Over the past year, EWOC had its busiest year yet with some truly extraordinary organizing wins. These include EWOC’s direct support in 14 successful union recognition wins and 15 more workplaces currently in a union drive. We’ve also connected 65 workplace campaigns and represented more than 7,000 workers to outside unions.
Growth in 2023
EWOC has also supported workers in
- Taking one form of collective action at 447 workplaces
- Winning demands at 47 pre-union workplaces
- Marching on the boss at 17 workplaces
- Striking at two workplaces
EWOC accomplished these wins by mobilizing our volunteers in 2023
- 200 EWOC volunteer organizers supported worker organizers
- 67 EWOC volunteers made worker intake calls, guaranteeing that every worker who reached out to us received a call within 48 hours
- 75 EWOC volunteers took on the role of support organizers. These are typically organizers with decades of experience, who mentor younger organizers working on EWOC campaigns.
Our 2023 Campaigns
These are some of the incredible stories from campaigns in 2023.
- Residents at Beth-Israel Deaconess hospital in Boston ran a petition campaign with support from EWOC volunteers. That campaign garnered a supermajority of signatures in less than a week, and management conceded to the overwhelming pressure. They won a $10,000-per-year housing stipend and additional benefits for the 700 residents on staff.
- Twenty-six workers at a Juiceland warehouse in Austin, Texas, won a $2-per-hour pay increase after marching on their boss.
- Workers at The Basement, an escape room in Los Angeles, worked with EWOC volunteers to learn the foundations of organizing. They then went on to work with Actors Equity and become the first unionized escape room in the U.S.
- In New York City, workers at Hex&Co., a gaming cafe, worked with EWOC volunteers for more than a year to develop organizing skills before connecting with a union. Their successful union drive with Workers United sparked a wave of game store union organizing across New York City. Two more stores have since announced union drives.
- In Princeton, New Jersey, 19 workers at Labyrinth Books, an independent bookstore, are unionizing with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) after working with EWOC for over a year to develop their organizing skills.
- Workers at Barboncino in Brooklyn worked with EWOC volunteers one-on-one over the course of many months. They learned and applied their organizing skills to become the first unionized pizzeria in New York City. Leaders from this campaign have even become organizing volunteers with EWOC. They use their experience and skills to support other service workers interested in organizing across the city.
2023 Special Events
In addition to EWOC’s organizing support, we had a record year of training. About 480 workers participated in our foundational training program. This four-week program runs six times a year at no cost to participants. We also put on two “Train the Trainers” events, growing from 10 to 55 foundational program facilitators. This has greatly helped expand our capacity to support workers interested in our training.
In 2023, EWOC launched a fellowship program designed as a follow-up to the foundational training, specifically for workers engaged in ongoing workplace campaigns. Participants were invited to apply with their co-workers. We welcomed 49 participants split into four cohort sessions, each lasting six weeks.
EWOC also put on a number of events in 2023. We discussed many labor topics, including salting, corporate research and power mapping, the Cemex decision, and organizing in remote workplaces. Jane MacAlevey joined EWOC for training on winning a first contract, and members of UAWD and TDU came to speak about the power of strikes and contract campaigns. Adam Conover attended an EWOC volunteer call and gave us a shout-out on his show.
In 2023, EWOC released a 26-part video series entitled “Unionizing 101.” These short videos were designed to make unionizing accessible and fun. They broke down core organizing questions like leader identification, power mapping, and more! These videos have more than 6,000 views on YouTube alone.