Throughout our 76 years, CWA leaders and members have stepped up to meet the challenges of the day. The upheaval of telecommunications divestiture, changing technology, mergers of communications companies, consolidation of the airline industry, the offshoring of good jobs, the assault on public services that benefit working people, and the attacks on public and private sector workers’ rights all required a strong union that could fight back. We are that union.
Today, we need to be tougher than ever, because we face the perfect storm of an emboldened corporate culture, a Congress determined to roll back workers’ rights and protections, anti-union forces pushing for an end to public worker bargaining rights, a billionaire cabinet filled with the worst of Wall Street, and unprecedented attacks on civil and human rights.
Since 2012, so called “right to work” laws have been enacted in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia and now this year, Kentucky and Missouri. Congress has introduced national “right to work” legislation. Public workers from New Jersey to Iowa to Arizona have seen their bargaining rights attacked, often with the help of the corporate-backed think tanks that help anti-union elected officials weaken and destroy the rights of public workers.
More than two dozen court cases attacking collective bargaining rights are making their way to the Supreme Court to face a majority of justices hostile to working people. The newest Supreme Court justice has a track record of opposition to the role of government agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Labor Relations Board, and others charged with protecting workers on the job. Anti-union forces see this as their time to strike the fatal blow to unions and destroy a strong political opponent.
Bargaining good contracts is tougher than ever, across every industry. It is a turbulent time for millions of working families, and a dangerous one. We are at risk of losing decades of gains, in safety and health, fair wages and overtime, the right to collective action, and much more. The attack on unions is unprecedented and we must increase our power to withstand the blows.
CWA STRONG is a far-reaching plan to move every member to action, with the goal of strengthening our union at all levels and expanding our capacity to survive and fight back. The CWA STRONG plan has real, measurable goals that keep us all accountable for the work that will allow our union not just to survive this crisis but to make gains. Together, we can bring more workers into our union, strengthen our political voice, and win on issues that affect us all. We must all commit to this work. This is no time for bystanders.
The CWA STRONG work has already begun with locals developing systematic plans to talk with and sign up non-members, attend internal organizing training, recruit new stewards, participate in political boot camps, and much more.
We must strengthen organizing committees and engage in deeper one-on-one conversations in every workplace, committing to listening and involving members at the center of everything we do. In other words, we must commit to energizing the organized. If we succeed, we will withstand the attacks and we will have tens of thousands more members participating in union mobilization, making us more powerful at the bargaining table, in the halls of political power, and in our communities.
Resolved: CWA commits to the CWA STRONG Plan to do the work at every level of our union to strengthen us and allow us to withstand the attacks on the very existence of our union.
Resolved: The CWA national organizing department, staff and every local will make internal organizing and membership contact and involvement a priority.
Resolved: The national union will provide training and resources for the CWA STRONG Plan and all departments and program areas will identify and implement actions to support CWA STRONG.
Resolved: All CWA locals at or below 80 percent organized will work with their District/Sector Organizing Coordinators and staff to design a systematic plan to increase membership by 10 percentage points this year.
Resolved: Collectively across the union CWA will sign up 40,000 non-members before the next convention.
Resolved: Every CWA local commits to have active and effective organizing, legislative-political, and human rights committees and to send new activists to boot camps and other trainings.
Resolved: Every CWA local will strengthen and expand the number of stewards by at least 10 percent so that every workgroup has at least one trained steward.
Resolved: Every CWA local will build and strengthen a workplace mobilization structure that allows the union to contact every member with important information and move them to action in support of bargaining and other issues.
Resolved: The national union will provide access to digital communications tools for locals and each local will ask every member for their email and cell number and use them to provide regular updates to move them to action.
Resolved: CWA will provide critical support to public sector members as they lose fair share due to an impending Supreme Court decision with education, training and organizing expounding the value of unions in the public sector for all Americans; legislative action to strengthen union rights, and the preparation of locals for the financial and political impact of losing significant amount of income.