Labor Unions Calling for a Ceasefire

Palestinian and US Labor Unions Call for Ceasefire in Israel-Palestine

In the midst of unspeakable violence progressing in Israel and Gaza, a ceasefire is imperative to prevent further loss of life. Israeli forces have countered Hamas’ vicious Oct. 7 attack with a brutal bombing campaign that has killed and injured thousands of innocent civilians — children, hostages, journalists, UN peacekeepers, and medics among others. Collective retaliation against innocent people will not de-escalate the conflict.

Palestinian trade unions are calling on international trade unions to stand in solidarity with those who refuse to allow our labor to support genocide in Gaza. United Electrical and Radio Machine (UE) workers along with United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) local 3000 answered the call, and they’re calling on other union members to sign on. Share their call today: Ceasefire Now!

To take action as a non-union member for an immediate ceasefire, hostage exchange, and the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza: Write to Congress!

What a historic month of labor activity! 

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) won a historic agreement after five months of holding the line. Among the biggest victories were elimination of AI used to create first drafts of scripts and a meaningful, though complex, viewership-based residual system, securing the survival for the future of this industry.

The United Auto Workers’ (UAW) “Stand Up” strike strategy is displaying innovative organizing tactics. More than 25,000 UAW workers are now on strike.

More than 75,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente staged the largest three-day strike in the healthcare industry, citing severe understaffing and unfair wages. Though no deal was reached after 72 hours, they are now threatening a week-long strike.

Focusing on the United Auto Workers’ (UAW) contract negotiation and strike, we see that it’s been revolutionary for a number of reasons.

32-hour work week: Their audacious demands such as a 32-hour work week could reverberate across all industries. We already know that a 40-hour work week, overtime pay, and weekends are now professional standards that have been won by unions in the past. Wages could also increase for workers at non-union represented automakers such as Tesla.

Strike Strategy: The UAW’s “Stand Up” strike strategy, wherein a few key plants go on strike, has caused chaos and confusion for the Big Three automakers. It serves to extend the UAW’s strike fund while also allowing the union to make strategic moves and apply appropriate pressure based on how the contract negotiations are progressing. They still have several aces up their sleeve as we’ve seen with the surprise strike at Ford’s Kentucky truck plant outside of Louisville.

Politicians and Policy: Politicians across the political spectrum have shown support for the UAW, either rhetorically or by joining the picket line. These actions are truly historic and demonstrate just how much political power the UAW wields. Influence at this level could give us even bigger policy wins than what we’ve already seen at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). (Check out our latest blog about the NLRB’s Cemex decision below!)

EV Battery Just Transition: UAW president, Shawn Fain, announced a key concession from GM to include EV battery production under the UAW’s national master agreement, which guarantees that those jobs will be union jobs. Ensuring a just transition to EV battery technology is also a victory for the climate justice movement in solidarity with the labor movement.

Public Support: The incredible solidarity on the picket line with other unions (Teamsters, AFA, Starbucks United) has been remarkable to witness as support for unions and striking workers among the American public continues to rise.

Seeing these creative tactics, disciplined organization, and historic gains solidifies yet again that when we stand together and fight, we win! 

Upcoming Events 🗓

Join the EWOC Media Team!

EWOC’s Media Team does critical work supporting workers in campaigns that need publicity. This work includes helping to develop a social media strategy, reaching out to press, writing about the campaign for our website and newsletter, and offering trainings to workers to be spokespeople and more.

In 2024, the team will also work to grow the organization’s identity beyond social media, in the media and in the larger labor landscape. This will help us build our volunteer capacity and our base by reaching far greater numbers of labor organizers and workers. This team will help us develop our own distinct voice and vision in the labor movement. The team will collaborate with all EWOC teams and especially the social media and digital team, as well as the training and organizing teams. The team will meet weekly starting in mid-November.

To apply please email [email protected]

Become an EWOC Trainer!

Are you interested in facilitating trainings for EWOC? Or running trainings in your community? If you’ve graduated the EWOC Foundational Training series you can now sign up for Train the Trainers on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT)! 

The course will cover the principles of EWOC’s Foundational Training series, as well as adult learning and popular education methodology. We will work on our facilitation skills with some of the most experienced EWOC facilitators, learn how to talk through organizing skills and worker rights, and cover how to lead powerful group discussions.

The session is four hours long, all on Zoom, with a 30-minute break in the middle. Spots are limited, so sign up today! 

Join an EWOC Foundational Training!

If you are new to organizing but would like to talk to your coworkers about developing a campaign at your workplace for better working conditions or unionization, one of the best first steps you can take is the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee’s Foundational Training Series, Tuesdays Nov. 7–28 at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT)

In four 90-minute weekly sessions, you will learn how to approach your coworkers, build a team of organizers among them, and develop a campaign. You will meet other workers who are organizing, learn helpful tools, practices, and principles for winning workplace improvements and getting a democratic voice over your working conditions. This is also a great training if you would like to join EWOC as a volunteer and support other workers organizing!

Space is limited to 200 participants, so register here today!

If you’d like to suggest a certain time that works for you for a future training, you can email [email protected] and we will do our best to accommodate. You’re also welcome to send any other requests or questions you have to the same email address.

World of Work 🌍

Hundreds of pharmacists and technicians at Walgreens across the country walked out of their stores on Monday in protest of harsh working conditions. We’re so proud to see our EWOC campaign with Pharmacy Workers United making waves!

Show your support for Bandcamp United, OPEIU Local 1010 by signing this petition as they seek recognition and contract negotiations with a new CEO.

NYC musicians’ union, AFM Local 802 has organized monthly “Rally at the Gala” events in front of the Lincoln Center while they’re in contract negotiations with NYC ballet management. Sign their petition here!

On the heels of VFX technicians at Marvel voting to unionize and create a local chapter of IATSE, workers at Disney have unanimously chosen to do the same!

Gavin Newson vetoed California senate bill 799, which would allow striking workers to receive unemployment benefits, despite passing in both chambers of the state legislature. We can continue to help striking workers by donating to the SAG-AFTRA foundation.

Sanitation workers from North Carolina Public Service Workers Union are striking for $5,000 bonuses for workers making less than $75,000 per year, after their scheduled raises had been frozen for two years during the pandemic.

Hotel workers near LAX, represented by Unite Here Local 11, have been on rolling strikes since early July. The housing crisis in LA has exacerbated working conditions adding grueling commute times and high gas prices. 

The Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, representing over 60,000 hospitality service workers across Nevada including servers, housekeepers, bartenders, porters, and kitchen staff, are in contract negotiations with hotel and casino operators in Las Vegas.  

Organizing Tip of the Month 💡

Workers Can Still Build Power Without Majority Support by Thurman Wenzl

New From Our Blog 📧

What is the NLRB’s CEMEX decision, and will it make unionizing easier? by Amary Wiggin

Our latest researched blog post is an analysis of the NLRB’s CEMEX decision. Amary Wiggin discusses its far-reaching effects on labor organizing and how we can utilize this newly established precedent in our arsenal of tools to assert our rights, a six-minute read that is well worth your time!

Week in Labor History 📚

Oct. 5, 1976: The UAW ends a three-week strike against Ford Motor Co. when the company agrees to a contract that includes more vacation days and better retirement and unemployment benefits.

Solidarity,

Team EWOC

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