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Help me expand my list of workplace organizing resources: videos, articles, websites, books, IRL training, etc.

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Lucky Black Cat's picture
Lucky Black Cat
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Apr 14 2020 10:28
Help me expand my list of workplace organizing resources: videos, articles, websites, books, IRL training, etc.

So I'm working on a video about workplace organizing for my youtube channel and I want a list of resources to recommend to whoever watches.

Comment with your resource recommendations.

Here's what I have so far:

• Look up your local IWW branch and see if they’re doing Organizer 101 training workshop https://www.iww.org/branches
• “Weakening the Dam” a workplace organizing guide by the IWW https://www.iww.org/history/library/branches/TwinCitiesGMB/weakining_the...
• Libcom.org’s Workplace Organising guide http://libcom.org/organise/workplace
• How To Unionize Your Workplace (video by Another Slice) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvrldZlUwe0
• Wages So Low You’ll Freak (book by Mike Puddn’head) https://libcom.org/library/wages-so-low-youll-freak-mike-puddnhead
• Organizing Work website https://organizing.work
• Fighting For Ourselves (book by Solidarity Federation) https://libcom.org/library/fighting-ourselves-anarcho-syndicalism-class-...
• Rusty’s Rules of Order https://www.vancouveriww.org/rustys-rules-of-order/

What's your opinion on whether I should add these resources to the list....?

• "A Troublemaker’s Handbook 2" by Labor Notes (?)
(I read it long ago and remember it had lots of really useful advice, but I also remember there being criticisms I just can't remember what they are.)

• Jane McAlevey, long-time union organizer, her book “No Shortcuts” and/or the videos on her website (?)
(I haven't read her book or had time to watch her videos, yet, but I've heard good things about her. I've also heard criticisms.)

More Questions

• Other resource recommendations?

• I remember hearing that Solidarity Federation does its own Organizer Training workshop, similar (but unique) to the one by the IWW. Is this still the case? (Or was it some other UK group that did this workshop and I'm mixing them up? Is there any group besides the IWW that offers workplace organizer training?)

R Totale's picture
R Totale
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Apr 14 2020 12:03

I have to admit I've not read either the Labor Notes or the McAlevey, but maybe add them with a disclaimer?

It's more of a "how to organise strikes once you already have a unionised workplace" guide than a "how to organise" one, but the UCU Branch Solidarity Network put together a good page of strike resources at: https://ucubranchsolidaritynetwork.wordpress.com/updated-2020-strike-res...

Along similar lines to Organizing Work, there's Notes From Below and New Syndicalist: https://notesfrombelow.org/ and https://newsyndicalist.org/ although they both have their problems (Notes From Below is more "autonomists for Labour", New Syndicalist is more "anarcho-syndicalists for Labour")

https://workplaceorganising.uk/ looked promising but it's not been updated for years... oh, perhaps the Angry Workers site at https://angryworkersworld.wordpress.com/, or some of their specific pieces? Reviving the Strike by Joe Burns? The archives of the Workers' Power column and Recomposition? I guess it might be worth breaking it down into a shorter list of essentials for beginners and then some extra more advanced ones?

Lucky Black Cat's picture
Lucky Black Cat
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Apr 15 2020 06:06

Thanks for the suggestions and this

Quote:
I guess it might be worth breaking it down into a shorter list of essentials for beginners and then some extra more advanced ones?

is a great idea. I don't want to overwhelm people with a huge resource dump and then they end up ignoring the whole list.

I'm not familiar with many of the resources you recommended but I'll add them because I trust your judgement. But I need your help dividing them into beginner, intermediate, and advanced categories (or whatever other categories you think are appropriate).

Here's how I'd divide the list in my OP, and the ones on your list that I'm familiar with.

