A Record-Breaking Conference and an Exciting New Book

2016 Conference Photos: Jim West/jimwestphoto.com

Wow, what a shot in the arm! Thanks to thousands of you (and a well-timed teachers strike), the 2016 Labor Notes Conference was the biggest and best yet.

In 125+ meetings, films, and workshops, you shared success stories and inspiration, sharpened your skills, practiced the Secrets of a Successful Organizer, and talked strategy with workers from across the country and around the world. Check out the hashtag #labornotes on social media for photos and reports from many packed sessions.

As we celebrate, we're excited to announce our newest book. Secrets of a Successful Organizer debuted at the conference, where it sold like hotcakes. Already some local unions are ordering copies in bulk for their stewards.

Secrets of a Successful Organizer is a step-by-step guide to building power on the job. We've distilled the insights and know-how of generations of rank-and-file organizers into 47 secrets you can use—illustrated with real-life stories from hundreds of workers who fought back on the job and won.

It’s packed with practical tips and exercises to help you analyze your own workplace. Check out the matching series of free, downloadable handouts you can use in trainings or pass around to co-workers.

You’ll learn how to identify the key issues in your workplace, build campaigns to tackle them, anticipate management’s tricks and traps, and inspire your co-workers to stand together despite their fears. Order your copy today.

If this was your first Labor Notes Conference, we hope that now you consider yourself part of the “troublemaking wing” of the labor movement… a growing community of activists who believe that members should be in the driver’s seat of unions, and who are fighting not only to improve our day-to-day work lives, but also to change the world.

Labor Notes can be your lifeline and your home base. You don’t have to wait till the 2018 Conference to keep in touch with your fellow troublemakers. Here are some ways to stay connected:

1. Subscribe to Labor Notes magazine.

It’s just $30 a year for a monthly dose of practical information, success stories, news, and analysis.

Better yet, boost your subscription to a bundle. Many individuals and locals get five to 200 copies every month to hand out to co-workers, stewards, or the executive board. Email al[at]labornotes[dot]org to set it up.

2. Buy the book Secrets of a Successful Organizer for all your stewards.

We’ve designed the book to work well in study groups or trainings. Bulk discounts are available.

Also check out our other popular handbooks: The Steward’s Toolbox, A Troublemaker’s Handbook 2, Democracy Is Power, and How to Jump-Start Your Union.

3. Invite a Labor Notes trainer to visit your union.

Our team of experienced trainers and advisors offer expertise on topics ranging from steward basics to contract campaigns to new officers taking over a local.



Give $10 a month or more and get our "Fight the Boss, Build the Union" T-shirt.

We’re offering a new three-part training series on the Secrets of a Successful Organizer. Bring it to your union or city!

Email training[at]labornotes[dot]org or call 718-284-4144.

4. Organize a local Troublemakers School.

Activists from Seattle to Miami have worked with Labor Notes to organize half-day or full-day conferences. These schools bring together folks from different unions and worker centers in a way that just doesn’t happen at the central labor council.

The best of local struggles are highlighted, skills are taught, and connections are forged. Contact us to find out how to put one together.

5. Sign up for our Friday email blast.

It brings you all the articles we put online that week, in one email—easy to share with others.

Don't forget to “like” and “follow” Labor Notes on social media, too.

6. Write for Labor Notes.

When you discover a good tactic, uncover a workplace problem, or win a righteous fight… share the news! Thousands of readers in other workplaces can put the information to use. Email al[at]labornotes[dot]org or call 718-284-4144 with story ideas.

Finally, we’d love to hear your feedback on the conference—highlights, favorite moments, new ideas, what worked and what didn’t. We’re already starting to think about what to repeat and what to change for 2018… Drop us an email, labornotes[at]labornotes[dot]org.

We couldn’t do it without you. Special thanks to all who gave generously to build Labor Notes for the future, and to all who volunteered their time—interpreting into different languages, working the registration and merchandise tables, leading workshops, loading and unloading the truck, participating in the banquet film, collecting donations, and transporting projectors and flipcharts around. And thanks for all you do.

Keep organizing!

Alexandra Bradbury is the editor of Labor Notes.al@labornotes.org