News

CWAers Celebrate Human Rights Day

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CWA Local 6316 members rally hold a candlelight vigil for Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.

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CWA Local 6186 raises awareness at Texas State University in Austin.

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CWAers and allies in Bakersfield, Calif., support the “Robin Hood tax,” which would impose a financial transactions tax on the Wall Street speculators who caused an economic meltdown.

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CWA-RMC Vice President Adolphe Bernotas protests at a congressional office in Florida.

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CWA Local 13000 rallies for good jobs in the rain.

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Milwaukee CWAers tell Sens. Herb Kohl and Ron Johnson to protect Medicare.

On Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day, 100 progressive organizations — unions, civil rights groups, environmental advocates, community organizers and students — launched a nationwide democracy initiative.

Also on that day, across the country, CWA members joined candlelight vigils outside congressional offices, rallies, town hall meetings and other actions to make sure that the solution to our country's fiscal crisis makes the wealthy pay their fair share and doesn't cut benefits that working families depend on. (Don't see a photo of your action? Check out all the events here. Have photos to send? Send to news@cwa-union.org.)

These actions, and more, are intended to hold members of Congress accountable and to keep Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid strong while the "fiscal cliff" negotiations continue.

CWA leaders and others from the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, NAACP, National Education Association, Common Cause and more met in Washington, DC, to discuss how to build the movement for democratic and social change and to talk about campaigns underway for real change.

CWA President Larry Cohen, with Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), outlined the campaign to win reforms of the Senate rules to make the Senate function again. The U.S. Senate doesn't work. In fact, it's become a block — or a barrier — to democracy, because too many important issues don't get even one minute of discussion and debate on the Senate floor because of the broken Senate rules.

"CWA members are involved because they know that if they want to maintain their collective bargaining and organizing rights, they have to reclaim democracy first," said CWA President Larry Cohen in an interview with Truth Out. "There's a direct link between the collapse of democracy, as it would be defined in most of the world, and the collapse of bargaining rights in the U.S. which are lower than in any other democracy except Colombia, if you call that a democracy. In CWA, we focus increasingly on building a movement for democracy and economic justice."

He added, "We've needed to take Human Rights Day [as our own] and celebrate it."

The Democracy Initiative's goal is social and economic justice, and the group is working to end voter suppression, create a path to citizenship for immigrants, get the money out of politics and fix the broken Senate by changing the rules.