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SAVE THE DATE: 2024 Labor Notes Conference

April 19, 2024 to April 21, 2024

The 2022 Labor Notes Conference was by far our biggest yet, with 4,000 attendees swapping experiences and discussing strategies to put the movement back in the labor movement. Now, we are excited to announce the details of the 2024 Labor Notes Conference: WHEN: Friday, April 19 to Sunday, April 21, 2024 WHERE: Hyatt Regency O'Hare, Chicago, Illinois »

Alabama Troublemakers School

IN THIS ISSUE:

UPCOMING EVENTS
  • Events

    SAVE THE DATE: 2024 Labor Notes Conference

    April 19, 2024 to April 21, 2024

    The 2022 Labor Notes Conference was by far our biggest yet, with 4,000 attendees swapping experiences and discussing strategies to put the movement back in the labor movement. Now, we are excited to announce the details of the 2024 Labor Notes Conference: WHEN: Friday, April 19 to Sunday, April 21, 2024 WHERE: Hyatt Regency O'Hare, Chicago, Illinois »

    Workshop: What To Do When Your Union Breaks Your Heart (January 2023)

    January 03, 2023

    This workshop will be held on Tuesday, January 3rd, and will run from 7:30pm to 9pm Eastern Time (4:30pm to 6pm Pacific). This is an online workshop and will be held via Zoom. »

    Stewards' Workshop: Steward's Toolbox (December 2022)

    December 12, 2022

    This workshop has limited capacity and is for stewards and elected officers who work with stewards. Please only register if this applies to you. Registration is at the bottom of this page. The workshop will be held on Monday, December 12th from 8-9:30pm ET/5-6:30pm Pacific. This is a virtual workshop and will be held by Zoom. Stewards have many tools at their disposal to enforce contracts and defend their coworkers. Come to this online workshop to learn what those tools are, and strategies for how to use them. »

    Secrets of a Successful Organizer November/December Workshop Series

    November 30, 2022

    Photo: Jim West / jimwestphoto.com Space is limited! Register now at the bottom of this page. These workshops are based on our widely-acclaimed book, Secrets of a Successful Organizer. These trainings will be held via Zoom. The sessions will run Wednesdays from 8-10pm Eastern (5-7pm Pacific) on November 30th, December 7th, and December 14th. We ask that you attend all three workshops in the series. »

    Stewards' Workshop: Using Grievances to Organize (November 2022)

    November 29, 2022

    REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. Keep an eye out for December's steward workshop! Registration is at the bottom of this page. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, November 29th from 8-9:30pm ET/5-6:30pm Pacific. This is a virtual workshop and will be held by Zoom. Grievances are a fundamental part of being a union steward, and there's a whole set of skills and knowledge that stewards should have to be effective at tackling them. But what about when grievances aren't enough? Or aren't the best way to go? »

After 18 Months, Striking Warrior Met Miners and Families Hold the Line

by Ericka Wills

A somber bell toll broke the silence outside the West Brookwood Church in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, as the names of victims of mine-related deaths were read aloud.

Along with miners who died in the past year, the annual service honors the 13 men who died in a series of explosions in Jim Walter Resources Mine No. 5 in Brookwood on September 23, 2001.

Today that mine is part of Warrior Met Coal, the company at the center of the longest and largest ongoing strike in the United States.

As strikers, families, and community members gathered to remember the fallen miners, all were reminded that what is at stake in the Warrior Met strike is, literally, life and death.

READ MORE.

Check out the UMWA Auxiliary’s Solidarity Santa registry to help support striking families this holiday season.

'Society Has Shut Down On Us:' Prison Strikers Across Alabama Demand Change Despite Severe Retaliation

by Haley Czarnek

Across the state of Alabama, another labor stoppage is in its second week. Thousands of incarcerated people at every major male prison in Alabama have refused to report to their work assignments.

“The message that we are sending is, the courts have shut down on us, the parole board has shut down on us,” a strike organizer who goes by Swift Justice told a reporter for independent news site Unicorn Riot. “This society has long ago shut down on us.

"So basically, if that’s the case, and you’re not wanting us to return back to society, you can run these facilities yourselves.”

READ MORE.

Three Amazon Warehouses Catch Fire; Workers Protest Unsafe Conditions with Sit-in

by Luis Feliz Leon

Amazon warehouses caught fire in New York and Alabama this past week, endangering hundreds of workers.

