CWA News

Growing Our Union Power through Legislative and Political Engagement

CWA members and retirees are leading the fight to pass legislation to protect call center jobs, hold members of Congress accountable for supporting the Republican corporate tax cut bill that only made Wall Street richer, lobby Congress to oppose bad trade deals, and defeat anti-worker legislation.

CWA’s Growth Fund projects fuel this work by facilitating coordination among CWA locals, supporting coalition work with our allies, enhancing communication, and providing resources for member education and leadership development.

The defeat of the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal shows how powerful Growth Funds can be. In 2013, CWA members were among the first to sound the alarm about the TPP, taking to the streets to raise awareness of the secret negotiations.

As Congress began to lay the groundwork for passing the TPP, CWA’s Defense Fund Oversight Committee approved an ambitious Growth Fund project which focused on massive member mobilization against the deal. The funds enabled local CWA activists in dozens of key congressional districts to take time off the job to educate CWA members and community partners about the dangers of the TPP, and to organize town halls, call-in days and visits to congressional offices. Growth funds also provided materials such as signs, buttons and flyers to support those efforts. This grassroots effort included bringing together other labor, fair trade, environmental, faith-based and consumer groups in a powerful coalition and was boosted by a sophisticated media campaign which included press outreach, paid advertising, a website for online action and a social media presence.

“We could not have stopped the TPP without Growth Fund support,” said CWA Minnesota State Council President Mona Meyer. “This job-killing trade deal would truly have had a negative effect on every person in our union. Because of CWA’s Growth Fund resources we were able to use the power of collective action to go up against the giant multinational corporations backing the TPP and win.”

CWA’s Growth Fund has provided critical support for other work, including:

  • Ensuring that the FAA Reauthorization Bill included top priority items for Flight Attendants and passenger service agents: instituting a minimum rest period of 10 hours for Flight Attendants to bring them in line with the flight crew, and stronger protections for airline passenger service agents from passenger assaults.
  • Supporting retiree involvement in Arizona, which helped elect Kyrsten Sinema, a strong pro-worker ally, to the U.S. Senate in a tightly-contested election in 2018.
  • Helping CWA members and retirees in Missouri defeat Missouri’s Proposition A, a so-called "Right to Work" ballot initiative.
  • Fighting to pass national legislation, the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act, and legislation in numerous states to protect call center jobs from offshoring.
  • Holding elected officials accountable for their broken promises on last year’s corporate tax cut bill which has led to massive profits for corporate executives and new incentives for them to send jobs overseas.
  • Making our democracy work for everyone by building support for legislation like the For the People Act (H.R.1) and similar state and local efforts that restore and expand voting rights, get big corporate money out of politics, and implement government ethics reforms.