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CWA 2008 Political Structure and COPE: Building A Political Movement 2008 CWA Legislative Political Conference. CWA Political Department Presentation April 6 th – 9 th , 2008 Hyatt Regency Hotel, Washington, D.C. Alfonso Pollard- CWA Political Director.
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CWA 2008 Political Structure and COPE: Building A Political Movement2008 CWA Legislative Political Conference CWA Political Department Presentation April 6th – 9th, 2008 Hyatt Regency Hotel, Washington, D.C. Alfonso Pollard- CWA Political Director
Building a CWA Political Structure Agenda • Building a Political Movement • Establishing a Winning Plan • Victory in 2007 • How We Won • CWA National Issues • CWA Political Plan for the Future
Agenda (Cont’d) • Political Targeting - Moving the Political Mountain in 2008 Our Role Together - Leadership - Membership Grass Roots Political Organizing • 2008 Legislative Political Conference and 2008 Human and Civil Rights Conference
The future of our union depends on strong Community/Political and Legislative Action. The CWA Triangle
Building A Political Structure Starts With Solid Internal Union Strategic Planning, Policies, and Goals
2008 CWA Political Plan • Building a Political Structure- A National Matrix/Roadmap • Forging New Political Partnerships- The Alliance • United Steelworkers Joint Political Action • United Auto Workers Future Joint Political Action • International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) • Issue Based Politics • Employee Free Choice Act • Healthcare for All • Jobs/Fair Trade • Retirement Security • Stewards Army- CWA SIF Congressional District Coordinators • Target Races • Federal • State • Local
*Started in 2006: Election Statistics • House Results: 232 Democrats- 201 Republicans • Senate Results: 49 Democrats- 49 Republicans- 2 Independents (VT and CT) • Gubernatorial Results: 28 Democrats- 22 Republicans
Victory in 2007 A Sampling: Virginia and Kentucky- CWA Took the Lead!
CAMPAIGN 2007: HOW WE DID IT! Two Case Studies
More Than 22,000 CWA Members Trained for Workplace, Legislative and Political Action, and Strategic Industry Fund Support
Mail Walks Worksite Leaflets Phones Member Contact: The Core of Our Program
In Virginia • 3 CWA Staff Released • 150 CWA Volunteers • 1250 Calls from Headquarters Staff • Over 2000 Calls From AFL-CIO HQ • Over 1000 Calls from Local 2222 • CWA Worksite Leaflets • Saturday Walks
In Kentucky • 5 CWA Staff Released • 200 Volunteers • CLC Leadership • Saturday Walks • Hundreds of Local Phone Calls • Over 1000 Calls to CWA Members from AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington, DC • Thousands of CWA Worksite Leaflets Distributed
2007 Innovations • Daily labor leader e-mail updates • Union Spotlights in electronic and print media • Substantial Political Training • Local Union Coordinator-Based Training (VA, KY) • Union candidate training (NJ) • Joint AFL-CIO Staff Training (OH, PA) • New Media • Bloggs • YouTube • Flickr • Facebook
Showcasing Our Program on YouTube AFL-CIO Highlights CWA Local 2222 President Stacy Adams
The Impact of 2007 Victories! Expanded grass roots CWA union member participation and created a winning formula for VICTORY in 2008
CWA ISSUES:The Employee Free Choice ActCard Check RecognitionFirst Contract ArbitrationEmployer Penalties
CWA Issues:Healthcare for All • Campaign Purpose and Highlights • To build a political movement to bring about real healthcare reform in America • Provides a policy framework for universal coverage, with the goal of enacting health care legislation by 2010 and having a new system to be in place by 2012. • Targeting 121 US Congressional Districts • 140 Local Activists/Stewards Army Participants trained and mobilized • The core strategy of the program took into account appropriate House committees of each United States Congressional Representative, how many CWA members and retirees were in their districts, whether a targeted Representatives’ state is a political battleground state, along with feedback on the list from CWA district and sector leaders. CWA Healthcare Strategic Industry Fund Campaign Training led by CWA District 7 Vice President Annie Hill and CWA Director of Research Louise Novotny
CWA Healthcare/EFCA Minimum HC/EFCA Program Goals • Locals are asked to organize mobilization efforts by: • Leaflet every worksite with 100 or more workers at least twice before November • Post two mailings to Local members • At least one phone bank calling each Local member once
Senate Pick Ups on EFCA • Colorado • Kentucky • Louisiana- Defend • Maine • Minnesota • Mississippi • New Hampshire • New Mexico • Oregon • Virginia
January 22, 2008 Via Fax The Honorable Nancy Pelosi United States House of Representatives Office of the SpeakerH-232, US CapitolWashington, DC 20515 Dear Speaker Pelosi: CWA joins with USW President Leo Gerard in urging that you continue to resist White House pressure to bring the U.S. Colombia Free Trade Agreement to a vote in light of the continuing, horrific record of violence against trade unionists in that country and the role of the Colombian armed forces in spreading fear and suppressing workers' rights. The AFL-CIO has documented the murder of 38 unionists last year and an additional 201 death threats against union leaders and activists for the purpose of intimidating workers from organizing, striking or criticizing the government. Most recently, the murder on December 29 of Sinaltrainal member and activist Sigifredo Higuera Ramirez by the Columbian armed forces shows that the campaign of official terror against trade unions and collective bargaining continues with impunity. Certainly this is not the time to signal U.S. indifference to such brutality and to reward the Colombian government with a trade deal. Sincerely, Larry Cohen President
CWA Issues:Retirement Security AFL-CIO affiliates advocate a plan that ensures retirement security based on these principles: • Retirement security should be based on mutual responsibility, with financing and risk allocated equitably among government, employers and workers; • Every full-career worker should have the opportunity to retire at 65 with at least 70 percent of his or her pre-retirement income; • Retirement benefits should be portable; • Defined-contribution plans should be structured to serve the interest of workers, not those of their employers or Wall Street; • Retirement plan participants should be represented in the governance of their plans; • As the foundation of America's retirement security, Social Security must be strengthened, not damaged by privatization schemes.
