Worker Power Update
CWA Members Demand a Vote on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act
The Worker Power Coalition, a group of more than forty major labor unions and progressive organizations including CWA, launched a new national campaign pushing for a U.S. Senate vote on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The increased pressure comes as workers across the country, like Apple retail workers who are organizing with CWA, experience illegal union-busting intimidation tactics from corporations. Under the PRO Act, these tactics would carry heavy penalties. The coalition also released a new national letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democratic leadership that underscores the urgency of holding a Senate vote.
“We must do everything possible to support the growing number of workers who are joining together to improve their workplaces. Our labor laws are outdated and broken. Employers flagrantly violate workers’ rights, hold mandatory anti-union meetings, and intimidate and even fire workers for organizing,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “Workers need for the Senate to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act now so they can organize for safer jobs, better working conditions, and higher pay.”
Last week, CWA members in Florida held a rally and press event urging Republican Senator Marco Rubio to vote for the PRO Act. The CWAers were joined by other union allies, activists, and community members to demand that Rubio—who has a history of consistently voting against working people—stand with working families by supporting this vital piece of legislation that would put the power back in the hands of Florida’s workers.
CWA members in Florida held a rally and press event urging Republican Senator Marco Rubio to vote for the PRO Act and support workers.
CWA Next Generation Members Gearing Up for Fall Elections
More than 30 CWA members joined CWA Next Generation this month for a crash course in mobilizing for Election Day 2022. The online political briefing provided a look at upcoming challenges and opportunities with National Political Director Cory Medina and National Legislative and Political Field Director Yolanda Bejarano. District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton and other mentors in the CWA Next Generation program also joined the briefings.
According to Medina, if key pro-worker legislation such as the PRO Act is going to escape death in the “Senate graveyard,” members must help elect Democrats in eight critical states, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. He emphasized that governors’ races and contests for state attorneys general and secretaries of state are more important this year than at any time in recent memory, because the winners of those races will set the rules for the presidential election in 2024.
Both Medina and Bejarano talked to members about the power of member-to-member contact. “We want to have persuasive conversations with members to make sure they understand the issues. We want to build the long-term power of our union,” said Bejerano, speaking about the field plan for the next few months. She also discussed the various ways members can volunteer for member-to-member outreach in November. “We know democracy is under threat right now,” she added, “and that’s why we’ve got to leave it all on the field. It will take each and every one of us to win in November.”
CWA District 3 Members Build Political Power
Last week, CWA District 3 activists from central and north Florida came together for a political bootcamp training that was held in person for the first time in three years. Over the two-day training, participants learned about the decades-long strategic campaign corporations have engaged in to undermine workers’ rights, and worked on building critical skills including member-to-member organizing, volunteer recruitment, creating organizing plans, and much more. Attendees also discussed how to strengthen the CWA Political Action Fund (PAF) and discussed CWA's national legislative efforts to fight for pro-worker legislation, as well as CWA’s field mobilization for upcoming elections.
Several CWA-endorsed candidates including Maxwell Frost, who is running for Congress in Florida’s 10th District; Florida Senate Candidate Eunic Ortiz; and Angel Perry, Executive Vice President of CWA Local 3108 and Florida House of Representatives candidate, stopped by the training and spoke to participants. The members left energized and committed to putting in the work to elect pro-worker candidates in the upcoming election.
CWA District 3 activists in Florida came together for a political bootcamp training that was held in person for the first time in three years.