Workers have had to fight for every gain we have ever made in wages, benefits, and working conditions. Neither public nor private employers have ever given us anything out of the goodness of their hearts. Our gains have been established only after employers have recognized that workers have power. Workers who collectively join together to form unions are more powerful than individual workers. And unions are most powerful if they have an informed, active and educated membership.
Mobilization is the strategy CWA uses to increase our power by developing an informed and active membership. It is the strategy we utilize to reach our three major goals: negotiate contracts and ensure their enforcement; initiate effective community and political actions; and organize new members.
Mobilization allows us to systematically, through a structure, educate members on issues and achieve a high level of participation in collective actions. In CWA, mobilization consists of three parts:
- Organization/Structure - CWA has established an internal structure so that each level of our organization can effectively communicate with each other down to face-to-face, one-on-one meetings with our members. Each Local in District One has a mobilization coordinator and a network to establish contact with members. In this way, every member can be contacted and materials can be distributed and collected in a relatively short period of time. The District One Mobe Coordinator brings the Local coordinators together and helps direct the overall campaign. The mobilization structure insures a two-way flow of contact: from the leadership to the members and from the members to the leadership.
- Education - Through our workplace network we can educate ourselves about the issues that confront us and what we can do about them as a union. District One provides research and educational materials to aid Locals in their efforts to create an informed membership. Locals, in turn, use District and Local resources to provide materials to the members through membership meetings, newsletters, the Internet, mailings and one-on-ones.
- Collective Action - Once we understand the issues, we can become actively involved in collective actions to win changes. Contract mobilizations include a wide range of activities including wearing buttons, standing up at work, wearing red, informational pickets, and strikes. Political activities include rallies, lobbying, get out the vote and voter registration drives.
Mobilization allows District One to combine the diverse interests of all the workers we represent into one coherent and organized force.