Alexandra Bradbury

21 adults in masks outside a school. Together they hold "CAUTION" tape. Handmade signs say "100% remote start," "no mas muertes," "ready or not," "we demand safe schools," "no more martyrs for the DOE #Remote until it's safe" and "people got sick in this buidling."

The push to reopen schools and campuses is hitting educators with a brutal fact: your employer will place you in deadly danger for the sake of the economy.

You knew this already if you worked in a meatpacking plant, an Amazon warehouse, or a construction site. But until 2020 you didn’t think a school or university job might kill you.

We Need a Disability New Deal, Too

A woman speaks at a strike rally while another woman interprets in sign language. Behind them is a palm tree, an apartment buidling or hotel, and a street sign "Boylston"

The subway is something I’ve always loved about New York City life. But my family can’t ride it together, because my daughter has cerebral palsy and 3 out of 4 stations have no elevator.

One in seven U.S. adults has serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs or can’t do so at all. People with disabilities generally, including vision and hearing impairments and intellectual disabilities, make up 1 in 4 adults: that’s a huge minority.

A masked protester holds a sign: "Save the Post Office! Save the Elections!" Behind the person, traffic and a "Coney Island" (diner) across the street

A looming presidential election and a pandemic-fueled demand for vote-by-mail have trained a sudden spotlight on new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and his sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service.

Clearly feeling the heat, “DeLay DeMail” DeJoy announced yesterday that he would pause operational changes till after November’s election. But it wasn’t immediately clear whether that meant undoing the outrageous changes he has already made—or just postponing further damage till the media scrutiny recedes.

Farewell, Chris

Goodbyes are the worst. Labor Notes writer-organizer Chris Brooks is leaving our staff this month to become the mobilization director for the New York NewsGuild.

Chris joined the staff in 2016, in the run-up to that year’s conference. His first day in the office, as I recall, he helped proof the final manuscript of Secrets of a Successful Organizer. Then he plunged right into devising a system to schedule hundreds of volunteers into jobs and shifts.

Farewell, Samantha

Samantha smiling during the 2014 Labor Notes Conference

This month’s magazine is bittersweet; it’s the last one with Samantha Winslow’s name on the masthead, as she leaves the staff.

It’s hard for me to imagine Labor Notes without Samantha. We started working here at almost the same time, eight years ago. Over those years Labor Notes and I have benefited enormously from her organizing knowhow; her excellent political judgment and insights; her keen mind and creativity; and her warm good humor.

Update, June 18: Last night in a roll call vote, the Martin Luther King County Labor Council expelled the Seattle Police Officers Guild. Delegates' votes are weighted by the number of members for whom their unions pay per capita fees to the labor council; the vote was 45,435 yes, 36,760 no. Hundreds of supporters of the expulsion rallied last night awaiting the results of the virtual meeting.

Marchers with signs including "IBEW Against Oppression" and "No KKKops"

The marches are sweeping every state. Hundreds of thousands of people have braved the pandemic to protest the murder of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by Minneapolis police.

Like the teacher strike waves of 2018 and 2019, today’s protests against police violence have the support of a majority of Americans. A Monmouth poll showed 78 percent think protesters’ anger about the killing of George Floyd is wholly or partially justified.

caravan of cars to support USPS in Detroit

The U.S. Postal Service is in deep trouble. The postal Board of Governors has asked Congress for $75 billion to keep the agency afloat; without it, the outgoing Postmaster General said, USPS could “run out of cash” by September.

A big drop in letters during the emergency shutdown has intensified the budget crunch, but the underlying crisis predates the pandemic. The good news is, the problem is mostly artificial—Congress created it with the stroke of a pen, and could fix it the same way. If it wanted to.

This pandemic creates openings for privatizers and budget-choppers to make their plays. But it also creates some new openings for workers to build power.

At the same time that we’re all sprinting to meet the urgent challenges of the present, workers and unions should take time to analyze the new threats and opportunities that our workplace movements will be facing in the coming months.

Can I Get Fired for Talking about Virus Risks?

Many workers still on the job during this pandemic are upset about their working conditions. But can you get in trouble for talking about your concerns—to your co-workers, on social media, or to the newspaper?

In a word: no. Not legally, anyway.

Below is a short run-down of your legal right to organize around wages, hours, and working conditions, even if you don’t have a union—and if you do have a union, your additional protection under your contract.

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