Labor Notes Virtual Conference: April 18

Event Date: 
April 18, 2020

Event at a Glance


April 18, 2020, 1:00 pm

The rescheduled in-person conference will be next year, April 16-18, 2021.

Registration for the digital conference is now full. However, all the panels and workshops will be live streamed to the Labor Notes Facebook page.

At the virtual conference, worker leaders and activists will discuss organizing strategies and the state of the labor movement during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Virtual Conference Schedule
Saturday, April 18, 2020

1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. EDT

Opening Plenary and Welcome: Building Power During the Pandemic
During this crisis, how are workers organizing on the shop floor, with or without a union, to build power and win now while preparing for fights ahead? We will hear stories from the struggle and discuss strategies for turning disaster capitalism on its head.
Welcome: Alexandra Bradbury, Labor Notes
Panelists: Kelley Cabrera-Adler, New York State Nurses, Carl Rosen, United Electrical Workers, Jamie Partridge, Communities and Postal Workers United, Jia Lee, Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE), United Federation of Teachers
Facilitator: Stacy Davis Gates, Chicago Teachers

2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. EDT (choose one of two options)

  • Organizing a Stewards' Network
  • If stewards are the backbone of the union, and we don’t have any, where do we start? It’s not enough to tell your co-workers to “get involved.” Locals need to build structures that can draw workers in, starting with a solid presence in the workplace. This workshop will examine different ways to develop stewards, and how ongoing structures like stewards' councils can strengthen existing on-the-job networks and ramp up activity.
    Facilitators: John Pearson, SEIU 1021; Ashley Payne, SEIU 1021

  • Talking to Your Co-Workers about Trump
  • Right-wing populism is on the rise and seeking support in the working class with "Buy American" and "America First" policies. In this panel we will analyze the emergence of Trump and hear strategies for talking with your co-workers about a real workers' agenda.
    Panelists: Margarita Hernandez, Communications Workers of America; Bill Fletcher Jr,; Judy Ancel, labor educator
    Facilitator: Bianca Cunningham, Labor Notes

4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. (choose one of two options)

  • Organizing on Health and Safety in the Face of Coronavirus
  • This pandemic is the greatest occupational health hazard of our lifetimes. It's absolutely essential that workers organize on the job to protect themselves, their families, and their community. This workshop will focus on the nuts and bolts of organizing to win health and safety demands in this moment.
    Facilitators: Nancy Lessin, Steelworkers (retired); David Pratt, New York State Nurses

  • A Just Recovery: From the Climate Crisis to the Pandemic
  • What can we learn from recent disasters as we fight the newest incarnations of disaster capitalism? How can we organize to demand that workers rights' to a living wage and safe working conditions aren't sacrificed during a crisis? Organizers on the front lines of fighting the ravages of climate change will discuss how we can organize for a just recovery.
    Panelists: Hany Khalil, Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, Mercedes Martinez, Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico (FMPR), Rebecca Keetch, Green Jobs Oshawa
    Facilitator: Mara Ventura, North Bay Jobs With Justice (CA)

Registration for the digital conference is now full. However, all the panels and workshops will be live streamed to the Labor Notes Facebook page.