Tag Archives: CWA

Texas Sierrans join with hundreds of activists to stop a “NAFTA of the Pacific”

Sierra Club, Texas AFLCIO, Texas Fair Trade Coalition, CWA, and Occupy Gather at Trade Rally

(Rally in Addison, Texas)

This past weekend in Addison, Texas, a north Dallas suburb, more than 300 environmental activists, labor unionists, public health advocates, human rights supporters and members of the Occupy movement joined together to prevent a  “NAFTA of the Pacific”. The rally demanded the release of the draft text of the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.

The American people have been denied the right to see the text of the TPP that could weaken environmental rules, increase fracking and exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), lower labor standards and wages, outsource more jobs, increase medicine prices, throw out food safety policies, ban Buy American rules, and allow multinational corporations to challenge and overturn U.S. federal and state laws in private trade tribunals that operate entirely outside of  U.S. court system.

(Sierra Club’s Ilana Solomon gets crowd to shout “hell yeah” to supporting American-made solar & wind products)

A very big “thank you” to the Dallas and Ft. Worth Sierra Clubs for taking time to learn about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and for attending our events. Another shout out to the Lone Star Chapter interns who helped make over 300 calls to Texas Sierrans about the threats TPP could pose to environmental, labor, health, and consumer regulations in the U.S.

Trade is an issue that crosses all political and issue campaign boundaries. Whether you care about clean air, saving American jobs, fair access to medicine, or holding Wall Street accountable, the fight for fair trade is a much-needed unifying battle that can help us build coalitions that can win the change we want to see.

Thanks again for all your support and hard work, and stay tuned for some next steps as we prepare to mobilize solidarity actions during the next round of negotiations in early July in sunny San Diego, California.

In solidarity,

Dave Cortez
Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter
TX BlueGreen Apollo Alliance
Ilana Solomon
Sierra Club Labor & Trade Program
Bob Cash
Texas Fair Trade Coalition

(Dallas and Ft. Worth Sierrans stand with officers and staff from CWA District 6 and Local 6215. Credit: Herb Keener)

Gala, Rally and March Videos:

The Yes Men honor US Trade Rep. Ron Kirk
with the “2012 Corporate Power Tool” award:
Ilana Solomon, Sierra Club
Becky Moeller, Texas AFLCIO
Brent Taylor, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Claude Cummings, Jr. and Nancy Hall, Communication Workers of America
Sanya Reid Smith, Third World Network
Judy Lerma, National Nurses United
Parks Stearns, Occupy Dallas
Lori Wallach, Public Citizen/Global Trade Watch
Arthur Stamoulis, Citizens Trade Campaign
Thanks to all our rally sponsors who worked so hard to make this a successful event: Austin Central Labor Council, Citizens Trade Campaign, Code Pink, Communications Workers of America District 6 and Local 6215, Dallas AFL-CIO Council, Dallas Peace Center, Friends of the Earth, International Association of Machinists, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and IBEW Local 20, Elevator Constructors Local 21 International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Local 745, MoveOn.org Dallas, National Family Farm Coalition, National Nurses United -Texas,  North Texas Jobs with Justice, Occupy Austin, Occupy Dallas, Occupy Texas, OPEIU,  Public Citizen, Lone Star and National Sierra Club, Texas AFL-CIO, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Texas State Building Trades Council, United Steelworkers, United Auto Workers,  United Students Against Sweatshops, Welcoming Immigrants Network and many others.

Dave Cortez
Texas BlueGreen Apollo Alliance
512-477-6195 (office)
Twitter: @TXBlueGreen
David.Cortez (at) SierraClub.org
Check out our green jobs plan for Texas: The Texas BlueGreen Apollo Program
And a National, 21st Century jobs plan: 
Jobs21! – Good Jobs for the 21st Century 

CWA and Sierra Club activists gather for coalition-building workshop

Groups develop organizing plans for creating jobs, protecting environment, and winning elections

Last month, organizers and activists from the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 6 and the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter came together in Austin for a day and a half training to identify ways in which the organizations can partner in the fight for worker’s rights, good jobs and a clean, safe environment. Based on a 2010 pilot training session between Sierra Club and CWA leaders in Virginia, the Texas workshop was only the second such coming together of the organizations in the country.

Hal Suter, Chairman of the Lone Star Chapter Executive Committee, and Richard Kneupper, Assistant to the Vice President of CWA District 6, collaborated to select 30 participants from targeted areas across the state where CWA and Sierra Club have active memberships or staff. The intense training brought together folks from Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, Beaumont, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and the Rio Grande Valley.

All smiles after the intense day and a half training

Coordinated by CWA Research Economist Ken Peres, the workshop provided participants an opportunity to learn about each organization’s history, priorities, and current campaigns in Texas. A critical component of the training involved a discussion of how both organizations have been battered and beaten back by a corporate-backed political and economic assault on our movements.

“We’re getting our butts whipped and playing defense. We’ve been on the defensive for as long as I can remember. When are we going to say enough is enough and start working to advance our own agendas?” said Kneupper.

By focusing on issues such as the anti-worker, anti-environment Korea, Columbia, and Panama free trade agreements, the ATT/T-Mobile merger and broadband internet expansion, creating good-paying clean energy jobs, coping with drastic budget cuts, and the upcoming 2012 elections, participants developed detailed action plans for communicating these important issues back to their local memberships.

Participants working hard to develop action plans on key issues

Bruce Walker, Chair of the Sierra Club Golden Triangle Group in Southeast Texas, expressed his excitement about the coming together of the two organizations.

“It was great and I appreciate the effort put into the training,” said Walker. “We’re already making plans to follow up and work with our CWA partners in the Beaumont area.”

Workshop participants left the training enthusiastic about the work ahead of them, such as following through on commitments to attend and present at each other’s local meetings, signing up as members of each other’s groups when possible, and executing the organizing plans developed during the training.

“We learned how much more effective we could become if we join our forces to achieve our common objectives,” said CWA Local 6137 Vice President Jake Tafolla. “We were awed by the potential. Walking away, I feel we are all looking forward to working together to build the strongest of coalitions for the common good of our communities, our state, and our nation.”

For more information on the workshop, future trainings in your area, or how you can get involved, send an email to cortez@apolloalliance.org.

Dave Cortez, Coordinator – Texas Apollo Alliance, member CWA-TSEU Local 6186
With assistance from Janelle Hartman, CWA Communications Department