Communications Workers of America
Morton Bahr has been leading CWA since 1985, guiding the more than 700,000-member union as it meets the challenge of changing technology and an evolving workplace. Today, CWA, with its roots in the communications industry, is the leading union for professional, technical, media and information age workers.
President Bahr is recognized as a leading voice of the labor movement, both in the United States and internationally. He is a vice president of the AFL-CIO and chairs the federation’s Workers Education Committee. He also heads the federation’s Department for Professional Employees, which represents professional, technical and administrative workers.
Bahr served as vice president of Union Network International, a global labor organization representing some 15 million workers in 800 unions in communications, media and entertainment, and commercial technical and professional fields. He also served as president of UNI’s World Telecom sector, representing 3 million workers in 120 countries.
As the union for the information age, CWA is committed to helping workers build their unions and gain a voice on the job, whether they work in information technology, customer service, communications, media, public service or other fields.
CWA is now the largest union for customer service professionals, with 160,000 members across many sectors, including nearly 11,000 passenger service employees at US Airways.
As vice president of CWA’s District 1, Bahr led the union’s organizing among public and health care workers, who now comprise more than 100,000, including medical and research professionals at the University of California system. CWA also represents education professionals at universities throughout the United States, and represents law enforcement officers through its public safety sector.
The Newspaper Guild, representing 35,000 journalists and newspaper workers, joined forces with CWA in 1997; a year later, the 2,200-member Independent Association of Publishing Employees, with members at the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones publications, also joined CWA.
The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, representing workers at NBC, Disney/ABC, National Public Radio and other broadcast operations, merged with CWA in 1994, and in 1987, the International Typographical Union merged with CWA.
Bahr authored “From the Telegraph to the Internet,” a personal history of his service with CWA, published in 1998. He was awarded Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Empire State College in 1995 and from the University of the Redlands in 1999.
A native New Yorker, Bahr and his wife, Florence, make their home in Washington, D.C.