View this email in your browser


  • Irish Retail Workers Strike for Secure Hours
  • Making Buses Safer
  • The Racist Pioneer of Right-to-Work Laws
  • Got a Story Idea for Labor Notes?
  • Keep in Touch
Irish Retail Workers Strike for Secure Hours

In Ireland the retail sector employs 1 in 7 workers—and their fight for a living wage, secure hours, and union rights is heating up. Recent strikes at the country’s largest private sector employers, Tesco and Dunnes, have grabbed headlines and working-class support.

British-based retailer Tesco is the biggest. Workers struck 16 of its 149 stores in February after managers threatened to slash wages unilaterally for the longest-serving workers, as part of a union-busting operation ominously referred to as “Project Black.”


Making Buses Safer

After two passengers died in a horrific stabbing on a train in Portland, Oregon, the transit agency upped police presence. But the union is pushing for a different solution.

The May 26 incident began with a man yelling racist slurs at two young women of color. When three passengers defended the women, the man stabbed them.

Transit (ATU) Local 757 President Shirley Block, a longtime bus driver, believes the day could have ended differently. For months TriMet had been resisting the union’s proposals to revive two positions—Fare Inspector and Rider Advocate—that would staff trains and buses with union members equipped to deescalate conflicts, answer questions, and call for help in a crisis.


The Racist Pioneer of Right to Work

As right-to-work laws proliferate, it's worth remembering that they originated as a means to maintain Jim Crow labor relations in the South and to beat back what was seen as a Jewish conspiracy.

No one was more important in placing right-to-work on the conservative political agenda than Vance Muse of the Christian American Association, a larger-than-life Texan whose own grandson described him as “a white supremacist, an anti-Semite, and a Communist-baiter, a man who beat on labor unions not on behalf of working people, as he said, but because he was paid to do so.”


Got a Story Idea for Labor Notes?

Are you walking the picket lines this summer? Got a difficult fight on your hands--or a new victory under your belt?

When you discover a good tactic, uncover a problem, or win a righteous fight, we want to help you share the news! Thousands of readers in other workplaces can put the information to use. Email


Our newest book, Secrets of a Successful Organizer, $15, is a step-by-step guide to building power on the job. You’ll learn to build campaigns to tackle the key issues in your workplace, anticipate management’s tricks and traps, and inspire your co-workers to stand together despite their fears.

Download free handouts from the book for study groups or trainings.

Invite a Labor Notes trainer or adviser to visit your union. Our expertise ranges from steward basics to contract campaigns to new officers taking over a local to the Secrets of a Successful Organizer. Email or call 718-284-4144.
Subscribe to Labor Notes magazine, $30 for 12 months of practical information, success stories, and labor movement news and analysis.

Better yet, boost your subscription to a bundle. Many individuals and locals get five to 200 copies every month to hand out to co-workers, stewards, staff, or officers. To set it up, email

Write for Labor NotesWhen you discover a good tactic, uncover a problem, or win a righteous fight, we want to help you share the news! Thousands of readers in other workplaces can put the information to use. Email or call 718-284-4144.
Copyright © 2017 Labor Notes, All rights reserved.

Do you no longer want to hear from us?
Click here to unsubscribe <<First Name>> <<Last Name>> from all future Labor Notes emails.

Do you just want to hear from us a little less frequently?
Click here to quit receiving this weekly newsletter.

Did someone forward you this message?
Click here to sign up for our Friday email newsletter.

Questions or concerns?
Email Labor Notes Editor Alexandra Bradbury at,