In the unionized Staten Island facility, workers marched on managers and staged a sit-down in protest over Amazon’s disregard for their safety—and the company lashed back with mass suspensions.

More than 100 workers at JFK8 stopped working and demanded to be sent home with pay, marching to and occupying the offices of Amazon managers to press their demands—including for union recognition, raises that keep up with inflation, and that the company put workers’ lives before its profits.

READ MORE.

Other Labor News

A reform effort, Essential Workers for a Democratic UFCW, has been launched in the United Food and Commercial Workers. The group is calling for one member one vote of top officers, major investments in new organizing and coordinated bargaining, and "powerful, transformational strikes." The UFCW convention is in April.

Alabama Paper Mill Workers Want Their Lives Back—And They're Giving Up $30,000 to Get It, by Jacob Morrison, The Real News Network. 480 members of USW Locals 971, 1471, and 1972 were locked out yesterday as their employers attempts to cut Sunday pay and premium pay when workers are forced to stay for shifts over 16 hours.

Although it did not go so far as to repeal the Trump Labor Board’s infamous General Motors decision mandating that union representatives obey company civility standards, a September NLRB panel (Cadillac of Naperville, Inc., 371 NLRB No. 140 (2022)) ordered the reinstatement of a union steward fired for calling the owner of a company “a stupid jack off” during a heated argument over strike replacements. The panel was influenced by the fact that similar language was common throughout the workplace.

"Our Health and Safety Is Not a Priority Here": Why Refresco Workers Unionized, by Luis Feliz Leon, The Real News Network

Another independent union victory in Mexico, this time at a Saint Gobain auto glass factory.

Upcoming Labor Notes Events


Twin Cities Troublemakers School: Saturday, October 8

Alabama Troublemakers School: Saturday, October 15

Secrets of a Successful Organizer October Workshop Series: Saturdays October 22, 29, and November 5 (online)

These workshops are based on our widely-acclaimed book, Secrets of a Successful Organizer. These trainings will run Saturdays from noon-2pm Eastern (9am-11am Pacific) on October 22, 29, and November 5 on Zoom. We ask that you attend all three workshops in the series.

Being a Staffer in a Democratic Union: TBA
Labor Notes is looking to connect with union staff who are navigating being a staffer in a democratic, member-led union. Fill out the form at this link and we may reach out for upcoming trainings and conversations focused on the questions and challenges of being a staffer in a democratic union.

Visit labornotes.org/events for updates.

Labor Notes Is Hiring an Assistant Editor

Fresh off the success of June's Labor Notes Conference, we're looking to add more talented supporters of rank-and-file unionism to our staff.

Right now we are hiring for the position of Assistant Editor. Please help us spread the word or consider applying yourself. 

We anticipate hiring for other positions in the months ahead—stay tuned!

FIND MORE DETAILS on the position at labornotes.org/jobs.

Join the Labor Notes Outreach Crew

After our biggest-ever Labor Notes Conference, the Troublemakers Union is ready to keep growing! That's why we're building the Labor Notes Outreach Crew, a phonebanking team that will spread the word about our online trainings and events.

If you're ready to volunteer for the Troublemakers Union a few hours per month, talking to other union members across the country, sign up here.

KEEP IN TOUCH!

Visit the Labor Notes Store for books and more! T-shirts and hoodies will be back in stock soon. Check it out at labornotes.org/store.

Keep the organizing going. Donate to Labor Notes. Help us keep on reporting and organizing during this difficult period. Make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor at labornotes.org/donate.

IN THIS ISSUE:

  • GEICO Workers Launch Union Effort, Management Says Call the Cops
  • Employers' Productivity Standards Are Not Real Science. Here's How to Push Back
  • Before Your Strike Vote, Consider a Practice Strike Vote
  • We're Hiring an Assistant Editor: Help Spread the Word
  • Join the Labor Notes Outreach Crew
UPCOMING EVENTS
  • Workshop: What to Do When Your Union Breaks Your Heart: October 4
  • Twin Cities Troublemakers School: October 8
  • Alabama Troublemakers School: October 15

GEICO Workers Launch Union Effort, Management Says Call the Cops

by Jonah Furman

Earlier this year, workers in Buffalo, New York, launched GEICO United, an effort to form an independent union at the insurance giant. With 2,600 employees, GEICO is one of the largest employers in the area.

The group collected 200 signatures in a month through a door-to-door canvassing operation. In those early days, insurance sales rep Lila Balali estimates, about 80 percent of people would open their doors, and the vast majority would sign a card.

