Trainings- Round One

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I’ve been to a lot of useful labor training classes, seminars and conferences in my 24 years of working with multiple unions. The one I attended at the NOVA Federation of Labor a couple of weeks ago had a focus and presented information in a way I had never seen.   

– Vance Ayres (Washington DC Building Trades Council)

In the last few weeks, we’ve been traveling the state holding our first round of regional trainings. We were lucky to be joined by 71 local leaders and coordinators from 36 local unions covering every inch of Virginia.

“The training not only expanded on best practices, but began to bring this election to the forefront for unions, where it has to be for the next 4 months.” Thomas Calhoun (NFT Local 4261) continued, “This is the first Presidential election since Citizens United. It’s the first test to see whether our democracy has been sold by that Supreme Court decision.”

Our first training was focused on how we communicate to engage members into becoming activists in their local unions.

During our introductions at the Richmond training, the group gave their reasons for why this election matters to them. Kerri Ross (CWA Local 2201) explained that, at a gut level, “I’m scared the middle class will be a thing of the past if we don’t fight to protect it.” Richard Hatch (CWA Local 2201) followed Kerri and said, “This election has become about whether we will have a voice in our future.”

Neil Gray (IBEW Local 1340) attended the Eastern training along with a group from his local. He notes, “In every election, there are a myriad of issues which resonate with our members. This training forced me to think about how I should approach each of my members individually, and drill down to what is important to them. ”

Gene Magruder (USW Local 8888) added, “The training in Norfolk was a different style than most of us are used to. I believe it is better because it teaches us how to send a message effectively with just a few words.” Along these lines, Naomi Bolden (CWA Local 2204) said, “I really enjoyed the Roanoke training, because I have always said we need to think outside the box. I feel like I will be able to get more volunteers because of this.”

We are blessed with a passionate and dedicated core of labor leaders and activists. They are the soul of our movement.  We know in order to strengthen the work we do, we must broaden our base and pull in more people to get involved.

At the heart of the labor movement is this mission to keep organizing more and more working people to build power.

We want to thank the AFL-CIO’s David Carpio (CWA/TNG 35) for leading many of these initial trainings and also recognize those who were able to make time to join us, get in the same room with other local leaders, and continue the work of organizing from the ground up.

AFA 41, AFGE  1992, AFGE 2145, AFGE 3615, AFM 123, AFT 2401, AFT 4261, APWU 199, APWU 482, ATU 689, ATU 1177, CWA 2201, CWA 2202, CWA 2204, CWA 2205, CWA 2222, CWA/TNG 35, IAM DC 74, IBEW 50, IBEW 26, IBEW 1340, IBEW 666, IRONWORKERS 79, IUEC 10, IUE-CWA 82162, NALC 3520, NATCA-ZID, OPEIU 2, OPEIU 334, SMWIA 100, UA 10, UA 110, UA 540, UA 602, UAW 2069, UBC 1402, UFCW 400, USW 467, USW 1023, USW 8888, VIRGINIA B&CTD, WASHINGTON DC B&CTD

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