I won’t sugarcoat it: 2017 will be a critical year for us. America, for better or worse, has elected the quintessential “Boss” in Donald Trump. Like most bosses, President-elect Trump talked a good game and made a lot of promises to get hired; now that he has the job, he will need to be watched to make sure he keeps his commitments. I remain skeptical but will try to keep an open mind. The labor movement is going to have to fight harder than ever to defeat the anti-worker agenda that appears to be heading our way, including national right-to-work.
Examples of profits-over-people by employers are everywhere.We are witnessing difficult bargaining for our sisters and brothers in CWA District 9, who have been trying to get a fair contract from AT&T West for over 293 days of working without a contract. In District 1, we saw that brave CWA members had to strike for 49 days to bring another corporate Goliath, Verizon, to the table for a fair contract. We know that we mustn’t simply hope for the best when it’s our turn for bargaining in 2018; we must begin to prepare for the hard fight beginning now, in 2017. I know we can do this. It will take a little self-discipline, a willingness to reach out in unity, and a willingness to admit to ourselves that it may be necessary to “Save for 50” to increase our bargaining power when it is our turn with AT&T in 2018.
There is work in our New Year ahead; I know Local 4009 is up to the task.
Tina Culver, President
CWA Local 4009