Who We Are

CWA is the largest telecommunications union in the world representing 700,000 workers. About one-half of CWA’s membership works in the telecommunications industry. But CWA also represents workers in state and local government, media, manufacturing, airlines, and health  are. CWA negotiates for better wages, benefits, and working conditions for its members and fights for the right of all workers to collectively bargain and organize. CWA leaders and members also participate in numerous community and civic projects, and they work on issues such as sustainable jobs, health care, retirement security and civil rights. CWA has also taken a strong position on climate change, perhaps the most critical environmental issue of our time.

Sierra Club is the largest grassroots environmental group in the U.S. with 1.3 million members. The Club is focused on efforts to improve air & water quality and reduce exposure
to toxic chemicals at home and on the job; address the climate change crisis by promoting clean energy solutions and the creation of good, sustainable jobs; fight for fair trade; promote green transportation; and protect resilient habitats and our wild places. Sierra Club leaders have also taken strong positions in support of workers rights and broadband expansion.

Why we work together

  • Both the labor and environmental movements have been the targets of a well-coordinated, well-funded attack.
  • The gains both communities have made over the past 76 years are being eroded. Our rights to collectively bargain, have a decent paying job and retirement, live and work in a clean and healthy environment and exercise our democratic rights are being attacked and dismantled.
  • We have many things that bind us together including our common commitment to a clean and healthy environment; an effective and functioning democracy; workplace health and safety; the creation of good, clean jobs that provide decent wages and benefits; the rights of workers to bargain and organize collectively; the need to address climate change and toxic pollutants; and our obligation to create economically and environmentally sustainable communities.

Joint Work at a National Level.

Workers’ rights to collectively bargain and organize.
Comprehensive climate and energy legislation.
Expanded broadband deployment for sustainable communities.
Fair trade policies that support workers rights, jobs, and the environment.
Support for democratic rights including Senate rules reform, campaign finance reform and expanding the ability of citizens to vote.

Work at the State and Local Levels – Three Case Studies

Virginia
Coordinated opposition to three environmental deregulation bills which were defeated and a Verizon deregulation bill which passed.
Working for the continued ban of uranium mining in Virginia.
Advocated for the expansion of broadband into Charles City County.
Sierra Club members walk with Verizon workers on the picket line.
CWA/IUE local leader writes letter to editor about importance of Earth Day and green manufacturing jobs in Virginia
Two 2-day workshops attended by 60 CWA and Sierra Club activists to jointly develop and act on policies and projects that address our economic, environmental and democratic crises.

Texas
Called 700 CWA and Sierra Club members to contact their member of Congress to oppose the Colombia trade agreement that undermines workers rights and the environment. Our effort was credited with changing the vote of at least one member of Congress.
One hundred CWA and Sierra Club members turned out to rally opposing efforts to negotiate a “NAFTA on Steroids” deal for the trans-Pacific region. The rally took place in Dallas at negotiation sessions.
Two-day workshop attended by 30 CWA and Sierra Club activists to jointly develop and act on policies and projects that address our economic, environmental and democratic crises.

Florida
CWA joined Sierra Club and other local and environmental groups in an effort to protect a restoration area from airport expansion.
The Florida Sierra Club chapter issued a resolution supporting public sector workers’ collective bargaining rights.
Two-day workshop that trained 30 CWA and Sierra Club activists in jointly developing and actingon policies and projects that address our economic, environmental and democratic crises.