2022 Labor Notes: ‘A Special Moment for the Labor Movement’

Angela Bunay

Labor Notes | July 21, 2022

“The stage of the Labor Notes conference tonight is arguably the epicenter of the U.S. labor movement,” tweeted New York Times labor reporter Noam Scheiber during the Friday night plenary, which included Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates, Nolan Tabb of the UAW at John Deere, Michelle Eisen from Starbucks Workers United, Teamsters President Sean O’Brien, and Amazon Labor Union President Christian Smalls. Photo: Jim West, jimwestphoto.com

Despite nationwide flight cancellations due to weather conditions and labor shortages, the 2022 Labor Notes Conference drew a huge and diverse crowd of more than 4,000 workers from across the globe.

They heard daring tales of organizing, learned strategies for getting a first contract, and joined a joyous Juneteenth celebration. Many workshops were packed, standing room only.

“We are in many ways living through a very hard time, and yet the outlook for working people is hopeful,” said Alexandra Bradbury, editor of Labor Notes, at the Friday night main session. “The terrain has shifted, and there’s a new spirit of resistance. We all feel it. There’s hope in the air.”

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How Starbucks Workers Won in Mesa

Saurav Sarkar

Labor Notes | March 05, 2022

Starbucks workers from a Mesa, Arizona store celebrated their union win alongside local members of Workers United’s Western States Regional Joint Board. Photo: WSRJB Workers United SEIU

Starbucks Workers United (SWU) won its third store election February 28 in Mesa, Arizona. The vote was an overwhelming 25-3, with three additional contested ballots, despite heavy anti-union pressure from the company and in a state with only 5.4 percent union density.

“We led with kindness and care and just did our jobs in the face of union-busting from upper management,” said shift supervisor Liz Alanna, who helped lead the effort. Shift supervisors coordinate the day-to-day running of a store but are eligible for union membership because they don’t have hiring and firing power.

The Mesa store at Powerline and Baseline Roads became the first U.S. company-run store outside Buffalo to be unionized in the recent organizing wave.

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WFTU NEW YEAR 2022 MESSAGE

World Federation of Trade Unions | December 27, 2021

Dear colleagues,

Another year is coming to an end. Another year is added to the history of the WFTU and the world class-oriented movement. Another year made us cry and laugh, without losing not even for a moment our optimism for the best days to come for our class, thanks to our struggle and our firm political perception.

Making a brief assessment, as is usual at the end of each year, we will see that some things are repeated monotonously, but also new things are born, filling us with optimism for the future of the working class and popular strata.

In 2021, the inadequacy of this system to provide a solution to vital issues of humanity was revealed even more strongly. It was revealed that no matter how tearful the speeches of the political servants of the great multinationals are, they are not at all interested in the life and prosperity of the poor, the workers and the peasants, the women and the youth.

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U.S.: Amazon Warehouse Workers Fight to Form Union

POLITSTURM.COM | October 23, 2021

Amazon Warehouse Workers Fight to Form Union

Amazon workers at the Staten Island, New York Fulfillment Center are preparing to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board. As previously reported, workers at this location have already brought a lawsuit against Amazon with respect to working conditions and hazards, which was subsequently dismissed. Now, workers are preparing to unionize at this location. 

Amazon has taken actions to dissuade unionization by reportedly confiscating pro-union literature and distributing anti-union flyers. The company has also slandered an organizer who was fired from the location due to his unionization effort. A leaked memo described organizer and former warehouse employee Christian Smalls as “not smart or articulate”. 

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MAY DAY 2021

“Digital” workers don’t delete Marx on May Day

 Farooque Chowdhury

Countercurrents | May 01, 2021

mayday

“Digital” economy and work, like the imagined and claimed “4th industrial revolution”, are mesmerizing many scholars that lead them to chorus: “Blue-collars are gone, gone are smoke spewing chimneys, so is Marx”. But, do facts support those scholars’ choir “Cancel Marx” even if data related to blue-collar employees are ignored?

