CWA News

Growing Our Union Power through Education

As labor union members, how can we build solidarity to fight corporate greed? At CWA, we start with education on how the economy and our democracy are being rigged in favor of the 1% — and the ways we can fight back. Whether it’s through CWA’s renowned “Reversing Runaway Inequality” program, our political boot camp trainings, or our Fight Forward trainings focusing on human rights, Growth Fund projects are helping educate and mobilize thousands of CWA members.

With support from CWA Growth Funds, CWA’s “Reversing Runaway Inequality” program has enabled dozens of CWA members to become highly-skilled educators about the growing gap between the super-rich and working families. These members have conducted trainings for thousands of CWAers who learn how Wall Street hedge funds, private equity firms, and CEOs are financially strip-mining our country, causing millions of children to live in poverty, underfunded schools, infrastructure in desperate need of repair, and impossible levels of debt. “Reversing Runaway Inequality” trainings help build a broad-based movement for economic justice by increasing members’ understanding of the enormous wealth gap between White, Black and Latino working people, and how we must work diligently to close it.

“Thanks to a CWA Growth Fund, members of CWA Locals 13500, 13000, and 13301 were able to participate in a ‘Reversing Runaway Inequality’ training that helped shaped our understanding of how the 1% is rigging the economy and attempting to divide working people,” said Jennifer Szpara, a CWA District 2-13 trainer. “These trainings are life-changing for those who attend, and they help us understand how we have to work together to reverse these harmful trends."

CWA Growth fund projects have provided critical support for other education programs, including:

  • CWA political boot camps, which consist of multi-day training sessions followed by a six-week follow-up political education and leadership development program that gives activists hands-on experience building working-class power. Participants develop their skills in member-to-member organizing in the workplace and communities, volunteer recruitment, creating organizing plans, and much more. The program gives members a chance to collaborate by sharing tips and best practices from their locals with each other.
  • “Fight Forward” trainings through CWA’s Human Rights program. The training gives CWAers tools to stem the dangerous assaults on the working class and to move forward toward a more just and equitable society. Members receive training on the ways the 1% have used race, gender, immigrant status and sexual orientation, among other things, to divide the working class. Participants learn how to build power through establishing local human rights committees, developing relationships with community groups, local activism and mobilization. The Human Rights training program also supports leadership development of members of color, women and LGBTQ members.