Friday, 23 March 2012

Labor Notes Conference - May 2012


One of the greatest aspects of my job is having the time and space to look globally at how labour movements act to strengthen and stabilise their work. In this context I have always admired the work of the US-based organisation Labor Notes .

 They have consistently maintained a high-profile in support of rank and file campaigns to organise workers and promote workers' rights.

As their web-sites blurb states, Labor Notes is a media and organizing project that has been the voice of union activists who want to put the movement back in the labor movement since 1979.

Through our magazine, website, books, conferences and workshops, we promote organizing, aggressive strategies to fight concessions, alliances with workers’ centers, and unions that are run by their members.

Labor Notes is also a network of rank-and-file members, local union leaders, and labor activists who know the labor movement is worth fighting for. We encourage connections between workers in different unions, workers centers, communities, industries, and countries to strengthen the movement—from the bottom up.

That movement is needed because workers are being hit hard by their employers. We have lower real wages, less job security, and smaller, weaker unions than our mothers and fathers did.

The web-site and blog are well worth keeping an eye on to follow grassroots organising campaigns across the US ( 
and and I'd encourage you to consider buying some of their literature. The Troublemakers' Handbook by Jane Slaughter is known and respected internationally, and it is one of the many activities of Labor Notes that has often led me to ask of the UK trade union movement, 'why don't we do this?'. On that vein I am primarily posting this item to promote the forthcoming Labour Notes conference in May.

If I had the spare cash (it is in Chicago) and time I would definitely get myself over there. As usual the range of workshops and speakers is first class in offering a first class opportunity to learn from frontline organisers and of their campaigns.

If anybody does make it I would love to hear back from you. If nothing else though please make the Labor Notes website one of your Favourites, it certainly is one of mine.

In Solidarity


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