Register Now for the Labor Notes April 2008 Conference!
“Rebuilding Labor’s Power”
April 11-13 2008 in Dearborn, Michigan
CONFERENCE THEMES INCLUDE
Workplace: Winning power on the job, shop floor organizing and resisting workplace
Fighting Concessions: While many companies cry broke we will explore what we can do to
fight back rather than give back.
Organizing: Organizing strategies that work to increase our numbers.
Health Care Now: How can labor respond to the problem of the U.S.’ broken health care
Labor and Politics: What will it take to rebuild labor's political muscle?
Rebuilding the Labor Movement from the Bottom Up: Organizing for revival from below,
connecting with worker centers and non-majority unions and building practical
Immigrant Rights: How can the labor movement deepen our alliances with workers fighting
for a right to live and work free of government harassment and employer intimidation?
International Solidarity vs. Competition: Overcoming the race to the bottom by building
solidarity across borders.
CONFIRMED MAIN SESSION SPEAKERS (list in progress):
Rose Ann DeMoro, Executive Director of the California Nurses Association. Rose Ann says,
“Labor must be in the forefront of the broad social movement we need to win single-payer
health care reform. For unions, it is the only solution to the escalating employer
demands for health care takeaways and cost shifting, and the best way to fight
outsourcing of jobs to other countries. The California Nurses Association/National Nurses
Organizing Committee is a longtime critic of corporate, insurance-based medical care and
incremental reforms. We look forward to working with other labor activists at the Labor
Notes Conference on this fundamental campaign.”
Robert Whiteside, bargaining chair for UAW Local 3520 representing workers at truck
manufacturer Freightliner in Cleveland, North Carolina, is proud to be a Southern union
member. Whiteside is one of five former local officers who were fired from Freightliner
and now fight to remain members of their union after leading a one-day strike in the face
of a concessionary contract. Whiteside and the other leaders in the "Freightliner Five"
helped organize their plant into what is now one of the largest UAW locals in North
Baldemar Velásquez, President, Farm Labor Organizing Committee. Baldemar guided FLOC to
high-profile victories against food giants like Campbell Soup and Mount Olive Pickles,
building a social-movement union for farmworkers in Ohio and North Carolina. He has led
the union's campaign to organize workers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border,
speaking out for the rights of immigrants. And he sings and plays guitar in Aguila Negra!
Anita Chan, Contemporary China Center, Australian National University. Born and raised in
Hong Kong, Anita is a globally recognized expert on Chinese labor. She works to aid
workers’ grassroots struggles and has written extensively on working conditions, labor
rights and worker organization in China, including China's Workers Under Assault.
Sal Rosselli, President, SEIU United HealthcareWorkers-West, a 150,000-member union of
hospital, nursing home and homecare workers in California. Sal has recently emerged as a
leading voice for union democracy inside SEIU, challenging a move to centralize control
of organizing and bargaining at the national level. He has been a long-time activist in
the struggle for gay and lesbian rights and the fight for healthcare reform.
Richard Berg, President of Chicago Teamster Local 743, forged the New Leadership Slate
that ousted long time old guard officers who had stolen a previous election. Local 743
represents a range of non-traditional Teamsters in manufacturing, hospital, nursing home
and clerical positions. The New Leadership team has initiated education and outreach
efforts to put the membership at the center of the union. Berg credits Teamsters for a
Democratic Union (TDU) and events like the Labor Notes Conference for helping him with
the information, analysis and tools necessary to launch a new day for working Teamsters
in Local 743.
CONFIRMED WORKSHOPS (list in progress and subject to revision)
Assertive Grievance Handling; Bargaining for Social Justice; Black Labor History;
Building Alliances between Unions and Worker Centers; Building Power in the Public
Sector; Chinese Labor Movement; Continuous Bargaining; Contract Campaigns; Contract
Campaigns 2: At the Bargaining Table; Creative Tactics; Dealing with the Media; Democracy
is Power; Fighting “Blame the worker; Health and Safety Programs; Fighting Privatization;
Fighting for Worker and Patient Rights; Fighting Racism; Fighting Raids and No-Match
Letters; Fixing the Broken Health Care System; Flyers and Newsletters; Getting Ahead of
Globalization; Home-Based Workers; Immigrant Workers and the Building Trades; Internal
Organizing--Key to a Strong Union; International Solidarity; Labor against the War; Labor
and Environmental Coalitions; Labor and Politics; Labor History; Labor in Asia; Labor in
Latin America; Member-driven Organizing; Non-Majority Unions; Organizing Immigrant
Workers; Organizing in a Multiracial Workplace; Organizing in Right-to-Work States;
Organizing Online; Passing the Leadership Torch; Pension Crisis 101; Pros and Cons of
Top-Down Organizing Deals; Roots of Immigration; Running for Local Office; Shopfloor
Tactics; Strategic Approaches to Contract Expiration; Strategic Planning: Building a
Strong Local; Student Labor Solidarity; Trends in Auto; Women at Work; Worker Centers:
Building Power for Low-Wage Workers; Workplace Rights for Immigrant Workers.
