Troublemakers Blog

Book cover is black with a logo that is a gear, with a skull in a hard hat on top, the state of Vermont underlaid in green, and a hand-drawn banner htat says "Freedom and Unity." Behind the book cover is a green-shaded cropped image showing some people with raised fists holding Vermont AFL-CIO banner.
May 22, 2024 /
Transforming an existing union into a more democratic and member-run organization has often proven to be a daunting—though possible—task. The pressing need to revitalize organized labor in the U.S., however, depends on such movements. »
A large group of Black and white women and men stands on grass outside the Mercedes-Benz Training Center, smiling, many with fists in the air. Many wear red T-shirts with a UAW logo and the words "Mercedes Workers United."
May 21, 2024 /
I’m still hot as hell three days after losing a union election at the Mercedes factory complex in Alabama. After years of laying a foundation and six months of 100 percent dedication and putting everything on hold, it’s a tough pill to swallow—losing by 597 »
A large crowd, mostly viewed from behind, is arrayed on a hillside or steps of a university campus; banners identify it as UCLA. A few in the crowd hold Palestinian flags and one handmade sign reads "Stay strong." A row of parked vehicles is visible in the distance, at the foot of the hill, backs to the crowd. Dramatic sunlight silhouettes everyone.
May 17, 2024 /
Our union of 48,000 academic workers has just authorized a strike over the University of California’s unfair labor practices in repressing peaceful protest, retaliating against members for protesting, and prohibiting pro-Palestine speech at the worksite. United Auto Workers Local 4811 announced the results yesterday: with nearly 20,000 members voting, 79 percent »
Three guys in red Stand-Up Strike (UAW) t-shirts, two bearded, stand outside on grass with arms around each other’s shoulders, smiling big.
May 15, 2024 / Jane Slaughter
In the election on whether to join the United Auto Workers, being held over five days this week at the Mercedes plant in Vance, Alabama, the union negotiated rules to try to minimize management influence. The vote is taking place inside the plant. »
A group of 33 Black and white women and men stands in a union hall, smiling and looking determined, many holding fists in the air. Many hold printed union signs. Yellow ones say "Union Yes." Red ones say "We are Alabama, we are UAW" and "No voice, no choice." Various signs on the wall behind them, including a big blue banner that says "Workers joining together for the mutual aid and protection of each other and their common interests."
May 13, 2024 / Luis Feliz Leon
As Mercedes workers began their 12-hour shifts at 6 a.m. today, their phones buzzed with a company text message: “Here in Alabama, community is important, and family is everything. We believe it’s important to keep work separate. But there’s no denying, a union would have an impact beyond »
Several people sit around a table in discussion.
May 09, 2024 /
Consider two different ways a union can take action to solve problems. A top-down approach may solve the immediate workplace problem, but it may not change the balance of power. Engaging as many members as possible in a bottom-up approach may accomplish both goals. »
Seen from the side/back, Shawn Fain in a red hoodie holds up a battered purple copy of A Troublemaker's Handbook. Arrayed in front of him can be seen a huge seated crowd in the ballroom for the closing plenary.
May 08, 2024 /
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain recently called A Troublemaker’s Handbook his “other bible.” Author Dan La Botz recalls how this classic Labor Notes book came to be. It was published in 1991 and is now out of print, but available for free »
Four women in red scrubs, of various races, stand, all masked, raising their fists in the air, some clasping one another's hands. They are at the front of a large crowd in the ballroom.
April 26, 2024 / Alexandra Bradbury
Video Links Scroll down for embedded videos. Thanks to and More Perfect Union for their work to livestream and circulate these sessions! »
April 10, 2024 / Luis Feliz Leon
Workers at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama were forced to attend 20-minute anti-union meetings with the company’s top management today. Recordings obtained by Labor Notes show top management dangled carrots and put on a contrite-boss act, promising to do better. »
Postal workers rally outside a post office. There is some snow on the ground. A big blue banner says "Staffing, Safety, and Service: Letter Carriers Need a Raise! NALC Branch 9, Minneapolis." Printed picket signs say "End Mandatory Overtime," "First Class Service, First Class Pay," and "Fair Contract Now."
April 10, 2024 /
Hit by years of inflation, and inspired by last year’s contract struggles and big wins by Big 3 auto workers and UPS Teamsters, members of the Letter Carriers (NALC) at the U.S. Postal Service are getting organized to fight for open bargaining. »