Listening is one of the most important skills for a workplace organizer. And you’ve got to allow yourself to be surprised about what you might hear—and what you do with it.
I was reminded of this recently while reading about the early days of organizing the Transport Workers Union in New York City’s subway and bus system. When TWU was getting its start, unions in the transit system had been severely repressed for decades, and had trouble holding ground.
Fights for union demands such as safe staffing and struggles against privatization have taken on even more significance during a dire public health crisis.
In this webinar on January 29th, we heard from worker leaders who organized with their co-workers to use their ultimate weapon—the strike—to fight for what they need not just during the pandemic, but beyond.
Note: This article was posted at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, November 4, as results from around the country were still coming in.
Like everyone else, we’re anxiously watching for updates on the presidential vote-count and consequential down-ballot races. Those results could have significant implications for the battlegrounds for labor in the years ahead.
But there were also several ballot initiatives worth keeping an eye on. Here’s how they fared, or are faring so far.
As the recession deepens, unions will have to battle concession demands and budget cuts. But beyond these defensive fights there’s a demand whose time has come: let’s soak the rich.
Put another way: tax the hell out of them. Claw back the profits they’ve made off the backs of workers. Take that money, and put it to work expanding public services and giving people jobs.
In the light of this pandemic, it is imperative that we protect workers immediately, prevent the exploitation of this crisis by management, and consider how to use this moment to advance demands that last far beyond the coronavirus.
How do we do this? What is happening and what can we learn from each other?
Almost 900 people joined a Labor Notes webinar to hear from educators, an Amazon worker, and a worker center organizer about their successes organizing in the face of the coronavirus.
Direct action gets the goods. If your employer is still not acting like workers’ lives matter, take a page from union members who are putting muscle behind their bargaining—they're shutting the place down first.