Troublemakers Blog

Two young women in Starbucks Workers United T-shirts stand outdoors, holding up cardboard signs, mouths open to yell or chant.
August 25, 2022 /
Starbucks Workers United just marked the one-year anniversary of its first organizing committee meeting. In that time, the new union has won union elections at 225 stores, covering more than 6,000 workers. »
Eleven smiling people pose outside. Some are holding up silkscreened T-shirts with Tender Claws union logo showing a claw. Many are raising one fist, and one is pointing at another person in the group.
August 12, 2022 /
At noon on July 17, my co-workers and I at the video game studio Tender Claws stepped away from our desks. Two of our work-from-home colleagues walked into the office unannounced; our out-of-state colleagues joined virtually on a laptop. We passed out a letter and read it aloud together: “Dear management: we are proud to announce we are forming the Tender Claws »
Images of the covers of the books Class Struggle Unionism, Fight Like Hell, and On the Line
August 01, 2022 /
A number of veteran organizers and labor journalists are publishing books this year that will be of interest to Labor Notes readers. Many of them participated in a "Meet the Author" session at the recent Labor Notes Conference. Here are a few books to check out or pre-order: »
Women march behind a giant banner. The part we can see reads "OUR ABORTION." Other signs visible say "If it's not your body, it's not your choice" and "Our bodies, our future."
July 27, 2022 / Alexandra Bradbury, / Sarah Hughes
Abortion: it’s a topic unions shy away from. The logic is, why go there? You might alienate conservative workers who otherwise share your workplace concerns. And it’s true, you might—though the issue is not as divisive as the GOP makes it out to be. A solid 61 percent of U.S. adults is pro-choice. Among those aged 18-29, it’s 74 percent. »
Head shots of Courtney Smith, Alejandra Quintero, Angela Bunay, and Caitlyn Clark.
July 13, 2022 /
We’re excited to welcome a new member to the Labor Notes staff: Courtney Smith! Courtney worked on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in 2020 as a Black constituency organizer. She has also worked with families who were victims of police brutality, and as an organizer with the Lecturers’ Employee Organization at the University of Michigan. »
July 07, 2022 / Caitlyn Clark
A typical picket line has picket signs, megaphones, and fed-up workers. But the picket line at Star Garden Topless Dive Bar in North Hollywood, California, has all that and more: taco carts, dance poles, and themed costume nights like Woodstock and the French Revolution. »
A masked worker in a straw hat speaks while an older unmasked man in a sweatshirt, the grower, listens, smiling or grimacing. Both are holding paper. A younger man in a red jacket, unmasked, stands impassive. Other masked people circle them, one with resolutely crossed arms.
July 05, 2022 /
In a major agro-export region four hours south of the U.S-Mexican border, berry pickers went on strike May 28 to demand a bigger share of the profits they produce. Over the following week, protests and strikes erupted on farms throughout the San Quintín valley, a major source of berries, tomatoes, chilies, and cucumbers. A second wave of strikes began June 30. »
June 28, 2022 /
The rare planetary alignment in mid-June was accompanied by the equally rare alignment of the AFL-CIO convention and the Labor Notes conference. It’s not often there is the opportunity for such direct comparison of the top leadership and activist base of the labor movement. »
Two frozen burritos in Amy's Kitchen packaging
June 23, 2022 / Angela Bunay
The spirit of unionizing is in the air, from Amazon to Starbucks. Now the workers in two frozen food factories in California are getting in on the action. But they're facing serious union-busting from their employer, Amy's Kitchen, despite its progressive branding. »
June 21, 2022 / Alexandra Bradbury
Wow! What an amazing weekend. Thank you to all 4,000 troublemakers who converged in Chicago June 17-19 and made this year's Labor Notes Conference incredible. The energy you brought, the stories you shared, the connections you made, the ideas and plans you're bringing back home—that's what it's all about. »