On the first episode of The Voice of Oregon’s Workers of 2020, we sat down with A.J. Mendoza, President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7901 to discuss CWA’s history of overcoming challenges, plans to organize video game workers, and how workers’ resistance starts from the shop floor!
President Mendoza is a familiar face in Oregon’s labor movement. He works at Portland Jobs with Justice and can often be found leading chants through a megaphone on picket lines and rallies. He’s an energetic leader who takes a hands-on approach to organizing and building power for the members of Local 7901, listen to the interview here:
CWA Local 7901 has been on a serious organizing streak in the past few months, helping organize and support workers at Our Children’s Trust, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, and the Q Center to name a few. In the podcast, President Mendoza describes the Q Center workers asking management for voluntary recognition of their union, which they won!
We discussed a new national campaign announced by CWA to support and organize digital workers, including video game developers: Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA).
“Companies in the technology and game industries have gotten away with avoiding accountability for far too long,” said National CWA President Chris Shelton. “Workers in these industries are exposing the reality behind the rhetoric. This initiative will help tech and game workers reach the next level in their efforts to exercise their right to join together and demand change.”
“Workers in the tech and game industries face unique challenges, and CWA’s expertise taking on massive corporations in the technology, media, and telecom sector is a big asset as workers build genuine power to address these challenges,” said Emma Kinema, lead organizer of CWA’s new initiative. “CWA is a member-led union with a demonstrated commitment to bold movement-building, engagement in social issues, and progressive union democracy. The launch of this new initiative marks a watershed moment for workers in the tech and game industries.”
You can learn more about these exciting efforts on the CODE-CWA website.
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The Voice of Oregon's Workers is a monthly podcast from the Oregon AFL-CIO - the statewide federation of unions representing over 300,000 working Oregonians. Each month, The Voice of Oregon's Workers will highlight the people and organizations who are changing the way working people stand together. Subscribe to The Voice of Oregon’s Workers on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.