Larry Cohen was elected president of the Communications Workers of America in 2005, after serving as Executive Vice President for seven years. Cohen has promoted reform inside CWA and beyond. Under Cohen’s leadership, convention delegates approved a measure to add the voices of local union leaders to the union’s executive board, to broaden diversity of board membership and to expand the important perspective of local leaders to the union’s leadership. Within CWA, he has built a highly respected and successful organizing program and has chaired the Organizing Committee of the AFL-CIO since 2005. Cohen has expanded CWA’s membership mobilization program to create a network of union stewards and activists. He is a leading voice in focusing attention on the crisis in collective bargaining in the United States and the need for real reform.
Throughout his career, Cohen has led major contract negotiations in both the public and private sectors. Cohen was one of the first to recognize changes in telecommunications through the convergence of video, voice and data technologies, and the need to unify unionized workers in these sectors. He also has worked to expand CWA – the union now represents workers in information technology and communications; print and broadcast media and publishing; health care, education and public workers; manufacturing and the airline industry. On the international scene, Cohen has worked to strengthen the effectiveness and solidarity of the international labor movement. He has expanded alliances with CWA’s counterpart unions in Latin America, Europe and Asia, and served as president of the 2.5 million-member Union Network International (UNI) Telecom Sector from 2001 until 2007, and continues to serve on the UNI World Executive Board. Based on his long-held belief that unions must unite with other like-minded groups to further goals of economic justice, Cohen founded Jobs with Justice in 1987. He is also a founder of American Rights at Work, and a member of the Democratic National Committee.
Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America suggests the following for additional study:
- Creating jobs and restoring full employment
- Building strong pro-worker labor-market institutions
- Inequality as Policy: The United States Since 1979 (PDF)
- The Crisis of Poverty in America
- The College Conundrum (PDF)
- The Changing Face of Labor, 1983-2008 (PDF)
- Collected CEPR work on unions
- The Wage Penalty for State and Local Government Employees (PDF)
- The Benefits of State and Local Government Employees (PDF)
- Threats to middle-class wealth and security
- Raising revenues