POSTPONED: 2020 Labor Notes Conference

April 17, 2020
Crowd of UTLA teachers on strike in January 2019
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Event at a Glance


April 17, 2020, 9:00 am


Hyatt Regency O'Hare: 9300 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Rosemont, IL

Conference Flyer

Dear friends,

We are deeply disappointed to announce that the 2020 Labor Notes Conference, scheduled to take place April 17-19 in Chicago, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark your calendar: The new date is April 16-18, 2021. Registration has not yet reopened.

If you were already registered for the 2020 Conference, see below for options on how we should handle your registration fee. We will honor all refund requests.

We made the hard choice to postpone the conference out of an obligation to do our part to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Numerous public health experts have pointed to the importance of social distancing measures to slow the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming the health care system.

Unfortunately, the very thing that makes the Labor Notes Conference so special—the horizontal exchange among labor activists who come from all over the country and across the world—makes it a public health danger right now. As we were drafting this message to you, the governor of Illinois made it official by banning all gatherings of over 1,000 people in the state until May 1.

Like many of you, we have been eagerly anticipating what was shaping up to be far and away the biggest Labor Notes Conference ever. The Conference is a vital dose of inspiration and a key site of exchanges among activists like you who are working hard to revitalize the labor movement.

It’s also our biggest source of revenue. We know that canceling the Labor Notes Conference was the right thing to do, but this decision is a serious blow to our budget. We are not only losing revenue but also incurring unanticipated expenses. If you registered for the conference or the banquet, we ask that you please consider making your registration a donation. If you can donate, your support is greatly appreciated.

Another option is to transfer your registration to the soon-to-be-rescheduled conference. You can also wait to fill out the form until you hear what the new date is. However, we will honor all refund requests. 

Click here to let us know how to handle your registration fee.

Click here to make an additional donation to Labor Notes.

We are still hoping that the next Labor Notes Conference will be our best ever. Last week, we were working on finalizing nearly 200 workshops and panels, featuring participants from many of the most exciting struggles of the last two years. We hope to offer many of the same workshops and speakers--and new ones too--when the conference does take place, and we hope that you will still join us. In the meantime, we are discussing alternative ways to organize these conversations, including online.

In solidarity,
Adrian, Al, Barbara, Bianca, Chris, Dan, Joe, Samantha, Saurav, and Zach

P.S. Below are some frequently asked questions. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please email conference[at]labornotes[dot]org so we can handle questions systematically. But if you need to speak to someone, you can call our New York office at 718-284-4144. Thanks and please take of yourselves!

Frequently Asked Questions

Conference registration. We will refund registrations upon request, though we ask that you consider converting your purchase to a donation to help us recoup costs, or carrying it over to the postponed date. Complete the form here to request a refund, donate, or carry your registration over. If you paid by credit card last fall, it is now too late to reverse the charge, but we can issue your refund by check.

Hotel reservations. Contact your hotel directly to cancel. If you booked at the conference or overflow hotels, you should not be charged.

Flights. Because of the crisis, major airlines are offering vouchers for flights canceled in March and April.

Program book ads and vendor tables. Please consider converting your purchase to a donation to help us recoup costs, or carrying it over to the postponed date. Refunds available. Email martha[at]labornotes[dot]org.

Rescheduled conference date. We don’t know yet. We are in negotiations with the hotel and will let you know as soon as we can.