Welcomes, Farewells, and New Projects at Labor Notes
This summer we’re saying a bittersweet adieu to our longest-serving co-worker, intrepid Operations Coordinator Adrian Campbell, who’s been keeping the books, paying the bills, stuffing magazines in envelopes, and generally making the gears of Labor Notes turn for 13 years.
If you ever bought a book or T-shirt at the Labor Notes Conference, you’ve met her. (And if you volunteered at the merch table, you earned a special place in her heart.) You might also remember Adrian’s role in the Michael Moore movie “Sicko.”
Also moving on from Labor Notes is the good-natured Zach Rioux, who joined us at the start of 2020—just in time to track thousands of registrations for the biggest-ever Labor Notes Conference through three pandemic postponements.
Whatever had to be done, he was always up for it, whether that meant filling T-shirt orders or bailing out a flooded basement.
A NEW HQ
We’ll miss these two! But their departures prompted the realization that, after 44 years, we’ve outgrown our Detroit headquarters—a storefront that was better suited to producing a grassroots newsletter than to storing and shipping thousands of books.
In one of his final acts on staff, Zach drove a huge truckload of Labor Notes literature and apparel from Detroit to Binghamton, New York, where he delivered it to our friends at PM Press.
From now on we’re partnering with them to handle our order fulfillment. They have an actual warehouse, with a pallet jack and loading dock—no more schlepping literal tons of books up and down a winding staircase!
You’ll still place orders directly with us at labornotes.org/store, same as always—the only change you might notice is the postmark on your package. And if you’d like to experience the thrill of buying a Labor Notes book in person, now you can visit PM’s Ithaca store, Autumn Leaves.
Meanwhile our business headquarters, where you’ll mail your subscription renewal or donation check, will move to the Brooklyn office, home base of a capable and delightful new Operations Coordinator, Alex Deane, who comes to us from LeftRoots. Welcome aboard, Alex!
But don’t worry: we’re not leaving Detroit just when reformers have taken the wheel at the Auto Workers. We still have a full-time organizer there, dynamo Courtney Smith. Read her recent coverage of an Ohio auto parts strike here.
WELCOME WRITING FELLOWS
Also this summer we’re overjoyed to welcome our inaugural cohort of Writing Fellows—a thoughtful and talented bunch, with rich experience in organizing and reporting on tech, logistics, retail, public education, and the gig economy. They are Teamsters for a Democratic Union organizer Caitlyn Clark; former Vice journalist Edward Ongweso; and Cornell University student and Daily Sun writer Finley Williams.
They’ll each be writing several stories for Labor Notes over the next 12 months. This new program allows us to bring you more great reporting, drawing on the skills and insights of up-and-coming writers. We also get to help the fellows continue to hone their craft and sharpen their labor expertise with a Labor Notes perspective. Win-win! Watch for their bylines in print and online.
One more exciting new initiative: we’re teaming up with longtime labor educator and organizer Deborah Rosenstein for the next year to dig into organizing and reporting on labor and disability.
The project kicks off with a free Zoom event on Wednesday, June 28, “Labor and Disability Justice: Towards Solidarity,” co-sponsored with an online movement school, People’s Hub. Spanish/English interpretation will be provided. Get details and register here.
Deborah will be surveying Labor Notes readers about disability issues in your workplace and union; collecting relevant contract language; developing a disability justice workshop for unionists; convening online spaces for disabled workers to talk and strategize together; and helping us develop practical steps to make our events and materials more accessible.
Are you fighting for your rights on the job as a disabled worker? Organizing a disability caucus in your union? Battling an employer that injures workers and then discards them? Pressing to retain Covid safety measures or a work-from-home option? Deborah is interested to hear from you. Reach her at deborah[at]labornotes[dot]org.