CWAers Celebrate the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
CWAers Step Up at the AFL-CIO MLK Conference
Members of the CWA Human Rights Committee met in Montgomery, Ala., in conjunction with the AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference to prepare their agenda for the coming year and discuss how to elect pro-worker candidates during this year’s election cycle. CWA members will, once again, be leading legislative initiatives and getting out the vote to protect the rights of workers nationwide.
Additionally, committee members served as key volunteers for the AFL-CIO MLK Conference, which welcomed more than 800 union members, volunteers, activists, and organizers to discuss issues of civil and human rights. The theme was “Our Voice, Our Ballot, Our Future.” The entire committee escorted CWA President Claude Cummings Jr. to the main stage where he gave remarks and served as a moderator for the “Our Vote, Our Voice” panel, along with Christine Chen from APIAVote, Hector Sanchez from Mi Familia Vota, and Dominik Whitehead from the NAACP. He also participated in a panel discussion on Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts, “Mobilizing Voters of Color.”
CWA Chief of Staff Sylvia J. Ramos joined President Cummings at the conference to engage with CWA members and other leaders around the important role the labor movement plays in promoting civil and human rights. .
AFA-CWA Vice President Keturah Johnson spoke at the panel "An Injury To One: Why Attacks on LGBTQIA+ Workers Are An Attack On Unions" at the AFL-CIO MLK Conference.
CWA Human Rights Committee members gathered during the AFL-CIO MLK Conference to plan for the coming year.
Maximus Workers Recognized for Organizing for Fair Pay and Better Working Conditions
Federal call center workers at Maximus, who are organizing to join CWA, took center stage at the AFL-CIO MLK Conference to receive the “Eyes on the Prize” Award. The award recognizes leaders who exemplify an unyielding commitment to social justice, civil rights, and workers’ rights.
Audrianna Lewis, speaking for the Maximus workers being honored, said in her acceptance speech, “All of this is about upholding an unjust legacy of using us – women of color – for their labor and brilliance while trapping our families and communities in systemic poverty. This legacy of injustice has gone unaddressed in our communities for far too long. We will not let this stand!” She concluded her speech saying, “We will keep moving, keep pushing until we win $25 and a union.”
Maximus federal call center workers, who are organizing with CWA, accepted the Eyes on the Prize Award at the AFL-CIO MLK Conference.
CWA President Cummings Honored as the Labor Leader of the Year
CWA President Claude Cummings Jr. was honored as the Labor Leader of the Year during this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Awards Breakfast, hosted by the National Action Network. Other honorees recognized for their work carrying on Dr. King’s dream included Maryland Governor Wes Moore; Taraji P. Henson and Tracie Jenkins of the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation; actress Phylicia Rashad; National Education Association President Becky Pringle; and youth leader Deyona Burton.
In his acceptance remarks, President Cummings reflected on why he and others are motivated to carry on Dr. King’s work, saying. “We do this work because when we see injustice, we can’t ignore it. When we see people’s labor being exploited, we can’t sit on the sidelines doing nothing.”
From right to left: CWA President Claude Cummings Jr.; Becky Pringle, President of NEA;, Phylicia Rashad, actress and dean of the College of Fine Arts at Howard University; Tracie Jade Jenkins, Executive Director of the Boris Henson Foundation; Deyona Burton, youth activist; and President Lee Saunders, AFSCME.
The March Continues
Members of United Campus Workers of Georgia (UCW-CWA Local 3265) participated in Martin Luther King Jr. Day events throughout the day, including marching in MLK parades in both Athens and Atlanta, Ga. Members and retirees form CWA Local 3204 helped plan the Atlanta parade, which included a contingent of Delta Airlines Flight Attendants who are organizing with AFA-CWA as well as many CWA members, retirees and their families.
Members of UCW-CWA Local 3265 share information at the 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Day March in Atlanta, Ga.
Does your local have any stories from this year’s MLK Day? Have any upcoming events scheduled for Black History Month? Let us know at email@example.com. We’d love to highlight your work!