For Immediate Release
CWA Members Take a Stand Against Racism, Declare #BlackLivesMatter
CWA members stopped working for eight minutes and 46 Seconds yesterday in memory of George Floyd.
WASHINGTON - In response to the senseless murder of George Floyd and in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Communications Workers of America (CWA) members and allies across the globe yesterday took a stand against racism by stopping work and reflecting for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck leaving him unable to breathe as he and others called out for help.
"I am proud of our members for refusing to carry on business as usual while Black people in this country continue to face racism and violence in the workplace, the streets...everywhere,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “Our fight and the issues we care about do not stop when workers punch out for the day and leave work. CWA members are actively working to dismantle racism and build working-class power through our organizing, representation, political, and movement building work.”
Photos are being posted at www.facebook.com/pg/CWAUnion/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10157578280738111
Last month, the CWA Executive Board passed a resolution committing to open a dialogue on race in order to define the clear steps the CWA leaders and members must take to fight racism in the union, within the industries CWA represents and the community at-large.
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“I am proud to stand today in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, honoring the memory of George Floyd and calling for justice for him and the many more who have been unjustly targeted and killed at the hands of law enforcement. This country can never be truly free while the Black community continues to be oppressed. #CWAforBlackLives,” said Ginger Lane, a member of CWA Local 7019 in Phoenix, Arizona.
While the global COVID-19 pandemic changed the way many members are working, participants observed the protest in a variety of ways, from taking a knee at work to holding socially distant picket lines with signs in solidarity to posting selfies from home with the hashtag #CWAforBlackLives.
CWA and its members have joined the calls for justice for Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the countless others from the Black community who have been targeted, persecuted and killed due to systemic racism and oppression. Yesterday's action was organized in solidarity with the nationwide protests against police brutality that are calling for profound structural change to dismantle systems of oppression that have harmed the Black community for generations.
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CWA represents 700,000 workers in private and public sector employment in 1,200 chartered CWA local unions. CWA members work in telecommunications and information technology, the airline industry, news media, broadcast and cable television, education, health care, public service and education, law enforcement, manufacturing and other fields.