The staff, leadership and board of Alabama Arise are thrilled to announce the launch of Alabama Arise Workers United-Communications Workers of America (AAWU-CWA), the newly formed Arise staff union. AAWU-CWA is an affiliate of CWA Local 3908.
“I am honored to be a part of an organization that allowed us to make our own choice about whether or not to join a union,” said Formeeca Tripp, Arise’s southeast Alabama organizer. “Even though we have a safe work environment, it is reassuring to know I have job security and a voice as a union-represented worker.”
All eligible Arise staff members signed authorization cards to join CWA in November after a short organizing campaign. Arise staff and board leadership unanimously supported voluntary recognition of the union.
“As a pro-labor organization, voluntarily recognizing our staff union was an easy choice for Arise,” Alabama Arise executive director Robyn Hyden said. “As a leader, I think our greatest accomplishment is supporting and growing leadership at all levels of our organization. I believe everyone has something to contribute to building a strong and healthy workplace, and I’m so proud of our staff for taking this step.”
AAWU-CWA has elected bargaining representatives and stewards to negotiate an initial bargaining agreement.
“I’m honored and energized to be one of Alabama Arise’s first union stewards to help transition our members and organization into a more equitable and democratic relationship,” said McKenzie Burton, an Arise development associate and one of AAWU-CWA’s newly elected stewards. “Unions are vital in uplifting and protecting Alabama’s workforce. They built the middle class and are what will rebuild the middle class. I am humbled to be a part of an organization that continues to champion these values at every level.”
The protection and power of Alabama’s workers are critical to Arise’s mission to improve the lives of Alabamians who are marginalized by poverty and to ensure all people have resources and opportunities to reach their full potential.
“I grew up as a child of a union parent, and now I am able to pass that experience on to my children,” Tripp said.