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Growing Our Union Power through Organizing

With labor unions facing an onslaught of attacks from rightwing special interests, CWA members are working hard not only to defend against these anti-worker attacks, but also to grow and strengthen our union through organizing.

CWA STRONG, our comprehensive national plan to build workplace power, strengthen bargaining, and resist outside efforts to destroy our union, is based on ideas developed as part of the "CWA Stronger" Growth Fund project in 2015. Anticipating the Supreme Court decision in Janus vs. AFSCME that made the entire public sector nationwide "right-to-work" for less, CWA public and education workers across the country learned how to talk to non-members about joining the union, connected with each other using a new text messaging system, and held organizing "blitzes" to sign up thousands of new members.

"CWA Growth Fund support made it possible for us to respond to the threat of Janus not by cowering—but by organizing and mobilizing members to build worker power," said CWA Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton.

CWA Growth fund projects have provided critical support for other organizing work, including:

  • Boosting the NewsGuild-CWA's successful efforts to give media workers a voice in the workplace. Workers at media outlets are improving their working conditions and strengthening their ability to serve their communities by organizing to join the NewsGuild-CWA. With media conglomerates like the hedge fund Alden Global Capital-owned Digital First Media and Sinclair Broadcast Group buying up local newspapers and slashing jobs to maximize profits, workers need a voice at the table now more than ever.
  • At ABC Sports and NBC Sports, NABET-CWA aimed to sign up at least 600 new members with assistance from a CWA Growth Fund. They managed to exceed that goal by 1,000 members!
  • Bank workers formed the Committee for Better Banks to fight for better working conditions. In the wake of the massive Wells Fargo fraudulent account scandal, the bank workers have highlighted the poor working conditions at major banks and how unreasonable sales quotas have harmed both workers and consumers. This project has laid the groundwork for a wave of organizing in the financial sector.
  • Organizing public higher education employees at state universities across CWA District 3. CWAers in D3 recruited nearly 500 new members at state universities in 2018—a wave of organizing that is challenging the anti-union reputation of Southern states.