CWA Local 7076 knew things had to change. The local was facing the same challenges hitting CWA locals and unions throughout the labor movement: how to fight back against anti-worker employers and lawmakers, how to continue to bargain good contracts in challenging times, and how to make sure workers' voices are heard.
A little more than a year ago, in January 2016, CWA Local 7076 began an internal organizing program that made communication with members and non-members a top priority. Since then, more than 700 new members have joined the local. There are 29 more stewards and more than double the number of activists.
CWA Local 7076 represents public employees who work for the University of New Mexico (UNM), University of New Mexico Hospitals (UNMH), Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), and the Timberon Water and Sanitation Department.
"Our members know we face big challenges, and that's why our local is working hard to grow stronger," said CWA Local 7076 President Donald Alire. "We are talking one-on-one with every employee in our workplaces, and making sure everyone knows how important it is to be united."
In addition to increasing its internal membership numbers, CWA Local 7076 has engaged members in every aspect of the local's work. The local says it's not ever seen so many new activists come forward in such a short period of time. And turnout for the local's 2017 Lobby Day, held at the New Mexico State Capitol to discuss CWA members' issues with state legislators, was nearly triple that of previous years.
"Hundreds of new members have joined our local in the last year. We have 29 new stewards who are being trained, a big increase. Our growing stewards and activists network will make sure our members stay engaged and mobilized," said Alire.
Internal organizing is now an ongoing part of the local's work to keep the union strong.
CWAers from Local 7076 gathered for 2017 Lobby Day, held at the New Mexico State Capitol to discuss CWA members' issues with state legislators.