Troublemakers Blog

April 12, 2022 / Luis Feliz Leon
Working in the industrial laundry factories of Phoenix, Arizona, is a dirty and dangerous job. Immigrant workers must sort through a tangle of soiled hospital linen with thinly gloved hands. When the conveyor belt is sped up, workers can prick their fingers with syringes and scalpels. »
Tight crowd of people outdoors embracing and yelling in celebration. Most visible person in center, face upturned, wears a red baseball cap and a T-shirt that says The Congress of Essential Workers. Behind, many people hold up cameras capturing the moment.
April 08, 2022 /
Against nearly impossible odds, a new independent union called the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) has won the first NLRB-supervised union certification election at an Amazon warehouse in the U.S. »
A speaker talks to a roomful of union members who sit in chairs.
April 04, 2022 /
The Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers (UGSDW) on March 4 signed a first-of-its-kind neutrality and election agreement with Grinnell College. »
Four actors on stage in front of a black background.
April 04, 2022 /
If Don Blankenship were a fictional character, critics would say he was a cartoon evil capitalist. Unfortunately, he’s real. »
April 01, 2022 /
Solidarity: we celebrate it in song, emblazon it on picket signs, and insert the word into Twitter hashtags. Inducing workers to overcome divisions and unite as a class, however, is far easier said (or sung about) than done. In our current polarized climate, solidarity may seem like an especially elusive goal. »
March 24, 2022 /
This is part of an occasional series where we look back at the “labor episode” of a TV show. The Star Trek series Deep Space Nine has a great union episode with lessons about organizing in a customer service industry. Spoilers ahead for the fourth-season episode “Bar Association”! »
March 23, 2022 /
The recent surge in union action has been met by an increase in union-busting by greedy employers—even in companies whose purpose is to serve and heal, such as hospitals. The pandemic has put an acute strain on an already chronic problem: short staffing. For years many hospitals have adopted tools from the hospitality and the assembly-line production industry. »
Crowd of excited owrkers stands outside warehouse in the dark holding up handmade signs. Most prominent ones read "Amazon burns workers," "Amazon exploits workers," "Amazonians unite! Without us they're nothing."
March 16, 2022 / Luis Feliz Leon
Around 60 workers at three Amazon delivery stations—the final stop in the company’s logistics chain—staged a work stoppage early this morning. Amazonians United, a network of rank-and-file worker committees around the U.S. and Canada, coordinated the walkouts in New York City and Maryland in its latest show of shop floor strength. »
People in blue "INA" shirts march. Some carry picket signs "Safety in Numbers," "Respect Nurses!" "Unfair Labor Practice Strike." One speaks into a bullhorn mic.
March 11, 2022 /
Content warning: This piece mentions death and suicidal thoughts. —Editors February 2020: “I don’t want to see anyone in the hallway with a mask on,” the manager said. We were standing at the nurses’ station, in what was to be the Covid unit. “Um, the CDC is saying this is airborne,” I said. “Not only do we need masks, we need N95s!” »
March 08, 2022 / Joe DeManuelle-Hall
When “microtransit,” the new rage in transit privatization, showed up in Denton, Texas, union activists decided to fight back. »