And then, Balali recalls, “the email comes out.”

On August 12, GEICO sent out an email warning its Buffalo employees that union representatives were visiting workers’ homes. The company wrote that it had not “authorized” such visits, and that “you have every right to contact the police.”

The union has filed unfair labor charges.

READ MORE.
Follow GEICO United at geicounited.org, on Twitter @GeicoUnited, or on Facebook.

Employers' Productivity Standards Are Not Real Science. Here's How to Push Back

by Michael Childers

Whether you’re working in a warehouse or piano factory, processing insurance claims, or taking care of patients, the use of worker productivity monitoring continues to expand.

Workplaces where jobs are monitored and measured—and workers required to meet certain performance metrics—pose a particular set of challenges for stewards.

READ MORE.

Before Your Strike Vote, Consider a Practice Strike Vote

by Labor Notes Staff

Leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union were pretty sure they would need to strike the school district in the fall of 2012 to win what students and educators deserved.

But the state legislature had deliberately made it hard for Chicago teachers to walk out. In 2011 it passed a bill requiring CTU to get yes votes from 75 percent of all members (not just of those voting) before calling a strike.

This was supposed to be impossible. “In effect they wouldn’t have the ability to strike,” gloated Jonah Edelman of the corporate “reform” group Stand for Children, which pushed for this rule. Edelman’s group had researched past contract votes and found 48 percent was the greatest share of the membership CTU had been able to muster.

CTU leaders were convinced 75 percent wasn’t impossible. But they knew they needed to vote before the school year was over, while the issues were hot and members were having daily conversations with each other—and they couldn’t go into the vote cold.

READ MORE.

Labor Notes Is Hiring an Assistant Editor

Fresh off the success of June's Labor Notes Conference, we're looking to add more talented supporters of rank-and-file unionism to our staff.

Right now we are hiring for the position of Assistant Editor. Please help us spread the word or consider applying yourself. 

We anticipate hiring for other positions in the months ahead—stay tuned!

FIND MORE DETAILS on the position at labornotes.org/jobs.

Join the Labor Notes Outreach Crew

After our biggest-ever Labor Notes Conference, the Troublemakers Union is ready to keep growing! That's why we're building the Labor Notes Outreach Crew, a phonebanking team that will spread the word about our online trainings and events.

If you're ready to volunteer for the Troublemakers Union a few hours per month, talking to other union members across the country, sign up here.

KEEP IN TOUCH!

Visit the Labor Notes Store for books and more! T-shirts and hoodies were mostly sold out at the conference, but will be back in stock later in the summer. Check it out at  labornotes.org/store.
Keep the organizing going. Donate to Labor Notes. Help us keep on reporting and organizing during this difficult period. Make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor at labornotes.org/donate.

Mark your calendar now for the 2016 Labor Notes Conference! Worker activists from across the country and around the world will gather April 1-3, 2016, to share tactics, swap notes, and help put the movement back in the labor movement. We'll be back in Chicago, but in a bigger hotel: the Hyatt Regency O'Hare. Details on reserving rooms in our block will be available here closer to the date. Check back here for information to come on registration, workshops, and more. »
Indiana Troublemakers are gathering for a day of skill-building workshops, education, and strategy discussions for worker activists, union members, students, and community activists to put some movement back in the labor movement. »
Vermont Labor Solidarity and Labor Notes present a Mini-Troublemakers School: Building Activism in Our Unions When: Saturday, October 31, 10am-2pm Where: Vermont Workers Center, 294 North Winooski Ave., Burlington Register here! »
Calling all New England Troublemakers! Budget cuts, corporate union-busting, and privatizing schemes are wreaking havoc on working people. Come to the New England Troublemakers School for a day of workshops and discussions on how to put the movement back in the labor movement. The school will be a great opportunity for union members, stewards, and community activists to share strategies and build the solidarity required to build a powerful fightback against corporate power. »
Bay Area Troublemakers are gathering for a day of skill-building workshops, education, and strategy discussions for worker activists, union members, students, and community activists to put some movement back in the labor movement. Budget cuts, union-busting, privatization, and corporate outsourcing schemes are wreaking havoc on working people in the Bay Area and worldwide. We need a strong, fighting labor movement to take on these anti-worker attacks. »
- See more at: http://www.labornotes.org/events#sthash.kq1AERt7.dpuf

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