Over 70 CWA members participated in a one-day Shop Steward’s training on how to organize around issues in the workplace. The training joined shop stewards of locals 1014, 1038, 1079 and 1084 that represent public workers in Camden, New Jersey.
This is the third time these CWA locals in Camden have organized a training as a part of a collaborative group formed by the locals called the Camden Coalition. These locals formed the Camden Coalition in order to learn and build solidarity through their common fights and to develop solutions to the issues facing workers in the city and the community at large.
The training was facilitated by Ellen Friedman, a retired union organizer from the teachers’ union in Vermont and a volunteer organizer with Labor Notes. At the core of the training, was a new book from Labor Notes— Secrets of a Successful Organizer— a manual that lays out the basics of good organizing with stories from workers on the ground.
In group breakout sessions, stewards were able to reflect on past experiences as well as make assessments of past accomplishments and setbacks. Stewards used lessons from the book and incorporated roleplay exercises on developing a rap for a conversation with a co-worker and mapping out their workplace to identify core supporters.
In the fight for dignity and respect in the workplace, shop stewards are on the frontline standing up, fighting back to win change. CWA stewards look forward to mobilizing their fellow members to take collective workplace actions in order to build power in the workplace.
In fact, on the Friday following the training, Local 1084 shop stewards quickly organizing a Red Shirt day with over 80% of workers wearing red shirts in solidarity with one another. Great job brothers and sisters!