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A Big Month for Member Trainings


Returning to Cornell for the Clara L Allen Leadership School

After several years off, we held the Clara L Allen Leadership School from April 15 through 19 at the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The training brought together dozens of CWA activists from locals throughout District 1 to hone their leadership skills and learn from one another with sessions on topics such as member mobilization and political action.


CWA Locals in New Jersey are taking on Runaway Inequality!

Did you know that if US workers’ wages had kept up with productivity over the last several decades, we would be making an average of $1,632 per week today? Instead, the average weekly salary today is only about $900.


On April 18th, CWA Local 1032 members took part in our 1-day Reversing Runaway Inequality training led by veteran member trainers Elijah (Local 1109) and Chris (Local 1104), joined by one of our newest trainers, Local 1033’s Kathi to talk about how to put a stop to growing income inequality and how the ultra-rich use racism to divide working people.


One week later, members of Locals 1036 and 1085 participated in the training, hosted at Local 1033’s union hall. 1104’s Chris again helped lead the training, along with trainer Tunisia (Local 1106) and new trainer Lamale (Local 1000).

Local 1037 Members Build Steward Army

In-home childcare providers (members of 1037) gathered on April 18th for a Shop Steward Training to learn about mobilization, confronting management tactics, and building power in the community.


CWAers Learning About How to Defend Our Democracy


In April, CWA member trainers kicked off a brand new political action training! The first Defending Democracy training was held in Kingston, NY on April 17th with CWA Local 1120 members and members of the New York State Nurses Association participating. Additional trainings have been held in Syracuse with Local 1123 and Levittown with Locals 1101, 1104, 1106, 1109; several more trainings are scheduled for May and June in other locations.​

The new training, developed by CWA members from several different locals along with District 1 staff, is designed to deepen members' understanding of the threat of authoritarianism in the US, and the role that unions should play in this fight. Participants have a chance to discuss current political-economic conditions, the historical context for the rise of authoritarianism, and the threats to labor posed by the growth of anti-democratic forces.


During one portion of the day, participants are asked to discuss "Union vs. Non-Union" power dynamics and who makes the rules in a union environment vs non-union—and how that impacts our overall democracy in the US. Several participants highlighted things like:

  • "Bosses desire less democracy because they seek greater control and profits."
  • "They employ divide-and-conquer schemes, finance anti-union political campaigns, manipulate laws, and disseminate propaganda to consolidate power."

You can read more about our full list of Political Activist Trainings here.