Last week, members of CWA’s Broadband Brigade hosted a virtual town hall with community allies to discuss our plan to make sure all Americans have access to reliable, affordable broadband built by a well-trained, well-compensated workforce.
CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens opened the event, celebrating the work CWA’s Broadband Brigade members have been doing across the country over the last two years to educate policymakers and community partners about broadband technology and the broadband labor market. “As a labor union, we at CWA believe in collective action and confronting corporate power,” Steffens said. “We’re going to need to put plenty of that fighting spirit in as we push states to do the right thing by all people, rather than giving in to profit-driven corporate lobbying, especially from the wireless industry. We are in this for the long haul.”
Broadband Brigade leaders Marty Szeliga, Executive Vice President of CWA Local 4108, and Fernando Roman, Executive Vice President of CWA Local 7026, noted that as workers who have been installing and maintaining networks for decades, they have seen firsthand the impact of the digital divide. They explained why end-to-end fiber optic connections are the most reliable, environmentally sustainable, future-proof choice for broadband internet, and the importance of strong labor standards so that public funds aren’t wasted on poor quality work by low-road contracting companies.
Community allies from the AARP, NAACP, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, and Sierra Club discussed why high-quality broadband matters to members of their organizations and the importance of working together to advocate for expanded access and stronger networks.
Watch the video archive of this interesting and informative town hall here.