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Ohio HB 402 & Microcell Legislation

This week, The Ohio Telecom Association and AT&T were looking for support on a Microcell Bill that would drop soon. The Bill is a rehash of the Telecom Microcell Bill previously passed in, what some believe, an illegal Bill that violated Ohio’s single subject law. Historically, Bills in Ohio have been One Bill-One Subject.



The 2017 Microcell Legislation was packaged with Puppy Mill and Anti-Minimum Wage Bills and passed by the Ohio House and Senate. CWA opposed the Bill at that time; and it was passed on, pretty much, a party line vote. Dozens of cities and municipalities filed suit against Ohio for passing this bill as a violation of Single Subject and Home Rule.  


It now appears that, instead of fighting this in court for years, the State has negotiated with the major city mayors to the point they now support a new version of the Bill.  This Bill has not been assigned a number yet but, according to sources, will be dropped in the Government Accountability Committee soon.


Another piece of Legislation, HB 402, which limits Service Standards on basic telco service, limits PUCO authority over mergers and buy-outs, changes Lifeline rules, and allows higher rate increases on these lines (see attached HB402-I), had its first hearing on Jan 16.     


We need you to call your House Reps and Senators at 1-800-282-0253 and advise them that the Communications Workers of America opposes HB 402 because it hurts customer service, hurts those on lifeline, and hurts our members' job security.


We also oppose any Microcell Legislation because, to date, our members have not been assured this new Microcell work. Please encourage the Representatives to make the Telecoms accountable in guaranteeing all new work derived is assured to our members.


Ohio Lame Duck Telecom Admendment

To all CWA Local 4340 Members @ AT&T:

Recently, AT&T has been contacting our members asking you to contact your State Representative to support an admendment to a "Lame Duck" Bill.  Please read the following response from CWA District 4 to all Ohio CWA Local Presidents about this admendment.


To: Ohio Local Presidents
 Some of our members are being asked by their employers to email the Legislature regarding a Lame Duck Amendment being introduced this week.
 Below is the CWA D4 position: Topic Micro Wireless Facilities
 CWA D4 became aware of this potential Lame Duck amendment 2 days ago, the same day employees were notified by Company Email. This is an amendment to an existing Lame Duck Bill.

While on the surface this amendment appears to expedite legal and "right of way" channels for installation and deployment of small cell technology for the wireless telecoms. The devil is often in the details, which will have almost an impossible time being addressed and answered in a 8 day Lame Duck session.

We have heard Cities, Municipalities and Counties are pushing back on this amendment becauseof what appear to be "Home Rule" issues.

So many questions remain for CWA D4, that we will remain NEUTRAL on this amendment.
It is also our opinion, that any Telecom legislation is so important that it should be addressed in its own Bill, in a proper subcommittee and in General Sessions with plenty of hearings.   

CWA Membership Poll is Open

CWA's political website,, is live and our membership poll of Presidential candidates is open.

This is where you'll find information about all the declared candidates, along with an online poll for members to make their views known.

CWA President Chris Shelton said, "It's all part of the process to determine whether and how our union will endorse a Presidential candidate."




Expanding Lifeline Program Will Help Close Digital Divide

Washington, D.C. -- In comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission today, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) called for specific measures to modernize and expand the Lifeline program to make broadband service more affordable and accessible to lower-income families.

Read the complete filing here.

“High-speed broadband service is as essential to modern life today as telephone service was in the last century,” CWA President Chris Shelton said. “The Lifeline program must be updated to break through the digital divide and acknowledge the fundamental reality that Internet access is ‘truly a lifeline to the outside world.’”



NLRB Browning-Ferris Decision

Washington, DC – The Communications Workers of America (CWA) issued this statement regarding the National Labor Relation Board’s ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries:

“For too long, US employers have used temporary and contract employees to evade their responsibilities to workers and to purposely block workers from organizing and bargaining collectively.