Striketober: Prepare for the strike wave — Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee

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From healthcare to Hollywood, labor unrest is on the rise in America.

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Upcoming Events 🗓

  • EWOC’s Workplace Organizer Training Series is here again! The six-session program will cover many fundamental workplace organizing practices like Mapping and Charting a Workplace, Leader Identification, Building an Organizing Committee, Organizing Conversations, Inoculation and Preparing for Boss Campaigns, Escalating Campaign Strategy, and Taking Public Action on the Boss. The first sessions will be held Wednesday, October 6th and Sunday, October 10th. Register today!
  • New to EWOC? Looking to get more active? Come to our New Volunteer Meeting this Tuesday at 8:00 PM EST! Meet other new volunteers and learn about different ways to get involved. Register in advance here.
  • EWOC’s phone bank team is looking for volunteers! Our phone bankers have supported campaigns by graduate workers at Indiana University and MIT, as well as public sector health workers in North Carolina. Fill out this form if you’re interested in helping to build out this team: https://airtable.com/shrsX5Lags0I8KNuh 
  • Join us next Tuesday, October 12 at 8:00 PM EST for a panel discussion on the recent history of United Auto Workers (UAW), and the upcoming one member, one vote referendum. We’ll hear from Kate Aronoff (The New Republic, A Planet to Win), Jane Slaughter (Labor Notes, Secrets of a Successful Organizer), Lisa Xu (UAWD, DSA, and former UAW member), and Chris Viola (UAW, DSA, UAWD, and electric vehicle assembly worker). The event will be a great way to learn about union organizing, union democracy, and winning the Green New Deal. Register today!

From healthcare to Hollywood, labor unrest is on the rise in America. Thousands of workers are actively on strike, and tens of thousands more could join them in the coming weeks. Others are simply quitting their jobs entirely. Workers have seen their wages stagnate and their working conditions worsen for years, but has been accelerated by the COVID pandemic, which has forced workers everywhere to put their very lives in danger, usually for low pay.

 

There seems to be an awakening happening in American labor. People are realizing their power as workers, and are beginning to organize and exercise that power on a scale we’ve not seen for a very long time. The current wave of strikes is likely just the beginning. Our fight, the fight of the working class, will continue for years to come.

This is why a grassroots, people-powered organization like EWOC is so important. As more and more people organize for power in their workplaces, they will need our support and our solidarity. Please help us to continue building this project, to ensure that workers have the resources and the help they need, whenever and wherever they’re ready to fight.

Photo: Crystal Kan, a storyboard artist, draws signs on union members’ cars during a rally at the Motion Picture Editors Guild IATSE Local 700 on Sunday in Los Angeles. Photograph: Myung J Chun/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock

World of Work 🌍

USA – Film and TV workers represented by IATSE voted over the weekend to go on strike, TKTK BASED ON THE MONDAY NEWS. Here’s a brief history of IATSE’s grievances with the notoriously grueling working conditions.

 

KY – The Heaven Hill distillery workers’ strike is entering its fourth week, as leaders of UFCW Local 23D urge the company to return to the negotiating table. Employees of this $500 million distillery are protesting cuts to overtime and unfair scheduling that would have them working up to seven days a week.

 

WA – The Northwest Carpenters Union strike is entering its third week, with 2,000 workers fighting for higher pay in the Seattle area after years of discontent over soaring living costs. The NWCU is negotiating a new tentative agreement this week, which will be the fifth attempt since negotiations began.

 

CA – After making billions in profits this year, Kaiser Permanente is facing the ire of its overworked, underpaid staff, leading to hundreds of engineers striking for a fair contract outside its Oakland, CA offices. Meanwhile, 24,000 nurses and healthcare workers are prepared to walk off the job if an agreement isn’t reached with Kaiser by Thursday.

 

US & UK – This podcast from Reasons to Be Cheerful explores the use of algorithms in the workplace led by Amazon, and the health and safety issues that arise from it.

US – The new Netflix series Maid, based on the best-selling memoir by Stephanie Land, details the struggles of a single mom who works a series of underpaid, precarious jobs while navigating the country’s labyrinthine social safety net. 

New From Our Blog 🗣

Mandatory anti-union meetings have been a standard union-busting tactic for years. For our blog, we broke down how to tell if you’re in one, what you can expect, and how the PRO Act would make them illegal. Read the post here.

We talk about EWOC’s model for increasing union power, and whether or not an app can help. Read the full post here.

Solidarity,

Team EWOC

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 protections during COVID-19. Click here to make a contribution that will help fund our work.

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