CWA Political Program for the Future • CWA Healthcare/EFCA Strategic Political Program • Build New Political Partnerships • Steelworkers, UAW, IFPTE • Joint Political Organizing in Virginia, Indiana, and Minnesota • Implement Ready for the Future Goals • Raise Additional $2 Million • Identify New COPE Leaders Among Membership Develop Political “Stewards Army” • Develop Closer Working Relationship Between CWA Political, Legislative, Civil and Human Rights Departments
CWA Executive Board Endorsement Process • Candidate Questionnaire: EFCA, Healthcare, Jobs/Fair Trade • Board Uses Site as Driver for Member Polling • Online Member Survey Ended November 9, 2007 • CWA Political Website www.cwavotes.org
NO NATIONALPRESIDENTIAL ENDORSEMENT • Based on the CWA Member E-Poll, a majority of participants voted for no endorsement • Locals and CWA Councils are free to work together to make endorsements of presidential candidates • CWA Local Presidents and Council officers should begin to look for contacts from Presidential Campaigns • CWA Political Office is providing contact information for campaigns that request the information
Americans Prefer a Democrat for President Putting aside for a moment the question of who each party's nominee might be, what is your preference for the outcome of the 2008 presidential election––that a Democrat be elected president, that a Republican be elected president, or that an independent candidate be elected president? Source: MSNBC/McClatchey 1/23/08
But Against McCain, the Picture Ain’t As Pretty Source: Real Clear Politics Average, February 2008
McCain = Bad News for Working Families • John McCain Voted: • For Bills That Would Export American Jobs • Against Extending Unemployment Benefits • For Privatization of Federal Jobs • Against Raising the Minimum Wage • Against Protection of Overtime Rights • Against Allowing Vote on EFCA • Against SCHIP • For a national Right to Work for Less law “I’m not going to bring back a lot of these jobs. I can't because with a global economy they're headed the other way” – John McCain, 12/4/07
McCain’s Not-So-Straight Talk • Voted: • For NAFTA, fast track, and every bad trade deal • Against funding unemployment insurance • To Privatize Federal Jobs “We should reform our job training and education programs to more effectively help displaced American workers.”
Calendar 8 in ‘08 Define Issues Define Candidates/Massive Mobilization/Voter Protection GOTV Build Activist Corps
Defining the IssuesIncrease Union and Public Education • Integrate Core Campaigns • Economy That Works For All • Employee Free Choice Act • Health care • Training • Local Union Coordinators • Zone Leads • Local Union Newsletter • Communications • Data
Employee Free Choice Act Restoring the Freedom to Bargain for a Better Life
Union Density is Declining… National Union Density, 1964 = 29% of workforce 68 Dem Sens 295 Dem Reps - Medicare - Civil Rights - Great Society - Voting Rights - Public education 0% to 9% 10% to 20% 21% to 30% 31% + AFL-CIO Source: U.S. Department of Labor
…and Declining… National Union Density, 1984= 19% of workforce 53 Dem Sens 253 Dem Reps - Kemp-Roth tax cuts - “Free” trade - Deregulation - S & L collapse - Trickle down economics 0% to 9% 10% to 20% 21% to 30% 31% + AFL-CIO Source: U.S. Department of Labor
…and Declining National Union Density, 2004 = 13% of workforce • 45 Dem Sens • 202 Dem Reps • Tax cuts • Corruption • Medicaid cuts • Global warming • Defund programs • “Right to Work” • Bankruptcy • Tort reform • and on, and on 0% to 9% 10% to 20% 21% to 30% 31% + AFL-CIO Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Moving the Political Mountain in 2008 • 16 Targeted Presidential States in 2004 • 17 Presidential Target States in 2008 • Plus 13 Competitive Senate Races • 3 Competitive Governors’ Races • 4 Right to Work, Paycheck “Deception” Fights • 24 States In Play • 68 Plus House Seats in 30 States • 200 State Legislative Races • For 2008! The Playing Field as Expanded
Plus 13 Competitive Senate Seats AFL-CIO
Democratic Senate SeatsUp for Re-Election • Max Baucus- MT • Joe Biden- DE • Dick Durbin- IL • Tom Harkin- IA • Tim Johnson- SD • John Kerry- MA • Mary Landrieu- LA • Frank Lautenberg- NJ • Carl Levin- MI • Mark Prior- AR • Jack Reed- RI • Jay Rockefeller- WV
3 Governor Races • Washington- Christine Gregoire (D) • Missouri- Matt Blunt (R) • Indiana- Mitch Daniels (R)