Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Happy holidays from CWA District 1! We want to take a moment to send you our warmest wishes for the holidays, and reflect back on the amazing year that we've had.
In a time when unions are under constant attack, it can sometimes feel like all it's all we can do to hold the line. But this year, we didn't just survive - we've thrived.
We've won years-long battles, like passing the Save NY Call Center Jobs Act in New York State; we've welcomed scores of new dues-paying members, such as the thousands signed up in our New Jersey public sector locals; we've helped pass legislation to lift up all workers, like increasing minimum wage to $15 per hour in Connecticut; we've stood in solidarity with workers on strike from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts; we've faced off with employers at the bargaining table and in organizing campaigns, and settled some huge contracts. It's been a year packed with incredible progress, and none of it would've happened without all of your hard work.
We want to take this moment to celebrate some of the amazing things we've accomplished together this year (this is far from an exhaustive list - our members have been busy this year!):
- After years of hard work, we helped pass bills to protect call center workers in Maine and New York.
- Over two dozen additional pro-worker bills were passed in New York and New Jersey, including reducing the wait time for striking workers to collect unemployment, banning salary history questions on job applications, minimum wage for car wash workers, and organizing rights for farm workers.
- Local 1298 helped pass laws in Connecticut for Paid Family Leave and raising the minimum wage.
- The Federal Government passed an indefinite extension to the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, providing healthcare for 9/11/01 First Responders, including many of our members.
- New Jersey State workers ratified a huge new contract in March and had massive mobilization to fight for a fair State budget in June.
- CWA Local 1180 won their landmark Equal Employment Opportunity lawsuit, which found that women and workers of color had been underpaid for years, achieving a major victory for our members and equality on the job.
- Over 750 shop stewards representing New Jersey locals gathered for the biggest stewards' conference in CWA New Jersey history, to plan and prep for strengthening the union and stepping up for the fight ahead.
- CWAers throughout District 1 showed Incredible solidarity for other unions in the midst of strikes, contract fights, and worker actions, joining picket lines alongside the UAW, the Chicago Teachers' Union, and Stop & Shop workers, rallying with Amazon workers for better working conditions, and running donation drives to support furloughed government workers during the Federal Government Shutdown.
- Grassroots power and engagement exploded in 2019 in New Jersey and is changing the very nature of politics in the Garden State. CWA was a key coalition partner on Voting, Immigrant, and LGBT rights, and was a founding player in the TakebackNJ Democracy Coalition.
- We've had several Days of Action to fight for important pieces of legislation, and every single time, our members have stepped up in a big way, making thousands of phonecalls and sending thousands of emails.
- We joined millions of other workers and community members to march on May Day, Labor Day, at the Global Climate Strike, and more.
- We worked to help elect a slew of pro-worker candidates to local, city, and state positions in November, including a dozen of our own members!
- We unanimously voted to re-elect our Vice President Dennis Trainor to another term at the 2019 CWA Convention, and were recognized by the National CWA body for some amazing achievements, including our internal and external organizing and Political Action Fund work.
We could go on. And on and on. It's been a remarkable year, and every CWA member should feel proud of what we've accomplished.
There's still work to be done, and in the next few days we'll be getting right back to fighting for workers and growing our union. But for now, we want to take a moment to celebrate all that we've achieved and the incredible strength, unity, and dedication of our members.
Happy New Year to all! Here's to another great year in 2020!