EWOC Newsletter: Hot Labor Summer in Review

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Unionism is on the rise. It doesn’t take data to know this– you can probably see it for yourself, directly from your front door– but the stats show us how big the wave has been. Through August, workers had won more unions than in the same period of any year since 2004: a generational high-water mark. Year-over-year comparisons are even more striking. The 2022 number amounts to an 80% increase in election victories compared to 2021, and a 100% increase in workers represented by newly won bargaining united. Election petitions are up 60% from last year; and workers won unions in 76.6% of elections, a stunning development, the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades.

December 2021 victories at multiple Starbucks in Buffalo, NY set the tone for 2022: workers continue to win groundbreaking unions across the retail, service, and logistics industries. The SBWU movement now encompasses more than 200 stores and 10,000 workers. Historic unions were won by workers at Trader Joes, Chipotle, and REI. Nonprofit and media organizing surged, too. Amazon Labor Union continues to take the fight to Amazon in the wake of its remarkable victory at the JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island. In all of these cases, workers applied the principles of militant, rank-and-file unionism to their organizing long before winning bargaining units, including through direct action. 

We’ve seen the energy and excitement of the organizing wave at EWOC. This Summer we helped over 150 workers start workplace organizing campaigns. Over 600 people signed up for our Workplace Organizer Training Series. We built relationships with thousands of fellow unionists at the Labor Notes conference in June, and picked up hundreds of new volunteers.

Your contribution plays a crucial role in this struggle. EWOC relies on small-dollar donations just as we rely on our individual volunteers. Last week EWOC launched our annual Sustaining Donor Drive. Sign up now to start recruiting five of your friends, coworkers, or neighbors to win a newly designed EWOC t-shirt. And while you’re at it, you can sign up to be a sustaining donor yourself!

People want a union more than ever, but so many don’t know how to get there. Every day people are rising up to support their fellow workers because they share a collective vision of a society that values their labor so that everyone can build a dignified life and future. EWOC is committed to helping workers everywhere realize that vision, and we do this through our base of committed volunteers. With your help, we’ll continue to help workers keep up the fight, through the end of 2022 and beyond.

Summer may be over, but we’re just getting warmed up.

World of Work 🌍

NY – Conde Nast is now a wall-to-wall union company. Workers at Vanity Fair, Vogue, GQ, and several other publications will join preexisting bargaining units in the Conde Nast empire in unionizing with NewsGuild of New York.

RI – Workers from Teamsters Local 251 were hit with pepper spray and riot grenades while peacefully picketing against their employer, Northeast Transportation Services, and its subcontractor DHL. Local 251 remains on a ULP strike which began on June 22.

IA – Local 100G of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers rallied with family and community supporters in front of Cedar Rapid Ingredion plant where they work. The Local’s 122 members have been on strike since voting down an Ingredion contract proposal at the beginning of August; they continue to fight back against harmful scheduling, overtime, and health insurance changes.

New From Our Blog 📧

Week in Labor History 📚

September 26th 1874 – Sociologist and photographer Lewis Hine is born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Hine would go on to become a renowned photographer for the National Child Labor Committee in the early 1910s. His documention of child laborers, often in defiance of violent threats from factory police and foremen, helped expose the immorality of child labor in American industries. Hine often dawned many disguises such as a fire inspector or bible salesman to gain entry to the mills, mines and factories. His photographs were instrumental in bringing about the passage of the first child labor laws.

Solidarity,

Team EWOC

EWOC is a collaboration between the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). We depend on small-dollar donations to provide frontline workers with the support they need to fight for protections during COVID-19. Click here to make a contribution that will help fund our work.

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