The Path Forward

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Upcoming Events 🗓

Join EWOC at Labor Notes! We are still looking for volunteers during the Labor Notes conference in Chicago June 17-19! Volunteers will take on a wide range of tasks including tabling, social media, and helping plan the EWOC social. Sign up to volunteer here today, and come hang out with us at the EWOC Labor Notes social Saturday, June 18th at 9:00PM!

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In an In These Times piece last week, Alan Hanson, organizing director for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, explained a new development. ​“The checklist that staff organizers have — get a list, identify leaders… workers are coming to us and they have already done all of that,” he says. “I haven’t had four successful worker-generated organizing campaigns in my entire career and we just had four in four months.”

What’s behind recent labor breakthroughs? The organizing in Amazon warehouses and Starbucks cafes shows that it’s the unleashed energy, creativity, and wisdom of rank-and-file workers. ALU and SBWU organizers won by coming together to fight for each other, relying on their smarts and their instincts. They sometimes broke from traditional organizing conventions when they did not suit their campaigns. They built camaraderie while deftly harnessing momentum. They demonstrated how powerful the ideas of labor militancy and democracy are in action.

They’re showing the path forward, toward the labor movement we want. This movement stretches far beyond those two corporations, and of course, the fight does not end with winning a union, or even a fair contract: building workplace power is a continuous project demanding ongoing vigilance. Right now, the workers who have achieved what recently seemed impossible at Starbucks and Amazon are still fighting– for a contract, for better wages and conditions, for an end to union-busting, for a voice. To win the next battles and the next demands, they will need us, and we will need them. Solidarity never ends.

Image: Amazon and Starbucks worker organizers at the White House

World of Work 🌍

NJ – Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bellmawr walked off the job last week, protesting a move by the company that would force many of them to commute much farther away for work. In the words of one of the workers who organized the walkout, “the company is treating us like warehouse machinery that they can just pack up and move.”

NY – As the Starbucks organizing wave continues to sweep the country, the company has announced it will be closing a recently unionized store in Ithaca. Workers United has filed a complaint with the NLRB, and the workers themselves are fighting to keep their jobs and union. Starbucks won’t get away with retaliating like this,” one of the store’s workers said in a statement. “Whatever it takes, however long it may take, we will persevere.”

Week in Labor History 📚

June 6, 1988 – Black workers in South Africa launch a nationwide strike to defend labor rights and fight back against apartheid.

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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