As CWA activists keep up the fight for fair contracts, bargaining rights, economic justice and a stronger democracy, that old adage has never been truer. We can’t go it alone. That’s why we’ve joined together with our progressive allies in our push for bargaining rights, secure jobs, fair trade, good healthcare for all and retirement security. Together, our growing coalition is tackling climate change, the DREAM act, immigration reform and measures to decrease home foreclosures.
CWA has partnered with the NAACP to stop the voter suppression laws designed to make it more difficult for many Americans to exercise their most basic democratic right. CWA, Public Citizen, Common Cause, People for the American Way and Move to Amend have all banded together to end the unfettered influence of corporate money in politics. We’re standing up with the Sierra Club and the Citizens Trade Campaign to block another unfair trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And we’re pressing the Senate to change its rules and again become an effective democratic body.
What are the economic challenges and conditions facing working people? How do we overcome the obstacles to real economic and social justice?
Creating change means working with other progressive groups to build a movement that will take on the 1 percent.
There’s work being done by local activists too. In New York, CWA Local 1103 President Joe Mayhew reached out to like-minded groups to bolster his local’s fight for economic justice. The local formed partnerships with the local chapters of NAACP, SEIU and MoveOn.org and reached out to single-issue grassroots groups, such as Mt. Vernon Tenants Association and Westchester for Change. Today the coalition, now known as the Hudson Valley Coalition for a Fair Economy, is writing letters to the editor, organizing town halls and holding joint press conferences. “We need to be involved with our brothers and sisters in the community if we’re going to save the middle class. Together we have a big voice,” Mayhew said.
CWA activists have a strong and growing partnership with Take Action Minnesota and through political action trainings are fighting state amendments to suppress voters, institute “right to work” and ban gay marriage.
In Ohio, CWA helped form a new coalition, “Stand Up for Ohio,” that led the campaign to repeal the anti-collective bargaining bill known as Senate Bill 5. “When we defeated Senate Bill 5, I learned we are stronger when we work together,” said Ron Gay, vice president of CWA Local 4300. “If we coalesce, we’re more successful. We had faith groups, community organizers, random people on the street. It was an enlightening experience to see so many people care about something and then actually do something. No issue in my lifetime, in my state, had ever brought that many people together.”
In New Mexico, the Occupy movement and CWA Local 7076’s coalition with Sierra Club, Voices for Children, MoveOn.org and the Association of Retired Americans aggressively pushed for legislation requiring multi-state big box companies doing business in New Mexico to pay their fair share of taxes. The coalition collected a whopping 5,000 signatures calling on Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to sign the bipartisan legislation; she ignored their voices and vetoed the bill. But the loss didn’t dampen their spirits. New Mexico activists know they’ve built a robust foundation for future progressive campaigns — one that will outlast the governor’s tenure.