The 2022 Labor Notes Conference, a gathering of “troublemakers” and labor activists from across the United States and beyond, took place in Chicago during a mild mid-June weekend. Attendance was a jam-packed whirlwind of panels, workshops, training sessions, and socials. Over 4,000 organizers and activists commingled – including educators, baristas, newsroom workers, Amazon warehouse organizers, and Teamsters.
Labor Notes marked an unforgettable four days of learning, connecting, and building solidarity between wildly diverse groups, and the lessons I learned from comrades across the country will stick with me for years to come.
Try to gain some insight into the size of the court organism and how, to some extent, it remains in a state of suspension, and that even if you alter something in one place you’ll draw the ground out from under your feet and might fall—whereas if an enormous organism like the court is disrupted in any one place, it finds it easy to provide a substitute for itself somewhere else.
Franz Kafka, The Trial
The Supreme Court’s last term ended with a batch of extreme right-wing opinions. The Roberts Court has lurched sharply to the right, but the Supreme Court’s fidelity to conservative elites is nothing new. Of all the counter-majoritarian mechanisms in our constitutional system (Senate, Electoral College, etc.), none has protected the minority of the opulent as reliably as the Supreme Court has. The only way to protect our rights is through mass mobilization outside of the legal system.
July 17, 2022 – Barely one month after winning their union election, Starbucks workers at Howell Mill are still fighting to have their voices heard by corporate. Early Sunday morning, partners went on strike against management’s refusal to respond to bargaining requests, retaliation in the form of cut hours, and unfair working conditions.
July 13th, 2022 – As the clock struck 7:00 AM early Wednesday morning, 15 Amazon warehouse workers walked out of the DTG5 Amazon fulfillment center in Doraville, Georgia just halfway through their Prime Day shift. Workers exited the facility in protest of management disregarding a petition signed by 60 warehouse employees demanding a $3 wage increase, more paid time off (PTO), and extended break time.
As workers gathered in the parking lot, they were met by excited supporters from Atlanta DSA, Unite Here, and Atlanta Starbucks Workers United—who recently won their own union victories at the Ansley Mall and Howell Mill Starbucks locations. Music blared as workers chanted and made signs calling for fair pay and dignity at work, while supporters set up breakfast and coffee on a folding table out front of the building.