Join The CWA
The CWA Local 9421 Organizing Committee helps assist people currently working for non-represented employers who want to be part of the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Some of the key reasons workers want to organize their workplace are: stagnant wages, poor or no benefits, unfair treatment and unsafe working conditions, just to name a few.
Workers who decide to organize with CWA recognize the benefits of gaining a contract and a collective voice in their workplace. Organizing is never easy; however, if the majority of workers in a non-represented workplace are committed to one another and dedicated enough to put forth the necessary effort, they will surely win their CWA representation election.
How Do I Start an Organizing Drive in My Workplace?
CWA Local 9421 is prepared to assist workers in all professions and trades – primarily in the technical and customer service profession – to organize within their workplace. If you are a worker who would like more information on how you and your co-workers can become a part of CWA, please Contact Us.
4 Steps to Unionizing Your Workplace (The 4 C’s)
There is a legally approved process for bringing in a Union to your workplace. In general, forming a Union takes several months longer for large workplaces, and involves 4 basic steps. Here is a non-technical explanation of the how the laws work, and what we at CWA will do to help you exercise your rights:
Set up a meeting with our organizer and members. We will work with you to explain the organizing process and how joining CWA can help you improve your job. Talk to your co-workers and find out if they have the same concerns.
Be Careful! Many employers will harass or threaten you if they think you are trying to form a Union. Harassment like this is illegal, but not uncommon. It’s the sad truth that when you want to form a Union, you should be very covert at the first stages, until you have a big group.
You can’t organize a Union by yourself! Working with a CWA organizer, you will need to form a group of your co-workers who will become the core of the Union movement. Generally, the committee should be about 10% of the bargaining unit, so that they can communicate face to face with all the other employees.
The committee should represent everyone: both by including a mix of job titles and departments, and also racial, ethnic, age and gender groups at the workplace.
A “bargaining unit” is the legal term for the group that is be designated by the government to be eligible to vote in the Union election and be covered by the contract. It separates the employees from the management, so that the two sides can be clear about who is who.
When the committee is ready, you will bring the message to the entire workforce. The goal of the campaign is to win a government-supervised election. (The National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB, is the agency which supervises these elections).
CHARTS: Together, we will “map out” your entire workplace, make sure that we count every employee, and develop a plan to talk to every person individually. The outreach here is done one-to-one by committee members. We need to have an accurate count to measure the feelings of the entire group and plan for the election.
CARDS: In order to bring in the government, we must gather Union authorization cards from at least 35% of the bargaining unit – at CWA, we always wait until we have cards from 50% or more of the employees.
LEGAL PROBLEMS: Once the cards are filed with the NLRB, there is usually a waiting period – if the employer is anti-Union, they can delay this period up to several months by making frivolous legal motions and challenges. This can be very frustrating for you and your co-workers, and it will require a strong commitment to get through this stage.
ELECTION: Union elections are generally held at the worksite by secret ballot. Government agents supervise the election, and intimidation by the employer is (finally) strictly prohibited. The votes are counted, and a vote of 50%+1 means that the employer must recognize the Union!
Union recognition doesn’t mean immediate changes at the workplace. You need a binding contract to get legal protections like a grievance procedure or a guaranteed raise. After the election, you and your co-workers will do a survey to determine your priorities, elect a bargaining team from your own ranks, and begin bargaining with your employer.
CWA provides a lot of support here, training and educating you as new members, and sending experienced negotiators to help your team. No contract is approved without a vote of the employees who it covers. When your contract is ratified, you have a guarantee of all the terms and conditions of your job, and the right to legally enforce them!
So, what are you waiting for?
CWA Local 9421
2725 El Camino Avenue
Sacramento, California 95821
“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”