Labor Notes ‘Trouble Makers School’ on Sept. 27 in Gainesville

Putting the movement back in the labor movement

by Candi Churchill

Several local organizers attended the Labor Notes bi-annual conference in April and felt fired up with new skills and inspiration to work harder to “put the movement back in the labor movement” (Labor Notes’ slogan).

Joey Brenner, Lauren Byers, Joe Courter, Marie Dino, Kendra Vincent and I attended the conference in Chicago with over 2,000 attendees (the largest ever!).

We learned and shared organizing lessons with dock and fast food strikers, bold teacher unionists and students from Chicago and Portland who are changing the national debate around public education, postal worker union leaders fighting privatization with aggressive tactics like protesting Staples, transportation workers rebuilding their worksite base, and many more ordinary people struggling to make things better.

In May, a Planning Committee was formed to host our own “Trouble Makers School.” We want to hear from you — whether you are in a union or not — about what you want to learn or figure out for your own organizing, and we want you to bring co-workers, classmates, and family to our school!

Ideas for sessions include discussing “big picture” strategy, as well as practical skill building. Some suggested topics: “Beating Apathy,” “Open Bargaining,” “Aggressive Grievance Handling,” “How to Get your Message Out,” “Building a Stewards Network,” “Local Community-Labor Campaigns that are Winning!” as well as discussing how organized labor can move our own agenda in this state no matter who is office. RSVP to or 352-281-7454.

The Trouble Makers School will be held Saturday, Sept. 27 at UF’s Pugh Hall from 9am–5pm. Registration is $20, low-income or student rate $10. We will provide lunch and childcare. Registration opens up in July!

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