The ILO report The World Employment and Social Outlook, The role of digital labor platforms in transforming the world of work, 2021 (Geneva, Switzerland, February 23, 2021) focuses on digital labor platforms (DLP), which mediate work, and have rapidly penetrated economic sectors. The praise-worthy report helps understand condition of the “digital” workers, exposes bitter facts related to workers’ life.Read More »

WORKERS STRIKE IN INDONESIA

Indonesia: Mass strikes Against ‘Catastrophic’ Assault on Workers’ Rights and Environment

Ben Chacko

People’s World | October 08, 2020

Indonesia: Mass strikes against ‘catastrophic’ assault on workers’ rights and environment

A labor demonstrator raises his fists in support of the protest against a controversial omnibus bill that takes an axe to workers’ rights and environmental protections, in Tangerang, Indonesia. | AP

Millions took strike action in Indonesia Wednesday and thousands rallied in cities across the country in protest at a new Job Creation Law that takes an axe to workers’ rights and environmental protections.

In Bandung, West Java, protesters blocked roads around the local parliament building and burned tires. Industrial workers rallied in Tangerang and Bekasi and walked out of factories and demonstrated in Karawang and Serang in West Java and Banten provinces.

Police prevented trade unions from rallying in the capital Jakarta.Read More »

Behind Britain’s Brexit mess: A push to destroy workers’ rights

by John Wojcik

People’s World | September 11, 2019

Behind Britain’s Brexit mess: A push to destroy workers’ rights
Pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit protesters shout at each other opposite the Houses of Parliament in London, March 14, 2019. | Matt Dunham / AP

LISBON, Portugal—Britain’s version of Donald Trump, right-wing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was handed a major defeat Monday when his second try at calling an election to solve the Brexit mess was rebuffed.

Labor and left forces in Britain say his call for a “snap election” is nothing more than an attempt to crush the opposition Labour Party, whose leader Jeremy Corbyn has been pushing for a deal to exit the European Union with measures that will support job creation and labor rights in Britain. Johnson wants a “no-deal” exit from the EU so his ruling Tory Party can be free to undermine further the standard of living of British workers.

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The Great October Revolution: Declaration of rights of the working and exploited people

[On the occasion of 7th November, 1917, the Great October Revolution, we are posting this article. The rest of the series will be published here later] 

by Farooque Chowdhury

Photo source: Voice of Vietnam

Abolishing all exploitation, completely eliminating the division of society into classes, mercilessly crushing the resistance of the exploiters, establishing a socialist organisation of society, and achieving the victory of socialism in all countries were declared as the fundamental aim of the newly established Soviet Russia, a Republic of Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies. 

That was the proclamation of the Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People [[i]]. The Declaration, one of the unique achievements the proletariat made immediately after the seizure of political power through the Great October Revolution, is the yearning of the exploited people all over the world. The declaration, a significant political measure by the revolutionary proletariat, said:

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U.S: Unionists march nationwide for workers’ rights and against corporate greed

by Mark Greuenberg

People’s World | February 26, 2018

Unionists march nationwide for workers’ rights and against corporate greed

Workers gather in DC in protest of Supreme Court’s Janus case. | Metro DC Labor Council

WASHINGTON—Vowing to make this the first day in a long war against corporations and the 1 percent, hundreds of thousands of unionists gathered and marched from coast to coast on a “National Day of Action” on Feb. 24 to campaign for workers’ rights and specifically against a looming threat to them – the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus case.

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Bernie Sanders, Nina Turner, Civil Rights Leaders Demand Workers’ Rights at Mississippi Nissan Factory

by Nika Knight, staff writer

Common Dreams | 05 March, 2017

Bernie Sanders speaks to Nissan factory workers during the March on Mississippi
“It is time for justice for working people,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told the Nissan factory workers. (Photo: New Orleans DSA/Twitter)

While President Donald Trump was tweeting from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, former presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was doing something Trump had promised to do throughout his campaign: advocating for workers.

On Saturday, Sanders and former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, a Democrat, led hundreds of workers in a “March on Mississippi” in Canton, Miss., to demand that Nissan grant factory employees the right to hold a union vote free from fear or intimidation.

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