WASHINGTON, D.C. – CWA held an important legislative conference the week of June 13th led by CWA President Chris Shelton led the event. Shelton asked participants to lead the fight to win back power for working people in this fall’s election. Discussions centered on the Trump administration’s attacks on unions and working people. “We need to go from protests to politics, from protests to power,” Shelton said. “And the fight starts right now.”
Shelton highlighted recent attacks on working people by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress, including the corporate tax cut bill, the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and the appointees to the Labor Department, NLRB, and National Mediation Board who have begun systematically reducing protections for workers on the job. He also stressed the need to ensure that the Democratic Party takes a stronger stand on issues that affect working people and their ability to join together to negotiate strong contracts.
CWA Legislative Director Shane Larson discussed recent legislative victories, including CWA members’ success at preventing anti-worker legislation and advancing bills at the state and federal level that protect call center jobs. CWA Political Director Rafael Navar moderated a panel discussion on how to replicate last year’s electoral victories in Virginia state legislative races, featuring Doris Crouse-Mays, President of Virginia AFL-CIO and Jon Liss, Executive Director of New Virginia Majority. CWA Local 1109 member Bianca Cunningham, who worked with her coworkers to organize her Verizon Wireless store and five others in Brooklyn and was unfairly fired in 2015, encouraged Sen. Harris to commit to supporting legislation that strengthens workers’ rights to join together and penalizes companies that engage in illegal anti-union activity.
Conference participants heard from elected officials who are considering running for President including Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). They also heard from Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.). Union members engaged with guest speakers.