The youth-led Sunrise Movement and the Communications Workers of America union announced Wednesday that they have reached a “visionary, one-of-its-kind collective bargaining agreement” for professional climate campaigners.
“As workers across the country are realizing their power and forming unions, Sunrise Movement management and staff are proud to have reached an innovative and rigorous bargaining agreement with the CWA,” the two groups saidIn a joint declaration.
“We are thankful for all of the workers and bargaining members whose vision and drive in these last nine months have made this a reality,” they continued. “Strong unions are a core pillar of the Green New Deal. Our fight for dignity and the labor movement requires our commitment. We all benefit from a strong, pro-worker contract.”
Sunrise and CWA added: “We are especially proud that this contract is one of the most progressive agreements reached by CWA. In particular, our revolutionary nondiscrimination article, voluntary recognition and neutrality details, and our time-off and leave provisions are some of the first of their kind.”
Sunrise Movement executive director Varshini Prakash said that “I am so damn proud of this visionary collective bargaining agreement that gives our staff dignified and healthy working conditions.”
Sunrise Movement management & staff are proud to have reached a collective bargaining agreement with @CWAUnion!
Strong unions & worker contracts are a core pillar of the Green New Deal. We owe so much the workers who made one the most progressive agreements a reality. pic.twitter.com/9JTz7nv5eT
— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) September 7, 2022
“Our people deserve to get paid well, get enough vacation and rest, and have support if they choose to have a family or unexpectedly get sick,” Prakash continued. “I have nothing but respect for our workers and the good team at CWA and the partnership we’ve built over the last year.”
“Onward to combat the existential crisis of our time, while standing up for workers and good jobs everywhere,” she added.
Wednesday’s announcement follows a 2020 voteSunrise staff members voted 95% to form a union in New York with CWA Local 1180. Sunrise and CWA have collaborated on many climate and labor-related campaigns including Good Jobs for All, an “economic vision for a post-pandemic society that puts millions of people to work stopping the climate crisis.”
After Akshai Sing, Sunrise regional organizer, was fired, the 2020 vote was held. claimed they were fired for union organizing — an allegation Sunrise refuted.
CWA not only represents workers in a wide range companies in the media, communications and airline industries, but also counts activists such as Amnesty International among its 700,000 members in over 1,200 chartered local Unions.
“It is a breath of fresh air to negotiate a contract for our members with a management team that understands the value of its employees and knows that an unbalanced work-life schedule will lead to their demise,” CWA Local 1180 president Gloria Middleton saidIn a statement
“When management and unions can find a way of working together for the best interests of all parties involved, then everyone comes out a winner,” she added. “This Sunrise Movement contract now will hopefully set an example for other nonprofits down the road.”