CWA members urge the Dallas City Council to adopt broadband labor standards

Activists from CWA Local 6215 spoke before Dallas City Council to urge the city to attach labor standards to public funds that are used to expand broadband internet access to unserved communities. The purpose of CWA's labor standards is to ensure that public funds for broadband expansion are used in a way that will create more good union jobs and that telecom companies who receive these funds use employees, not subcontractors.

A total of 10 Local 6215 activists were present at Dallas City Hall with 3 activists speaking before the city council. Speakers included Robin Johnson (Texas Broadband Brigade Lead), Sean Wilborn (AT&T prem tech), and Britni Cuington (AT&T prem tech). Robin Johnson spoke first by giving an overview of CWA's proposed labor standards which include requiring telecom companies to use local in-house labor not subcontractors when using public funds for broadband build-out and that telecom companies maintain high training and safety standards.

Sean Wilborn was the next CWA activist to speak stating that "the perspective of front-line workers such as myself and my fellow union members in the broadband sector is valuable and our insights should be heard." Britni Cuington was the last CWA activist to speak who shared her personal experience on why it is critical that underserved communities receive reliable high-speed internet access. Each time a CWA member spoke, every CWA member in the audience stood up in solidarity wearing red CWA shirts.

Immediately following testimonies from CWA members, city council members Omar Narvaez, Adam Bazaldua, and Casey Thomas greeted our members and thanked them for speaking. Councilman Thomas also sent a personal letter to the City Manager in support of CWA's broadband labor standards the day prior. CWA's action at Dallas City Hall sent a powerful message that broadband should be expanded in a way that will create more good union jobs and that telecom companies must use highly skilled in-house labor not subcontractors when receiving public funds for broadband build-out.

Since last fall, when the Dallas Broadband and Digital Equity Strategic Plan was first announced, CWA members have been meeting with Dallas City Council members and city officials, mobilizing their members to make phone calls, educating their members about CWA's broadband campaign at worksites, and signing up their members to PAF.

The fight for more good union jobs is not over. Dallas is expected to release its request for proposal (RFP) to begin allocating broadband funding sometime this summer or early fall. CWA will continue mobilizing and partnering with community allies to include our labor standards in the Dallas Broadband Strategic Plan.  

CWA Local 6215 members spoke before the Dallas City Council to urge lawmakers to attach labor standards to public funds used for expanding broadband access.

Links:

CWA takes action at Dallas City Hall for broadband labor standards (CWA, May 2, 2022)