Upcoming Events 🗓
Join the Democratic Socialist Labor Commission this Sunday, April 10, at 7 p.m. ET for “Unions and You!” Hear how you can be a part of revitalizing socialist politics in America and celebrate the launch of The Rank-and-File Strategy, a new guide to working in the labor movement. Register here today!
The Labor Notes Conference is the largest gathering of union troublemakers around, and EWOC wants you to be a part of it. Let us know if you’re planning to attend by filling out this form. The conference is June 17–19, 2022, in Chicago. The Labor Notes Conference is a great opportunity to build relationships with other rank and file labor activists and unions and attend educational and informative panels. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!
Last Friday, workers at the Amazon JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island voted to unionize with the independent Amazon Labor Union (ALU). The campaign to unionize the 7,500 worker warehouse has been ongoing for more than two years, against intense union-busting from the company.
This victory is, quite simply, stunning. Amazon is one of the largest, richest, and most powerful corporations in the world. Its influence on the world economy is greater than most countries, and it enjoys close relationships with powerful figures in politics and government. For years, they’ve used their immense resources to crush any attempts to organize with aggressive and brutal anti-union tactics. The ALU’s win in the face of these obstacles is a seismic event for organized labor. It is the biggest new organizing success at the National Labor Relations Board in over 50 years, and it represents one of the most significant union breakthroughs in a generation, if not more. The full implications of the win, as well as what comes next in the fight for worker power at Amazon remain to be seen, but the impact of the yes vote is already widely felt across the labor movement. It has redefined what is considered possible in the world of workplace organizing, in a way not seen for many, many years.
The outlook for the working class can often appear bleak. Capital is more powerful than it has ever been, while union density remains far too low. It is easy to feel that we are powerless, too alienated from each other to make any kind of difference. But giving into despair and accepting defeat is exactly what the bosses want. As Amazon workers just proved, it is never truly hopeless. No corporation, no billionaire, no capitalist is invincible, and when workers stand together, no matter how impossible it may seem, we can win.
World of Work 🌍
AL: The other major unionization effort at Amazon in Bessemer concluded voting last week. The count currently stands at 875 in favor of joining RWDSU vs. 993 against; however, there are still 416 challenged ballots left to be counted, which will determine the final outcome.
NY: Staffers at Conde Nast announced that they are forming a company-wide union with the NewsGuild of New York.
FL: Weeks after crying foul over pay hikes for administrative staff, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus drivers and other union employees are getting raises that’ll give them some of the highest salaries in Florida.
New From Our Blog 📧
Union organizing has become both necessary and cool. Can the surge be sustained, and what will it take? Labor Notes’ Ellen David Friedman examines the current moment on the EWOC blog.
Week in Labor History 📚
March 31, 1963: The 1962–1963 New York City Newspaper Strike was a strike action within the newspaper industry of New York which ran from Dec. 8, 1962, until March 31, 1963, lasting for a total of 114 days.
Share Your EWOC Story
Did you reach out to EWOC for support organizing your workplace or use our resources to organize your workplace? Have you gone through our workplace organizer training series? We want you to share your EWOC story! By sharing how EWOC helped you, you can help inspire workers, volunteers, and organizers across the country to reach out to us for support and get involved in the labor movement. Just a few sentences about your experience can help us connect with more people. Share your story here today!