Fueling the struggle
A few labor highlights and updates from this week.
Hello, friends! It seems like there is always so much going on…
🚨 It’s not too late to sign up for more labor skills & organizing classes!
The Labor Education Service has 3 more skills classes open: one on data practices for organizing, one on arbitration, and one on knowing your rights at work.
Check out the courses and register here.
📜 We have a tentative teacher agreement!
Today, we woke up to news that MFT 59 and Minneapolis Public Schools reached a tentative agreement! The educators and ESPs will have to look at the deal and vote on it first before it becomes a reality.
It seemed they were working overnight…
…and the baristas making the coffee to keep you fueled up are also fighting for union recognition!
☕ Another local Starbucks is organizing
A third Twin Cities Starbucks has announced their organizing efforts and are filing for a union election. The first two have their election dates: Snelling Ave St. Paul store’s election start date is April 8, and the Cedar Ave Minneapolis store’s election starts April 11.
As a former Starbucks “partner” and barista myself, I reached out to a few workers to learn more about their organizing, work struggles, and growing consciousness. Food service and retail jobs like baristas tend to be occupied by younger people. A younger generation of progressive and diverse people are joining the workforce and discovering the false promises of working for the American dream. The baristas I talked to are aware that their working conditions belie Starbucks’ failing progressive brand and marketing, and they recognize the need to join a movement and act collectively for widespread change.
Read about the baristas here.
💟 The educators have received a lot of community support!
So many community groups and members expressed support for the educators on strike and helped them participate in collective action.
These awesome student activists came to support teachers on the picket lines.
Students from Patrick Henry High School gave their opinions on the strike for the Henry News Hour March 7!
🥫 Jae Yates from Community Aid Network Minnesota spoke on the importance of mutual aid in the labor movement:
“I and my co-founders started CAN-MN because we believe that basic necessities like food are a human right and that making sure the needs of our communities are met and the critical first step in creating the conditions for change…workers were largely abandoned during this pandemic and it was our community that stepped up during terrible conditions and nobody knows that better than our teachers. It’s easier for people to fight and be politically engaged when they know where their next meal is coming from, and that’s why we’re throwing our support behind this strike.
When we fight against bad working conditions and low wages, we all win.”
I visited CAN-MN’s mutual aid operation, where they packed and distributed orders from MFT as well as gave out free groceries to the public.
Check out their website on how to receive donations, make a donation, or volunteer shifts! If you know of any other groups providing for working people during times of need, let us know!
💸 Economic justice is social justice
In February, CTUL hosted an event in a series on worker voices for Black History Month on black worker power! Organizers Eric and Tate from the Future Fighters and Defensores programs talked with Ma-Riah Roberson Moody, the First Vice President of MFT 59’s ESP chapter, about what it means to have power in the workplace as a black worker.
🤝 Historic union merger in the Midwest
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and SEIU Local 199 are now SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa!
👀 Watch the KIMT3 News segment on the merger.
🗓️ Save the date: UALE’s Midwest School for Women Workers!
Registration opens today! Learn more and register here.
🗓️ Mark your calendars
The MN AFL-CIO Retiree Council has announced an in-person fundraiser for August 20!
The event will draw a crowd of retired workers, families and friends to the Sheet Metal Workers Local 10 Hall, 1610 Cope Ave., Maplewood, MN 55109. Attractions include delicious free foods, live music, games, a silent auction, hourly drawings for prizes and the pleasure of good company.
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Spring is here! We are each other’s harvest.