CONFIRMED UNION & OTHER MEETINGS (list in progress and subject to revision)
Airline; Higher Education Instructors; Auto; Building Solidarity and Democracy in the
Building Trades; Health Care; Nurses; Longshore; Postal; State, County, Municipal,
Federal Workers; Rail; Teachers; Teamsters; Telecom; Campus workers; UNITE HERE; UFCW;
SEIU; Workers Centers; Canadian Labour; Bus Drivers; Immigrant Solidarity/May 1st
Planning; US Labor Against the War; Post-Katrina Labor Solidarity; Youth; Labor Media,
New Technology & A Strategy For The Labor Movement; United Electrical Workers
International Worker Justice Campaign; Staff Unions; Global Unionism: Prospects for
International Grassroots Solidarity; Techies; Standing for Justice in Palestine: The Role
of Labor Solidarity; IWW; National Health Care Reform; China; Labor and the Environment;
Retirees; Labor Educators/UALE; Transnationals Information Exchange Health & Safety
Project Meeting (VIDAVIVA); Continental Living Wage Campaign; Black Workers Caucus;
Black-Brown Unity Meeting; Labor & Independent Politics; On the Campaign Trail--Labor and
the 2008 Election.
Health Care Workers and Health Care Reform Track
Along with the keynote address by Rose Ann DeMoro of CNA this track will include:
Workshops: Fixing the Broken Health Care System, Fighting for Workers and Patients Rights.
Meetings: Health Care Workers and National Health Care Reform.
Immigrant Workers Track
Workshops: Organizing Immigrant Workers, Fighting Raids & No-Match, Workplace Rights for
Immigrant Workers, Building Trades and Immigrant Workers, Labor and Latin America, Roots
Meetings: Immigrant Solidarity and May 1 Planning.
Black Workers Track
More details to be announced.
Labor and China
This track will include: Anita Chan: author of “Chinese Workers Under Assault” and prominent Chinese labor rights scholar and advocate as a main session speaker;
Pre-Conference China Discussion: Friday April 11 for invited guests to compare recent
experiences and observations;
The Chinese Labor Movement: Saturday April 12 workshop on the Chinese labor movement
designed to enlighten both experienced activists and those new to the topic;
Special Interest Meeting: Sunday April 13 meeting for those actively working on Chinese
labor movement issues... or those wishing to start;
Experienced and knowledgeable China labor activists, academics and allies on Chinese
labor issues will be coming from China, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, UK, Canada and the
U.S. to lend great depth and breadth to this track.
For full participation in the Labor and China Track, please arrange to arrive by the
morning of Friday, April 11 and stay through late afternoon of Sunday, April 13. If you
have any questions, suggestions or proposals about this track, please feel free to
contact Ellen David Friedman at [email protected] or 802-522-6227.
SPECIAL MEETINGS OR CAUCUSES
The Labor Notes Conference is a great place for like-minded activists to meet and
organize among themselves. We have extra meeting rooms and will make every effort to
provide space for participants who would like to schedule meetings or caucuses in
addition to those listed in the agenda. Contact [email protected] if you are
interested in seeing us host your meeting at the conference.
PROGRAM (subject to change)
FRIDAY April 11, 2008
10:00 am: Registration opens
1:00 - 5:00 pm: Workshops A & B
7:30 - 9:00 pm: 1st main session
9:00 - 11:00 pm: International guest reception
SATURDAY April 12, 2008
7:30 am: Registration opens
9:00 - 10:00 am: 2nd main session
10:15 am - 12:00 pm: Workshops C
12:00 - 1:45 pm: Lunch & Special Meetings & Art in Action Training
2:00 - 3:45 pm: Workshops D
4:00 - 5:45 pm: Union Meetings
6:00 - 7:30 pm: Free time / Special Meetings & Events
7:45 - 10:00 pm: Banquet & Keynote Address
10:00 pm: Open Mike Talent Show
SUNDAY April 13
9:00 - 10:30 am: Interest Meetings
10:45 am - 12:30 pm: Workshops E
12:30 - 1:00 pm: Get a sandwich and bring to main session break
1:00 - 2:00 pm: 3rd main session
INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANTS (list in progress)
International Dockworkers Council
Argentina—Daniel Ximenez, TEL—Labor Studies Workshop
Australia—Anita Chan, Contemporary China Centre, Australian National University
Brazil—Mara Lira, Food Workers Union, VidaViva Platform
Canada—Too many to mention!
