Strikes by unorganized workers led to the founding of unions. Strikes won the first union contracts. Strikes over the years won bigger paychecks, vacations, seniority rights, and the right to tell the foreman “that’s not my job.” Without strikes we would have no labor movement, no unions, no contracts, and a far worse working and living situation.
In short, strikes are the strongest tool in workers’ toolbox—our power not just to ask, but to force our employers to concede something.
This special expanded issue of Labor Notes is a manual on how to strike and win. Contents include:
Are there problems where you work? Maybe your pay is too low, conditions are unsafe, or your boss has it in for someone you work with... and you’re ready to do something about it.
This book will show you how to fight back where you work and win. You’ll learn how to identify the key issues in your workplace, build campaigns to tackle them, anticipate management’s tricks and traps, and inspire your co-workers to stand together despite their fears.
We've distilled generations of organizing know-how into 47 easily accessible secrets. Put them all together and you've got a step-by-step guide to building power on the job.
In less than two years, newly-elected leaders transformed the 27,000-member Chicago Teachers Union. Learn how they organized as rank-and-file members then ran for office to chart a new direction for their union.
This book details how the engaged thousands of members to tackle problems on the job and to build a stewards network that became the backbone of their 2012 citywide strike. Find out how they worked with their communities, trained new leaders, and ran a contract campaign that became a model for unions across the country.
Do you want to know how to run your local union more effectively or how to get more members involved? Democracy Is Power, by Mike Parker and Martha Gruelle, provides a blueprint for building a member-driven union. They demonstrate what member control really looks like, and why it is crucial to labor's future.
With a focus on union activity in the workplace, the authors describe democratic approaches to contracts, grievances, communications, and leaders’ relationship with members. They shine a revealing light on democratic union culture, yet also address the more obvious parts of democracy, like elections and bylaws.
Democracy Is Power will be an important resource for anyone active in reforming their own union, whether as a rank and file member or as a local officer.
Just cause is the keystone of the union contract, protecting members from unwarranted and excessive discipline. But up to now many of its most important secrets have been restricted to arbitrators and labor professionals.
In Just Cause: A Union Guide to Winning Discipline Cases, veteran labor lawyer Robert M. Schwartz—best-selling author of he Legal Rights of Union Stewards—offers a step-by-step guide filled with advice, practical tips, and winning techniques. Grievance representatives can use these methods to compose compelling arguments. Many unions use Just Cause every day to save workers’ jobs and build solidarity.
Topics covered include: Requesting information; Due process; Double jeopardy; Disparate treatment; Hearsay; Zero-tolerance rules; Last chance agreements; Off-duty misconduct; Negligence; Sexual harassment; Sleeping on the job; Dishonesty; and Presenting grievances.
If the union movement is going to find its way back from the wilderness, it will depend on new leaders. Where will we find them? Shop floor activists are the raw material for labor's revival.
Our movement needs thousands more stewards with the skills, confidence, and authority to stand up.
The Steward's Toolbox, edited by Labor Notes editor Mischa Gaus, is a how-to resource guide that gives stewards, union activists, and leaders new and old the skills and orientation they need. Bringing together five years' worth of knowledge from the pages of Labor Notes magazine, the book offers eight chapters full of experience and advice on everything from how to defend past practices to how to build a successful coalition to defeat privatization. 235 pages.
This oversize manual is for workers who want to take control over their lives at work. In hundreds of first-person accounts, workers tell in their own words how they did just that.
The stories run from how to ridicule a pompous boss to a years-long campaign against a multinational corporation. The workplaces represented include factory and white collar, public and private, in the U.S. and Canada.
Each chapter ends with questions designed to get you thinking strategically about how to apply what you've read in your workplace.
Bundle of 50 copies for $30, or 100 copies or $50. For this special expanded issue of Labor Notes (July 2018) we talked to workers who 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.
This guide reveals the principles and practical steps behind their successes. Packed with info, exercises, and tips, it's a great tool to share with union stewards, board members, or rank-and-file activists.
The FMLA Handbook, by union attorney Robert M. Schwartz, explains the rights of employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), including:
- The right to be absent for up to sixty days each year if you are unable to work because of a serious health condition.
- The right to be absent to care for a family member such as a parent with a stroke, a husband who suffers a nervous breakdown, or a child who is too ill to go to school.
- The right to take twelve weeks leave for child birth, adoption, or in order to care for a child under one year of age.
This book explains the powerful labor relations principle of past practice. It assists union representatives in identifying past practice violations, investigating grievances, making presentations, evaluating whether to file for arbitration, and filing labor board charges.
It answers dozens of critical questions, including: What are the five requirements necessary to establish a past practice? Must a practice exist throughout the workplace? Must a past practice be jointly established? and Is a new owner required to respect a past practice?