VIDEO: A Conversation on Rebuilding Power in Open-Shop America

"Right-to-work" laws and the Supreme Court's Janus decision don't have to mean game-over for unions.

In July, Labor Notes published an expanded special issue highlighting examples of how workers are building powerful unions despite a mandatory open shop—in schools, factories, buses, hospitals, oil refineries, grocery stores, post offices, and shipyards across the U.S.



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For this monthly video call, Labor Notes co-director Samantha Winslow spoke with union activists about the organizing principles and practical steps that have led to their unions not only surviving, but thriving in an open-shop environment. This event was held on Thursday, November 15.


  • Georgia Flowers-Lee is a rank-and-file activist in United Teachers of Los Angeles.
  • Patrick Green is president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1235 in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Amy Mizialko is president of the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association in Wisconsin.

Read the special issue. Purchase a bundle for your union or reading group.

Samantha Winslow is co-director of Labor