Feb 27, 2014
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler talks about how young workers will build the future of the labor movement.
Below: IUE-CWA members welcome its inaugural mentorship class.
CWA Next Generation activists huddled at national headquarters this week to prepare the 2014 program. Their goal: Sign up 5,000 CWA Next Generation members and get commitments of support from 100 CWA locals.
"By identifying and engaging our young members, CWA is building our capacity to mobilize more members to support the campaigns that are important to our union and the members we represent, and with better results," said Ron Collins, CWA's chief of staff, who oversees the CWA Next Generation program.
This will be field-based work with lead activists from each sector and district driving the program. These newly recruited young leaders will be responsible for building the program in their communities and states, and helping to identify potential state leaders in other states within their districts and sectors.
At the three-day strategy session, activists heard from CWA President Larry Cohen and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, who has made young worker outreach and mobilization a top priority. Public Citizen, the Sierra Club, Center for Popular Democracy and Jobs with Justice joined CWA in running workshops on exposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and movement building. Activists also learned how to use social media to organize young activists and more.
"We are excited about the opportunity this program presents to engage our young members in building a movement for economic justice and democracy," said Collins.
Around the country, unions are developing the next generation of labor movement leaders. For example, IUE-CWA kicked off its very first mentorship program in January, pairing 11 talented young mentees with experienced union leaders.