Onward into 2023

Image: EWOC volunteers meet to celebrate labor’s wins in 2022

2022 was a momentous year for the labor movement. 

We saw workers across the economy strike for better contracts. And we saw workers form new unions against the odds, in historic wins at Condé Nast, Trader Joe’s, and Apple, just to name a few. 

We watched the Chicago Teachers Union fight to keep students and teachers safe and the ongoing revival of militancy and solidarity in legacy unions like the United Auto Workers and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. We watched the organizing wave across hundreds of Starbucks stores; the unionization of thousands of tech, nonprofit, and publishing workers; and the victory of the Amazon Labor Union in Staten Island.

We can’t know exactly what to expect in 2023. But based on 2022, one thing is clear: worker organizing is back, and it’s here to stay.

This year will bring further battles, both further victories and further defeats. EWOC will continue to help fight those battles, wherever and whenever they might be, always building worker power and solidarity.


World of Work 🌍

U.S.: The National Labor Relations Board issued a decision returning to a previous standard for determining bargaining unit size. The decision will make it harder for bosses to expand bargaining units and allow more small shops to organize for recognition and power.

Tennessee: Latino immigrant kitchen workers and a multiracial group of servers walked out at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Brentwood on Saturday, Jan. 14. 

California: Employees at the North Davis Peet’s Coffee store in Sacramento voted 14–1 to unionize with Service Employees International Union Local 1021, Peet’s Workers United announced Friday in social media posts.

Arizona: The Starbucks Workers United strike wave was kept alive by a walkout in Tucson this month. “We are striking to bring attention to Starbucks’ ongoing unfair labor practices and its continued union-busting activities,” said barista Ivan Modesto.

New From Our Blog 📧

In the second entry of EWOC’s Working Class Hero of the Week blog series, we look at the life and work of Lucy Parsons, an early American socialist organizer and an important figure in labor history.

Week in Labor History 📚

Feb. 12, 1968: More than 1,300 sanitation workers represented by AFSCME local 1733 begin striking in Memphis, Tennessee. The strike began after two union workers were killed on the job and ultimately lasted for 64 days. It is best remembered today for the involvement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated while visiting Memphis to support the workers. In the end, the union won several important concessions from the city, and the strike remains a turning point for labor activism in Tennessee.



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