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									          Letters to Members of Congress Kit
               March Activity for the CWA Health Care and
                  Employee Free Choice Act Campaign


Our members of Congress need to hear why the Employee Free Choice Act is so
important to CWA and to rebuilding the American economy. So the next steps for CWA
Health Care & Employee Free Choice Act Campaign are to send handwritten letters to
members of Congress. Note: This is kit is NOT FOR USE in the 11 targeted
Employee Free Choice Act SIF states: AR, CA, CO, FL, LA, NC, NE, IN, PA, VA,
WI. State Coordinators in those 11 states should adhere to the instructions from the
CWA Employee Free Choice Act Campaign/SIF.

During the month of March, coordinators should enlist volunteers in locals to get 1% of
the local membership to write letters each week of March. For example, if the local has
1200 members, our goal is to get 12 letters each week.

The Coordinators will keep these letters for delivery to the Member of Congress during
meetings set up for the April recess.

Attached are 3 sample letters. Two can be used for either a congressperson or senator to
ask for his/her support of the Employee Free Choice Act (see pages 3 and 4 of the kit).
The third letter (see page 5) is to thank those Members of Congress who have already
agreed to cosponsor. These are samples only; members should personalize their letters
to the extent possible.

Steps to the March Employee Free Choice Act Letter Writing
1. Coordinators will need to enlist the help of volunteers within locals. The volunteers
can host several activities:
    Set up tables at worksites and help members write letters during their lunch and
      breaks.
    Set aside time during membership, stewards or retiree meetings for group letter
      writing.
    Go to garages and offices as members arrive for work.
    For each event, make sure to have some blank white paper, pens and copies of the
      attached sample letters on hand.
    At each event or activity, make sure to get the name and phone number of
      members who write letters. Use the form provided in this kit on page 6.
2. Each week the local volunteers must collect the letters and return them to the
Coordinator. The volunteers should complete the information requested on the list of
letter writers (page 6) and return the list with the letters to the Coordinator.

3. The Coordinator must fax or send copies of the letters collected each week to Dolores
Gerber on the following Monday (3-9-09, 3-16-09, 3-23-09, and 3-30-09). Contact
information for Dolores:

    o Via fax:       202-434-1201

    o Via mail:      Dolores Gerber, CWA National Field Campaign Coordinator
                     501 Third St, NW
                     Washington, DC 20001

Whether faxing or mailing, make sure to use the transmittal sheet (page 7)
so that Coordinators are properly credited for collecting letters.

4. The Coordinator should collect the original handwritten letters and sort by Member
of Congress so that they can be delivered to the Member of Congress during meetings
scheduled for the April 4 through April 19 Congressional Recess.


Instructions to Identify Your Member of Congress
When you or a CWA member don’t know the name of the member’s U.S. Representative
you can find out using text messaging on a cell phone. Here's how it works:

Send a text to 69866 with the following info:

   CWA member’s congressional district (CD) address and zip code. For instance, text
    CD 7800 Carroll 20912
    Note you do not need to put in St. or Rd. or Ave. or any other information requiring
    extra typing.

   Within 1 minute the sender will receive a text message with the Congressional
    District and state legislative district information for the address.

   Coordinators will need to look at the list of CDs for the relevant state to determine
    the Representative’s name and office address.
                       SAMPLE LETTER A: Request for Support

Instructions: The letter below is just a sample. Please write your own letter using your
own words and drawing on your own experiences. Or you may write a letter using sections
similar to those from the sample below. For example, use paragraph 1, one of the paragraphs
2 (a, b or c) and paragraph 3. Or replace paragraph 2 with your own thoughts. Use what
makes most sense to you.

For Senator:            or                   For Member of House of Representatives:
The Honorable __________                     The Honorable ___________
United States Senate                         U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510                       Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear XXXX:

(Paragraph 1)
With the economy in shambles, I strongly urge you to support the Employee Free Choice Act.
Joining together in a union is the best opportunity working people have to get ahead, and
restoring Americans' freedom to choose unionization is the single best tool for rebuilding an
economy that works for us all.

(Paragraph 2a)
Although our laws are supposed to protect workers' freedom to belong to unions, employers
routinely harass, intimidate, coerce and even fire employees struggling to form unions. And U.S.
labor law is powerless to stop them. Employees are on an uneven playing field from the first
moment they begin exploring whether they want to form a union, and the will of the majority
often is crushed by brutal management tactics.

(Paragraph 2b)
The Employee Free Choice Act would fix labor laws and restore the freedom to choose unions. It
would establish stronger penalties for illegal employer tactics, provide mediation and arbitration
for first-contract disputes, and allow employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing
union representation. It doesn't eliminate secret ballot elections; it allows the workers to decide
for themselves -- not the employer -- whether to form a union through a secret ballot election or
by signing cards.

