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The CWA Strong Plan
The challenge to all of us is to maintain our ability to negotiate good contracts, to lead the fight to keep good jobs in our communities and to look out for CWA members and working families.
Our goal is to create a shared understanding of the forces that want to derail the gains we’ve made, and with a united and energized membership, protect jobs, wages, benefits and retirement.
Our union is tough. We have a strong foundation of member mobilization, participation and activism that will be the basis of CWA STRONG. We’ll use the smarts we’ve acquired over decades of bargaining, organizing and mobilization to reach every member, strengthen the union in our workplaces and increase our ability to fight back.
It’s an “all hands on deck” moment. To succeed, CWA STRONG requires the commitment of every member. In this pro-Wall Street climate, this is the only way we can build on our successes and continue to fight to protect our jobs, living standards, contracts and rights.
Stay tuned for a schedule of CWA STRONG materials, training and mobilization. There will be extensive communication and discussion with CWA members to build this plan as members engage their co-workers at every CWA workplace.
The Challenge Workers Face
CWA members and all workers are facing serious challenges. Opponents of workers’ rights and elected officials who side with corporate and Wall Street interests dominate all three branches of the federal government.
Here’s just some of what we’re up against:
- The “corporate cabinet,” now mostly confirmed by the Senate, is stacked with former Wall Street (Goldman Sachs) bankers who have offshored jobs and foreclosed on working people’s homes. The Secretary of Health and Human Services wants to turn Medicare into a private insurance voucher program, putting 57 million seniors at risk.
- Presidential appointments to agencies that oversee workers’ rights, like the National Labor Relations Board for private sector workers and the National Mediation Board covering airline and other transportation workers, are openly hostile to the rights of workers to organize and bargain.
- There are at least 26 court cases attacking the right of public workers to bargain collectively, with the first of these likely to reach the U.S. Supreme Court by early next year.
- The House of Representatives has introduced national “right to work for less” legislation.
- Wall Street is pushing to get rid of the consumer safeguards put in place to deal with the financial abuses that caused our economic downturn in 2008. Millions of ordinary Americans suffered, losing their jobs, their homes, and their retirement savings. Nearly 4 million mid-wage jobs, with annual earnings of about $40,000, were lost, while taxpayers spent about $300 billion to bail out these banks and financial firms.
- Those same Wall Street types want to get rid of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency that takes on the Big Banks and financial institutions that cheat ordinary Americans. In its five years, the agency has recovered $12 billion on behalf of almost 30 million consumers.
- The anti-union environment will embolden our employers, making it harder to bargain good contracts and to keep good jobs in our communities. Corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has spent decades mapping an attack on workers’ rights, now see new opportunities to extinguish the voice of working people.
2017 could be one of the most dangerous years in CWA’s history. Or it could be a year of extraordinary accomplishment by CWA members.
It’s up to us to make that happen.