The labor movements in the U.S. and in many countries around the world have been facing a crisis of decline for decades. As unions lose members and strength, wealth inequality has increased and the agenda of neoliberal austerity has become the norm. However, for many years Labor Notes has been a valuable guide to help the movement reverse its decline.
Labor Notes is a monthly newsletter that has covered the labor movement and workers’ issues since 1979. But it’s also so much more. It has long served as the de facto coordinator for the large community of labor activists who want a stronger, militant and more democratic labor movement. Labor Notes also publishes books on labor and organizing and conducts regular Troublemaker Schools around the country with workshops on grassroots unionism.
The bi-annual conferences are the largest gathering of labor activists and allies in the U.S and the 2016 conference in Chicago in April was as exciting as usual. The agenda included a vast array of nuts-and-bolts workshops on every aspect of workplace organizing as well as discussions on labor history, international labor, and contemporary movements on the Left. This year’s conference coincided with the Chicago Teachers Union’s dramatic one day strike on April 1, and many conference participants marched in solidarity. At this conference, Labor Notes also released its newest book on organizing, Secrets of a Successful Organizer. Many participants left the conference with renewed enthusiasm and a better appreciation for the energy and strength in the movement.
For union members, labor activists, or any worker who wants to organize to improve conditions on the job, Labor Notes is an essential resource. Labor needs many more skilled, class-conscious unionists and solidarity activists. Join this community and let’s rebuild this movement!