CWA, the largest telecommunications union in the world, represents over 700,000 men and women in both private and public sectors, including over half a million workers who are building the Information Highway.
CWA members work in telecommunications, broadcasting, cable TV, journalism, publishing, manufacturing, airlines, customer service, government service, health care, education and other fields.
The union includes some 1,200 chartered local unions across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Members live in approximately 10,000 communities, making CWA one of the most geographically diverse unions.
CWA holds over 2,000 collective bargaining agreements spelling out wages, benefits, working conditions and employment security provisions for its members. Among major employers of CWA members are AT&T, Verizon, and other telecom companies; General Electric; the New York Times and Wall Street Journal; NBC and ABC television networks; the Canadian Broadcasting Co.; United, US Airways and other airlines; the University of California system, the state of New Jersey and various law enforcement agencies.
CWA’s top officers are President Larry Cohen and Secretary-Treasurer Annie Hill.
CWA was founded in 1938 at meetings in Chicago and New Orleans. First known as the National Federation of Telephone Workers, the union became the Communications Workers of America in 1947.
CWA got its start in the telephone industry, but today it represents workers in all areas of communications, as well as in health care and public service, customer service and many other fields.
CWA is one of America’s fastest growing unions and a number of unions have affiliated with CWA because of its reputation for democracy and membership involvement.
-The Association of Flight Attendants merged with CWA in 2003, adding its professionalism and expertise on airline industry issues (CWA has represented airline passenger service employees since 1999).
-The International Union of Electronic Workers merged with CWA in 2000, becoming the IUE-CWA Industrial Division.
-The Newspaper Guild merged with CWA in 1997, as did the Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees.
-The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET) merged with CWA in 1994.
-The International Typographical Union, America’s oldest labor union, merged with CWA in 1987.
CWA is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, the Canadian Labour Congress, the worldwide UNI Global Union, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the International Transport Workers Federation (ITWF), and the International Metalworkers’ Federation IMF).