CWA Local 7103, based in Sioux City, Iowa, represents about 250 workers at AT&T Mobility, DIRECTV, and CenturyLink, as well as public sector employees at Council Bluffs Schools, the City of Council Bluffs, Sioux City Public Library, and Woodbury County roads.
The local is fighting hard against a Republican governor and state legislature that are determined to gut workers' rights. In 2016, Republicans took control of both chambers of the state legislature, which marks the first time they have controlled both the state legislature and the governor’s office since 1998.
Already, the Republicans have passed a draconian bill, House File 291, to strip collective bargaining rights from public workers. In addition to banning workers from bargaining on anything other than base wages, the legislation requires unions to be recertified prior to every contract negotiation and institutes other extreme provisions to take away workers' rights. In addition to the new anti-union laws, Iowa is a "right-to-work" (for less) state.
Despite these challenges, Local 7103 President Corey Davis says that the CWA STRONG program is helping the local grow and flourish.
"The challenges we face here in Iowa have awoken a sleeping giant," said Davis. "Our members know that if they don't stand up and fight back now, they won’t have anything left to fight for. Members are standing together and organizing to fight for the people we represent – and we're just getting started."
Recently, with assistance from Local 7103 members from AT&T, CenturyLink, and DIRECTV, the local signed up 54 new members in two hours at Council Bluffs Schools. The local has more than tripled its membership there.
Davis says that the key to the local's success is reaching out to people individually. "We can send out emails or letters, but one-on-one face-to-face contact is really what gets the results."
In addition to recruiting new members, the local is actively recruiting new stewards and activists from all of its different work groups and holding organizing trainings in September.
The local was also honored with an award at this year's CWA convention for signing up 100 workers in either one or both of the past two years, an especially impressive feat for a local of its size.
With assistance from Local 7103 members from AT&T, CenturyLink, and DIRECTV, the local signed up 54 new members in two hours at Council Bluffs Schools.