Essentials for Beginners

• Look up your local IWW branch and see if they’re doing Organizer 101 training workshop https://www.iww.org/branches
• “Weakening the Dam” a workplace organizing guide by the IWW https://www.iww.org/history/library/branches/TwinCitiesGMB/weakining_the...
• Libcom.org’s Workplace Organising guide http://libcom.org/organise/workplace
• How To Unionize Your Workplace (video by Another Slice) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvrldZlUwe0

Essential before you have your first meeting

• Rusty’s Rules of Order https://www.vancouveriww.org/rustys-rules-of-order/

Still quite beginner friendly but wait until you learn the basics

Books

• Wages So Low You’ll Freak (book by Mike Puddn’head) https://libcom.org/library/wages-so-low-youll-freak-mike-puddnhead
• "A Troublemaker’s Handbook 2" by Labor Notes
• Jane McAlevey, long-time union organizer, her book “No Shortcuts” and/or the videos on her website

Websites

• Organizing Work https://organizing.work
• Angry Workers https://angryworkersworld.wordpress.com
• Recomposition https://recompositionblog.wordpress.com

Big picture

• Fighting For Ourselves (book by Solidarity Federation) https://libcom.org/library/fighting-ourselves-anarcho-syndicalism-class-...

How would you categorize the resources you recommended?

R Totale's picture
R Totale
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Apr 15 2020 20:40
Lucky Black Cat wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions and this

Quote:
I guess it might be worth breaking it down into a shorter list of essentials for beginners and then some extra more advanced ones?

is a great idea. I don't want to overwhelm people with a huge resource dump and then they end up ignoring the whole list.

I'm not familiar with many of the resources you recommended but I'll add them because I trust your judgement. But I need your help dividing them into beginner, intermediate, and advanced categories (or whatever other categories you think are appropriate).

Here's how I'd divide the list in my OP, and the ones on your list that I'm familiar with.
...

How would you categorize the resources you recommended?

I guess I'd put them as:

Still quite beginner friendly but wait until you learn the basics

Books:
Reviving the Strike

Online:
Workers' Power column
New Syndicalist
I guess also list the Labor Notes website as well as their book?

Podcasts:
Labour Days
The Slow Down - they actually did a special beginners' episode explaining the basics of what a trade union is, and get bonus points for frequently being very funny, which I can't say about many workplace organising resources.

Big Picture:

Online:
Notes From Below

Books:
Class Power on Zero Hours

Only really relevant if you're in an organized workplace and going on strike:
UCU Branch Solidarity Network strike resources

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Apr 16 2020 05:57

For Podcasts Talking shop and its attached site New Syndicalist do a lot of discussion about organising including looking at current campaigns to see what can be learnt from them.

https://newsyndicalist.org/

The IWW has several videos on organising projects scattered across their channels, here's the Organising to Win about the Starbucks organising drives.
https://youtu.be/qC2mPL6SD4k

And a short vid from Chicago Lake Liquors
https://youtu.be/37N73QAcQr8

R Totale's picture
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Apr 16 2020 18:52

Oh, a few more:

Essentials for Beginners

Take the power back: breathing space, friendliness and solidarity at work

Still quite beginner friendly but wait until you learn the basics

Proletarian management: Informal workplace organization

Big Picture:

Abolish Restaurants
Hamburgers vs Value

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Sike
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Apr 17 2020 00:23

Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law

Particularly helpful for workplace organizing in the United States. I do believe that the most recent edition was published eight or more years ago so it would undoubtedly be prudent to cross check the information about any specific law contained in the book with a current source of legal information just to be sure that the law hasn't changed since the book was published.

Lucky Black Cat's picture
Lucky Black Cat
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Apr 18 2020 16:19

Thanks so much, everyone! I hope these are put to good use.

Lucky Black Cat's picture
Lucky Black Cat
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Apr 22 2020 21:24

Thanks to R Totale for bringing these resources to my attention on the other thread. Just posting here for convenience

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSerf2QzafRMvvM1zjr8Oynz4ZYZ_bQ1...

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qxV_Q0d8B7mT9vTPGZtZln2d9gOPz6BAMttD...

Lucky Black Cat's picture
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May 6 2020 03:52

Found this. Only skimmed it but seems ideal for beginners section, a good overview/intro but too sparse to stand on its own.

https://libcom.org/library/basics-organising-iww

R Totale's picture
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May 27 2020 18:59

If you're still looking for suggestions, Vice just did "A Step-by-Step Guide to Unionising Your Workplace": https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/v7gm4j/how-to-unionise-your-workplace