For more information: Jeff Miller or Candice Johnson, CWA Communications
Washington, D.C. -- The results are in from the first on-line membership poll ever conducted by a major labor union. The preference expressed by CWA members against an early endorsement, as well as the close margin among the top vote-getters, means that the Communications Workers of America won't make an early endorsement but instead will release local unions and councils to make their own endorsements.
CWA had a six-week on-line voting period from Oct. 1 through Nov. 9 during which members registered their choice for president and whether CWA should make an early endorsement in the presidential campaign. CWA represents 700,000 workers in communications and information technology; media and publishing; health care, education and the public sector; manufacturing and the airline industry.
CWA President Larry Cohen, in announcing the outcome of the e-poll, said the results showed that CWA members were energized for the coming political season and already were working to elect leaders to take on the tough issues of restoring quality jobs, health care reform, and real bargaining and organizing rights.
"Voters made clear that they preferred no endorsement by the national union at this time. Therefore, our union's executive board is refraining from making an early endorsement but voted to release locals and CWA councils to make their own endorsements," he said.
"CWA is a member driven union and we will be guided by our members' decision on this issue and all others," Cohen said.
Votes were split primarily among three top Democratic candidates. About 20 percent of votes were cast for a Republican contender.
At www.cwavotes.org, members can get information about all the candidates
and read the answers to questions posed by CWA on members' top issues:
jobs, health care reform, retirement security and real bargaining and organizing
More than 30,000 votes for presidential choice were cast in the electronic poll. On the question of whether to make an early endorsement, a slight majority of voters made the call for no endorsement.
On the choice of candidates, the three top vote-getters received close margins of support from CWA members. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama were the top vote getters; the difference between the top two candidates was 206 votes.
"Our union is built on grassroots action and member voice. In communities
across the country, CWA members will be raising these critical issues for
working families over the coming months, with the goal of electing a president
and other leaders who will put in place the policies our nation needs to
restore the middle class," Cohen said.