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Fairness, Justice, Conservation At Heart of 2001 Resolutions

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Fair trade, immigration rights, expanding the fight against a baseball cap maker’s anti-union practices and protecting Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were among 11 resolutions presented and adopted at CWA’s annual convention.

Delegates gave overwhelming approval to all the resolutions. They are summarized below:
  • The fight for fair trade. The resolution reiterates CWA’s commitment to work to protect members’ jobs and working families around the world by demanding that trade pacts include labor and human rights language, and be negotiated without secrecy. It also calls for a strong battle against “fast track” legislation that would give the president power to make trade deals without input from Congress.
  • A renewed push for immigration rights. Recognizing the failures of past immigration and guest-worker programs to ensure workers’ rights and protect families, the resolution supports the efforts of the Hispanic Caucus in the House of Repre-sentatives, the Democratic Congressional Leadership, faith communities, immigrant rights groups and the AFL-CIO to find a viable new form of immigration legalization.
  • A month for COPE. Delegates designated September as “CWA-Cope Month,” a time to give special emphasis to CWA’s political action. During September, CWA activities at the local, district and national level will focus on increasing the number of members who voluntarily contribute to CWA-COPE, the Committee on Political Education.
  • Fair economic policies. The resolution decries tax and budget policies that hurt working families, as well as proposals that threaten Social Security. It calls for an increase in the federal minimum wage and support for living-wage ordinances throughout the country.
  • Electronics recycling. CWA supports an anti-pollution campaign to not only recycle computers, TVs and other electronic equipment, but to force manufacturers to build more environmentally friendly and longer-lasting products. (See Campaign Calls for "Clean," Recyclable Electronic Products.)
  • Fighting for workplace ergonomics. The resolution pledges CWA’s continued support for worker safety through education, training and lobbying, and calls for a model ergonomics bill or rule that can be presented to state and local governments.
  • Holding onto Family and Medical Leave. CWA recommits to fight efforts to weaken FMLA, and supports efforts to improve it, including proposals for paid leave for health care emergencies and the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Justice for New Era workers. The union will escalate a public campaign to combat the anti-union abuses of the New Era Cap Company, which makes caps for Major League Baseball (see New Era Wage Cuts Force Strike at Derby Plant).
  • Federal aid for families in need. The resolution seeks to ensure the continuation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, food stamps and child-care grants. It calls for the programs to continue to be administered by trained public sector workers, who include CWA members. The resolution opposes attempts to privatize aid through faith-based, volunteer and nonprofit organizations.
  • Headlines for workers. CWA supports the Workers Independent News Service, which offers radio stations a professionally produced news service that focuses on workers’ issues.
  • Arctic Drilling. The final resolution was presented from the floor by Richard Wagner, president of CWA Local 1183 in New York. It calls for CWA to oppose the Bush administration's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. “We are looking at an attempt to spoil a virgin area for a four to six-month supply of oil at current U.S. consumption that will be delivered 10 years from now,” Wagner said. “That’s ridiculous.”

    His resolution, passed virtually unanimously, stated, “We consider the administration’s ‘energy policy’ a cynical attempt to enact a lucrative business plan for multinational corporations rather than a credible response to anticipated energy shortages and power outages. We support a long-term energy strategy based on conservation, alternative fuel sources and improved efficiency standards.”