWA’s political action website will include responses from the candidates to our questions on our priority issues: good jobs and trade, fair wages, retirement security, bargaining rights, and more.  The website will be live sometime in September, and the information also will be provided to members in the Fall issue of the CWA News, which members will receive in early October.
CWA members and activists will be able to weigh this information about candidates at worksite events and in a telephone town hall call before casting votes in the on-line poll. The poll will stay open into early December and will help determine whether a single candidate has overwhelming support from the membership.
Our members are motivated, and many thousands more have been activated by our fair trade fight.  I want this activism to grow and build our movement.
While local unions should continue to refrain from making an endorsement until the National Union as a whole makes a determination about endorsement, members can and should volunteer to work for the presidential candidate of their choice.
I’m very proud of our union and our members, and the role we play not only in political action, but in what we do to benefit all working families.
In Solidarity,
Chris Shelton

DOJ Approves Massive AT&T, DirecTV Merger

AT&T Inc has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion, an acquisition that will combine the country's No. 2 wireless carrier with the largest satellite-TV provider, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.

"After an extensive investigation, we concluded that the combination of AT&T's land-based Internet and video business with DirecTV's satellite-based video business does not pose a significant risk to competition," Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Antitrust Division said, in a statement.

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AT&T Embracing Net-Neutrality Rules It Slammed to Speed DirecTV Deal

The company once known as Ma Bell has assumed the mantle in recent years as the leading antagonist to advocates of net neutrality, rules designed to give every Internet publisher the same speed and access to consumers.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE!


AT&T’s Latest Promise to FCC in Effort to Win DirecTV Merger Approval Reeks of Desperation

While no one on the outside knows exactly what’s going on behind closed doors, it appears as though AT&T still has some work to put in if it hopes to get its $50 billion DirecTv merger proposal approved by regulators. The company had already made some promises in an effort to win favor with the Federal Communications Commission, including a promise to deliver gigabit U-verse Internet service to nearly 12 million households, but now we’ve reached a new phase of bargaining that was probably inevitable: AT&T has a deal for poor people that it hopes is too good for regulators to pass up.

To view the full article, CLICK HERE!


Obama Administration Proposes New Rules on Overtime Pay

The Obama administration's proposed rules to update the requirements for determining workers' overtime pay are an important first step toward improving the lives of millions of working families. When finalized, the new rules will mean a pay increase for at least 5 million workers who now work more than 40 hours a week but are denied overtime pay.

Currently under the Fair Labor Standards Act, non-hourly workers who earn less than $23,660 a year are paid a time and a half if they work more than 40 hours per week. This limit is way out of date; in 1975, 62 percent of the workforce qualified for overtime but today it's fewer than 12 percent. The new threshold would be $50,440 a year or about $970 a week.

In addition, too many workers are subject to employers' efforts to intentionally misclassify them as "professionals" to deprive them of the overtime pay they have earned, or use other means to force workers to put in extra hours without compensation.

CWA will continue to advocate for full and effective bargaining rights for workers as the most effective way for working families to improve incomes and their standard of living.

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