(Paragraph 2c)
Don't be swayed by corporate lobbying groups that claim to be fighting for workplace
democracy. They just want to keep all the power in corporate hands and maintain their ability to
crush unions.

(Paragraph 3)
The system is broken. Please fix it -- and fix our economy -- by supporting the Employee Free
Choice Act.

Sincerely,

Your name
Address
City, State Zip Code


                                                                                                 3
                   SAMPLE LETTER B: Request for Support

Instructions: The letter below is just a sample. Please write your own letter using
your own words and drawing on your own experiences. Or you may build a letter using
sections similar to those from the sample below. For example, use paragraph 1, one of
the paragraphs 2 (a, b or c) and paragraph 3. Or replace paragraph 2 with your own
thoughts. Use what makes most sense to you.


For Senator:            or           For Member of House of Representatives:
The Honorable __________             The Honorable ___________
United States Senate                 U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510               Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear XXXX:

(Paragraph 1)
I urge you to support the Employee Free Choice Act, which will protect the rights of workers
across our nation to establish and participate in a union without harassment or intimidation
from employers. This legislation will help rebuild the middle class in our country.

(Paragraph 2a)
Being able to form a union has become one of the only ways that workers can guarantee that
their interests are heard. Collective bargaining through a union allows millions of workers
across this country to receive what every worker in America deserve - decent wages, affordable
healthcare, and safety in the workplace.

(Paragraph 2b)
Today in many parts of the country, when workers try to form unions, they are routinely fired,
threatened, and coerced. As the law currently stands, union elections are susceptible to delay
and often favor employers in their fights against workers' unions. We must have strong laws
defending the basic freedom of workers to choose for themselves whether to have a union.

(Paragraph 2c)
The Employee Free Choice Act reduces barriers preventing many workers from organizing
unions by imposing stiffer penalties against employers that violate labor law and would set up a
process for newly-organized workers to negotiate a first contract in a timely manner. Under this
bill, workers could also choose to follow the "voluntary recognition" method of organizing,
whereby workers choose union representation through a process in which a majority signs cards
indicating their support.

(Paragraph 3)
It is time to grant working families the basic freedoms and protections they need. I urge you to
co-sponsor the Employee Free Choice Act.


Sincerely,

Name

Address
City, State Zip
                                                                                                   4
                   SAMPLE LETTER C: Thank You Letter

Instructions: The letter below is just a sample, to the extent possible, use your own
words and draw on your own experience or use sections from the letter below: This
letter is to Members of Congress who have agreed to sign on as co-sponsor to the
Employee Free Choice Act. Be positive and supportive.


For Senator:           or                For Member of House of Representatives:
The Honorable __________                 The Honorable ___________
United States Senate                     U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510                   Washington, D.C. 20515


Dear XXXX:


I want to thank you for being a cosponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act. The
Employee Free Choice Act will restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain
with their employers for a better life. Our economy is in trouble and working families
need a fair chance to get ahead.

We must reverse the decline in the middle class and ensure that our children and
grandchildren enjoy economic opportunity and security, not a diminished standard of
living and fewer options. The Employee Free Choice Act can bring the economy around
to a healthy state.

Thank you for cosponsoring the Employee Free Choice Act and helping to put the
American Dream back within reach of working people.



Sincerely,

Your name
Address
City, State Zip




                                                                                         5
                                 List of Employee Free Choice Act Letter Writers


Date of Activity ____________ Location of Activity ___________________

CWA Local Number ____________________________

Name of Volunteer Hosting Activity _________________________

Phone number of Volunteer _____________________________


List names and contact information of individuals who write letters:

                   Name                    Local No.     Phone Numbers (indicate   E-mail Address
                                                           cell, home or work)
1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10
          Field Activity Materials Fax Transmittal Sheet
1. Fax letters and letter writer list to Dolores Trevino Gerber at:
202-434-1201. Or send copies of the information to her at:

CWA Health Care & Employee Free Choice Act Campaign
               8th Floor
               501 3rd St NW
               Washington, DC 20001


2. Retain the original letters to be delivered to the Member of
Congress in person at a meeting during the April Congressional
recess (scheduled for April 6 – 17).

3. Retain information about volunteers who collected cards and
those who wrote letters. You will want to draw on them for future
activities.

4. Provide the following information and use this sheet to transmit
the fax or mail:

Coordinator Name: _______________________________________


Coordinator State: _______           Coordinator CD: _______________


Local or Locals to which materials apply: _______________________

Name of Volunteer who hosted letter writing event:

Name ______________________ Local ______________________

Telephone (indicate cell, work or home) ________________

Attach a list of those who wrote letters

Number of Letters attached _________

Date Collected __________

								
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