It’s International Workers’ Day, whether the bosses want or not
Upcoming Events 🗓
Building a Fighting Labor Movement: A conversation with UAWD and TDU activists
Join us on May 3, 2023, 8-9pm EDT for a panel discussion on how to win contract battles and build a fighting labor movement, followed by an audience Q&A period, 9:00-9:30 PM.
The Teamsters’ UPS contract, expiring July 31, is the largest private sector union contract in the US, covering 340,000 Teamsters. The union aims to eliminate their two-tier wage structure. The United Auto Workers (UAW) Big Three contracts, expiring September 14, cover 150,000 UAW members at Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. Workers hope to eliminate the tiered wage structure and extended temporary status of new members. Both the Teamsters and UAW presidents are members of grassroots caucuses working to rebuild rank-and-file union power: Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) is a 47-year-old organization, and Unite All Workers for Democracy (UAWD) formed in 2019.
Our four panelists are: Scott Houldieson, UAWD chair; Shunte Sanders-Beasley, UAWD member and VP of UAW Local 869 at Stellantis’ Warren Stamping Plant; Antonio Rosario, a long-time TDU activist and Lead Organizer with IBT; and Carey Dall, Organizing Director for the Teamsters’ BMWED for seven years, now back at ILWU.
May is a big month in the history of the labor movement, and a great time to join it! EWOC’s Foundational Training Series is a perfect place to start. Sessions run weekly on Thursdays from May 4th until May 25!
If you want to organize your workplace but don’t know where to start, or if you would like to support others organizing their workplaces, this training is for you. In four 90 minute sessions, we will discuss how workers can unite to address issues at their workplaces, and how to begin the process of unionization. You will learn how to approach coworkers, build a team of organizers among them, and develop a campaign.
You will meet other workers who are organizing. You will learn helpful tools, practices, and principles for winning workplace improvements and a voice in your workplace. You will learn how to prepare yourself and your coworkers to take collective action. The course covers how you can build, from scratch, a democratic organization of coworkers that can negotiate with the boss over working conditions.
This week we are launching our Spring Forward fundraiser! We’re raising $15,000 which will enable us to hire one more staff organizer this year, and most importantly, to keep supporting more workers in their fights to organize their workplaces. Along with a virtual strike fund raffle, we will be hosting local events inNYC, Chicago, and the East Bayin California. Look out for an email later this week with all the details, or visit the link.
It’s May Day — and, after many decades of one-sided class war, we’re finally seeing some real movement in the labor movement. Reformers committed to rebuilding strong, militant unions have been elected to lead the United Auto Workers and the Teamsters. Unionization drives continue to pop off among baristas, retail workers, grad students, journalists, and in health care. Everywhere you look, you can find workers saying, “If they did it there, we can do it here too.”
Labor’s opponents aren’t happy about this increase in worker-led unionism. The notorious union-busting firm Littler Mendelson recently sounded the alarm:
“There has been a shift in how people are organizing together to petition for representation. What was once a top-down approach, whereby the union would seek out a group of individuals, has flipped entirely. Now, individuals are banding together to form grassroots organizing movements where individual employees are the ones to invite the labor organization to assist them in their pursuit to be represented.”
EWOC, with all your support and effort, is one of the most important and innovative efforts fostering this bottom-up push for working-class power. So for International Workers Day, let’s celebrate our side’s recent wins — and, most importantly, let’s prepare for the big battles that lie ahead.
– Eric Blanc
Tech Workers Are Under Attack
Tech jobs are under attack. Over the past several months, tech companies have laid off hundreds of thousands of workers. Across the industry, workers are experiencing longer hours, seeing benefits slashed, and taking on more work to compensate for lost coworkers. Many tech companies are using the threat of more layoffs to increase precarity and project false scarcity. Management is enforcing dominance and driving down labor costs to increase profits flowing to the top. Now is the time for tech workers to forge the militancy their siblings in labor have stoked for decades.
In light of this new paradigm for tech workers, EWOC is building a program to support unionizing in tech. To date this program has touched young campaigns at many influential tech companies and we’re ready for more. This is just the beginning.
Crew members at four Trader Joe’s stores have now voted to unionize, with more on the way.
But Trader Joe’s, which cultivates a progressive brand, has rolled out intense union-busting campaigns at every store that’s filed for a union election, and refuses to bargain in good faith with its workers.
This movement is not going away. Trader Joe’s crew members have watched the company culture change from one that values its workers with good pay, benefits, and atmosphere to a company with increasing turnover, declining benefits, and stagnating wages.
Instead of supporting workers’ right to organize, Trader Joe’s has doubled down on union-busting — using the same tactics as companies like Amazon and Starbucks.
Trader Joe’s United needs your help to force Trader Joe’s to stop union busting and live up to the company’s own “number one core value” — integrity.
May 1, 1886 –Thousands of workers in Chicago and nationwide go on strike to demand an eight-hour workday. Within two days, police mobilize and fire on strikers, initiating clashes which culminate in the detonation of a grenade, and ultimately the spurious prosecution of eight labor and anarchist activists. In honor of these activists, the Second Internationale designates a labor holiday on May Day, planting the seeds for what is now celebrated across the world as International Workers’ Day.
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 what they deserve. Click here to make a contribution that will help fund our work.
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