China—Diana Beaumont, Asia Monitor Resource Centre, Hong Kong
Colombia—Dora Acero, Dole Fragancia plantation—USLEAP flower worker speaking tour
Germany—Wolfgang Muller, IGM—Metalworkers Union
Iraq (via Canada)—Amjad Al-Jawhary, FWCUI, UUI—Iraqi Labor North America Representative
Ireland—Patricia Campbell, Independent Workers Union
México—Benedicto Martinez, FAT—Authentic Labor Front, STHIMACS, UNT & CILAS—Center for
Labor Studies and Union Consulting
Palestine—Abdel Rahim S. Khatib, Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions
Sri Lanka—Anton Marcus, Free Trade Zone and General Services Employees Union
Vietnam—Chao Nhat Binh, Vietnamese General Confederation of Labor
Struggle against CAFTA in El Salvador—CISPES speaking tour
Organizing WalMart: pineapple workers (Del Monte) in Costa Rica, garment workers (school
uniforms) in Bangladesh—International Labor Rights Fund speaking tour
Registration is $115 and includes three days of workshops and meetings, as well as a
Saturday banquet dinner. To register go to: http://labornotes.org/conference/register or
call Anna at 313-842-6262 or email [email protected] Limited scholarships are
available; click here for more information:
The conference is at the unionized Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn, adjacent to Detroit,
Michigan. Room details: Single/double $111, triple $131, quad $151. To book your room, or
for other hotel information, go to: http://dearborn.hyatt.com/groupbooking/d005 or call
313-593-1234. You must mention “Labor Notes Conference” to get these rates.
Air Travel: Fly Northwest Airlines and get 7% off if you book your ticket by March 8 (5%
discount after March 8). To book online go to http://www.nwa.com and select the “NWA
Discount Travel E-Cert Redemption” link on the flight search page. When prompted for
“E-Cert Fare, electronic voucher or meeting agreement” select “Meeting
Agreement/WorldFile Number” and enter the promotion code NMDCZ. Northwest provides
reservation assistance at 1-800-328-1111. Labor Notes will periodically send information
on other discounted flights from major U.S. cities over our email list. Go to
www.labornotes.org/eblast to sign up.
Ground transportation & driving directions:
HELP BUILD THE CONFERENCE!
Help us build the conference by contacting a local organizing committee member in your
area. Offer to help with phone banking, organizing an event, etc.
Albany, NY: Jon Flanders, 518-272-1318
Boston, MA: Steve Early, 617-930-7327
Chicago, IL: Jose Oliva, 773-612-2559
Cincinnati, OH: Dan La Botz, 513-861-8722
New York, NY: Steve Kindred, 917-679-0275
Pittsburgh, PA: Patrick Young, 412-298-6361
Portland, OR: Johanna Brenner, 503-234-2306
Seattle, WA: Paul Bigman, 206-214-6169
Vermont: James Haslam, 802-272-0882
Western Massachusetts: David Cohen, 413-773-3548
Toronto, ON: Sarah Declerk, 416-830-9537
Windsor, ON: Ryan Couture, 519-256-8100
WANT TO BRING A CO-WORKER?
Email [email protected] or call 313-842-6262 and we will send you our conference
SHARE A RIDE
Call a Regional Contact near you to set up a ride-share to the conference.
Ohio: Dan La Botz, 513-861-8722
New York: Steve Kindred, 917-679-0275 & Peter Brogan, 347-753-0435
Pittsburgh: Patrick Young, 412-298-6361
Chicago: Jose Oliva, 773-612-2559
Toronto: Sarah Declerk, 416-830-9537
Madison: Ron Kaminkow, [email protected]
Michigan: Anna Saini, [email protected], 313-842-6262
For the first time ever Labor Notes is posting all the latest info and buzz about the
conference on the Rebuilding Labor's Power blog. Check out what we're posting and let us
know what you think by commenting! You can read the Labor Notes conference blog at
Sign up to Labor Notes email list, “Update at Labor Notes” to get updates on the
workshops, featured speakers, and other conference information. You can sign up for the
list at http://labornotes.org/eblast.
For more information go to http://labornotes.org/conference, call 313-842-6262, or email