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Friday, January 05, 2007 

United Campus Workers - CWA local 3865's Holiday Banquet

On December 19, 2006 United Campus Workers - Communications Workers of America (UCW-CWA) local 3865 had its annual Holiday Banquet and Employee Celebration. This year, the local had several cosponsors: East Tennessee Jobs with Justice, CWA local 3805 (at BellSouth) and that local’s retirees association, as well as the Newspaper Guild-CWA and Mailers-CWA locals in town. Additionally, as a result of some outside of the box thinking on the part of UCW leaders, CWA International President Larry Cohen was in town to give the key-note and strategize with UCW-CWA activists. Close to 300 people showed up; a good time was had by all.

The following snippet even made its way into the Thursday's CWA e-newsletter:
Knoxville Locals Strategize with CWA Leaders

December 22, 2006

In Knoxville, Tenn., about 300 CWA members from various sectors spent a lively evening talking union with CWA President Larry Cohen and other leaders at an "Employee Celebration" sponsored by four CWA locals on Dec. 18.

From bargaining rights to organizing to building the Stewards Army, CWAers talked about how to build union power and make gains for working families in this so-called "right to work" state with no public worker bargaining law.

Sponsoring the event were CWA Locals 3865, United Campus Workers, representing 460 employees at the University of Tennessee; Local 3805, representing telecom members; Local 33076, representing newspaper workers at the Knoxville News Sentinel, and Local 14351, representing mailers at the newspaper. Joining the crowd of 300 were CWA District 3 Vice President Noah Savant and D3 staff members, plus members of Jobs with Justice, the Teamsters, UNITE HERE and other unions.

The United Campus Workers local, which gained 160 new members this year, is organizing and mobilizing members to press the state legislature for gains and improvements.

The newspaper workers and mailers locals are fighting back against management's demand to eliminate cost of living increases and substitute an unfair merit pay system, and the telecom local is battling "force adjustments" and other assaults on jobs.

By building the Stewards Army and working to build our bargaining power, CWA can achieve our critical goals of quality jobs, health care, retirement security and bargaining rights, Cohen said.
Not bad at all for an organizing project that was suppose to fail in 2 years...

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