CWAers from across District 6 gathered for their annual meeting, held for the first time in person since the pandemic.
Hundreds of members met in Houston to participate in workshops and committee meetings and hear from union leaders and guest speakers, including CWA President Chris Shelton. Speaking to the crowd, Shelton applauded the activists in District 6 and throughout the union for their hard work engaging in our grassroots efforts to build support for pro-worker candidates leading up to the critical midterm elections that concluded last week. “District 6 has long been a powerhouse of political engagement, and that was certainly the case this year,” said Shelton. He highlighted some of the key races in the District where our efforts paid off and stressed the need to continue this great work especially now that the U.S. House of Representatives will be back in the hands of an anti-worker, pro-corporate majority. “Their priority will be to pass legislation that helps corporations make more profits from our labor, which will come at the cost of our health, our safety on the job, our paychecks, and our pensions,” added Shelton.
Shelton also uplifted the outstanding work District 6 members have been engaged in to make our union CWA Strong, including the strong legislative program members in Texas have built, the success District 6 members have had consistently strengthening our political action fund, and their work mobilizing a broader base of CWA members around building broadband better and creating more good jobs. He also highlighted the incredible organizing successes in District 6, including the historic win by workers at an Apple Store in Oklahoma who, in a landslide, voted to join CWA. In addition, Shelton highlighted the resilience District 6 members demonstrated negotiating strong contracts despite the difficulties of the pandemic.
“One of my favorite things in the whole world is watching workers celebrate together when they win their union votes,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, who spoke about the power of workers coming together and touted the various organizing victories in District 6 and elsewhere. “There will always be more of us than them, and as long as we organize, they cannot buy our hearts nor steal our votes. They cannot win,” she added. She also took the opportunity to remind participants to continue to fight for labor law reform and protect our voting rights.
“A big thank you to all the delegates here and every one of the District 6 members for continuing to work hard to advance all sides of the CWA Triangle even through one of the worst events of our lifetime. Whether it was handling tough grievances, bargaining strong contracts, organizing new workers, or building political power, we had no shortage of victories in District 6, and even through the toughest of times we stayed committed to the values that make us CWA Strong,” said CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings Jr. He continued to acknowledge the dedicated staff members who seamlessly transitioned to work from home without any lapse in service to members.
Conference participants also heard from CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton; CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce; CWA Telecommunications and Technologies Sector Vice President Lisa Bolton; AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson; CWA Public, Healthcare and Education Sector Vice President Margaret Cook; NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss, and other guest speakers.