CWA Wireless Workers Build Power at 2023 Annual Conference
Close to 250 CWA members from across the union gathered for the CWA Wireless Workers Conference, held in person last week for the first time in four years in Providence, R.I. They participated in workshops and plenary sessions, shared ideas and strategized for the future, held solidarity actions, and heard from CWA leaders, elected officials, and other guest speakers.
Speaking to participants about the need for our union to adapt to the ever-changing industry, CWA President Chris Shelton said, ”Since the early days of wireless, we have been at the forefront of organizing, representing, and fighting for workers to build a stronger, more powerful union.” He referenced the growing group of workers in the wireless industry who are taking collective action and joining CWA, including tower climbers, who for the first time ever participated in the conference. “By forming a union with CWA, tower climbers are beating the odds, just like they beat the odds each time they go out on a job and return home safely,” said Shelton. He also emphasized the need to consistently mobilize to win strong contracts that improve standards for all workers.
“We have incredible momentum to make some real change for workers in the coming year, and I couldn't be more proud of the amazing effort put in by our members to make it happen,” said CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor. Trainor kicked off the conference and highlighted the various victories CWAers have had in recent years and the possibility for more in the future.
CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens encouraged members to make the most of this period of increased worker organizing and support for unions. “There is a lot of work before us. None of it is easy, but all of it is worthy of our full-hearted efforts. This is a year where every day matters. Every day is full of promise for our CWA members and our labor movement,”
Attendees marched alongside CWA Local 1101 members at IGT, a company that services slot machines, who are fighting for a fair contract. Throughout the conference, members recorded short videos to tell their stories about building power in their workplaces.
Conference participants also heard from CWA District 3 Vice President Richard Honeycutt, CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney, CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton, CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings Jr., CWA District 7 Vice President Susie McAllister, and other guest speakers.