Labor Day is a terrific opportunity for Move to Amenders to make personal and issue connections with members of labor unions.
Many fundamental rights and protections of working people (e.g. the weekend, 8-hour work day, collective bargaining, end of child labor, employer-based health coverage, workplace safety) came into being because working people organized powerful movements that created positive change.
Since Move to Amend is also organizing a powerful movement to create real change -- our constitutional amendment to abolish corporate rights and money considered free speech -- connecting with labor unions and the working people they represent makes perfect strategic sense.
Labor unions celebrate Labor Day differently and not just on Labor Day itself -- this year on Monday, September 3. Events might be planned for September 1 or 2, or the week before. There could be more than one event organized by different labor unions.
How to Build Solidarity with Unions this Labor Day
√ Find out what is going on in your community
Contact the AFL-CIO (a federation or coalition of labor unions) closest to you. This might be in your city or adjacent city or county. Find out what, if anything, is planned.
√ Not all labor unions are members of the AFL-CIO
The United Auto Workers (UAW) and Teamsters aren’t generally members of local AFL-CIO labor federations. They may be organizing their own Labor Day events, so consider contacting these and other unions separately.
√ The most common Labor Day events are parades, festivals (with or without speakers) and picnics
The event is often a parade followed by a festival or a picnic.
√ If the event is a parade, try to join
Put together a “float” (e.g. fancy vehicle with Move to Amend signs on either side). Have Move to Amenders follow behind with other signs. Other supporters can work the crowd for signatures on the Motion to Amend petition. If you have a banner, you could forego the vehicle and simply have supporters march with your banner with others walking behind with signs.
√ If the event is a festival, request to speak (if relevant) and to have a table
Some festivals will have speakers talking about threats to working people and the campaigns unions are involved in to expand justice. Ask if Move to Amend can be represented. Candidates running for office will be out in full force. Print out copies of the Pledge to Amend form. Ask candidates to fill them out on the spot.
If you’re able to reserve a table, post a sign and have Move to Amend petitions and materials. Go here to download the handout titled, “Expand Human and Worker Rights by Abolishing Corporate Constitutional Rights.”
It's important to note that some union members are insistent about a union "bug" (i.e. logo indicating that it was produced by a union printer) appearing on any distributed material. If passing out either of the above handouts, check first with the event organizer about the necessity of having them produced by a union printer.
If required and you're unable to have them printed in a union shop, simply have a few copies of one or both flyers taped to your table for reference when people walk by. Or if you print them yourself at home you can add "print labor donated" to the bottom.
√ If the event is a picnic, find out if it’s a potluck or if you just bring your own food
Either way, show up and sit with people you don’t know. Wear your Move to Amend pin. Have Move to Amend petitions (but be respectful and only circulate if it seems right). Share your food, your stories, your struggles and your solidarity. Stay connected. Explore ways to connect afterwards.
If you have questions or would like assistance, please contact us.
Greg Coleridge, Outreach Director
greg [at] movetoamend.org