The CWA News | Continuing Our Work Together

Volume 75, Issue #2 | Summer 2015

Larry Cohen, CWA President

My ten years as President ends on June 8. I am confident that CWA leadership will remain strong at all levels and that our members will continue to lead the way as we Stand Up and Fight Back.

I have been honored every day to serve as President of our union. I am proud of all of you and the work we have done together for decades.

I’d like to sum up where things stand in our union, and also to give interested CWAers the opportunity to stay connected to the work of building a movement for democracy and justice that I will continue. As I said in September when I announced that I would not run again, for me this is not about another job, but a way of continuing the work we are doing together in a different way.

Our collective bargaining work only intensifies in the weeks ahead, with negotiations at AT&T, State of New Jersey, United Airlines, American Airlines, GE and Verizon and many other employers covering more than 200,000 of our members. Our goal is to negotiate contracts that improve our standard of living as we unite under the banner of “It’s Our Turn.” Common sense economics teaches us that higher corporate profits without a rising standard of living do not work for the economy and certainly don’t work for us! Our bargaining serves the common good much more than the unchecked management excesses of the global economy.

Our work against Fast Track and the Trans Pacific Partnership should inspire us all for the years ahead. Thousands of our members are leading this campaign across the U.S. and Canada. From New York City to California, Florida to the Pacific Northwest, CWA leaders are mobilizing not only our union but their entire communities against the biggest trade threat ever to our jobs, our living standards and our environment that we have seen. This work is now at a critical point.

I appreciate the support and solidarity of CWAers over my 10 years as president and throughout the years as an activist and leader.

To stay connected to me and our democracy work in the years ahead, visit www.eepurl.com/blVjov to sign up for the monthly columns I will write, much as I have been doing over the past several years at Huffington Post.

I mostly will be writing about democracy campaigns and issues, since that will be a big focus of the work that I’ll be doing. More than ever, I believe we must get the “money out and voters in” in our political system even if our only focus is the next contract. We start out with a rotten deal and then try to play the hand. For workers without a union it’s even worse, largely the illusion of rights with little reality. How do we create a real path for workers’ rights? How do we build a 21st century democracy?

We are not starting from scratch in any of our states or towns or cities or even nationally. The kinds of connections we are making will help us with the next contract fight and in building the movement we need. I will stay committed to that fight and hope we can stay connected as well.

One day longer, each day stronger!

Solidarity forever.

Larry Cohen on the steps of the U.S. Capitol

On the steps of the U.S. Capitol, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (left) and progressive leaders, including CWA President Larry Cohen, outlined a Progressive Agenda to fight income inequality and support working families