Alexandra Bradbury

For Volkswagen workers organizing in Tennessee, it’s been a roller coaster of a year. The latest upbeat twist is a new United Auto Workers local in Chattanooga.

Generation Temp: Auto Workers March for Civil Rights Again


“There’s a man inside that factory named Mr. Jerry,” explained Nissan worker Mock Morris before he began to sing. “Mr. Jerry! He’s head of security inside the factory. Ain’t gonna let Mr. Jerry—

—turn me around, turn me around, turn me around…” The crowd instantly took up the civil rights hymn.

It was no surprise they knew the tune. Some were alumni of Freedom Summer. Others were a new generation of student activists. Together they marked the anniversary with a conference and a June 27 rally at the Nissan assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi.

When months-long wait times for veteran health care burst into the headlines, corporate apologists had their solutions all ready to push.

Privatize the hospitals and give veterans a voucher to buy private insurance, crowed the Wall Street Journal, Fox, and Forbes, gleeful at the chance to mention Veterans Affairs and “scandal” in the same sentence.

If members run the local... what exactly is the union rep's job? We asked four experienced staffers how they approach their day-to-day tasks while keeping the rank and file in the driver’s seat.

Postal workers rallied in 56 locations around the country protesting the piecemeal outsourcing of postal work. They've gained an important ally: teachers, who are big buyers of office supplies.

“I didn’t know going on strike would feel so liberating,” 25-year-old McDonald’s worker Jessica Davis of Chicago declared in the Labor Notes Conference's opening session. “I can’t wait for the next strike!”

We troublemakers keep hoping for the spark that will set a wildfire of workers in motion, like in 1937. But that takes legions of skilled, far-sighted activists. Unions' job is to train them up—through everyday struggles in the workplace.

The point is to close more post offices—and minimize public outcry. Will customers take the bait?