Labor Day is a terrific opportunity for Move to Amenders to make personal and issue connections with working members of Labor Unions and other working people. 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.
While Move to Amend is also organizing a powerful movement to create real change (i.e. a 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 in several different ways…and not just on Labor Day (this year on September 5)! There may be more than one event, organized by different labor unions, on other days.
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 may be in your city or adjacent city or county. Find out what and when, if anything, they’re planning.
√ Not all labor unions are members of the AFL-CIO nationally
It may vary in your community, but sometimes the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Teamsters aren’t members and don’t participate. They may be organizing their own Labor Day events or maybe they’ll be joining the existing AFL-CIO events. You may, however, want to contact the UAW and Teamsters separately.
√ The most common Labor Day events may be parades, festivals (with or without speakers) and picnics -- which, of course, may require wearing masks.
The event may be a parade followed by a festival or a picnic.
√ If the event is a parade, hand out flyers or circulate the MTA petition
Put together a “float” (e.g. fancy vehicle with Move to Amend signs on either sign). Have Move to Amenders follow behind with other signs. Other supporters can work the crowd for signatures on the Motion to Amend petition.
√ If the event is a festival, request to speak (if relevant) and have a table
Some festivals will have speakers talking about threats to working people and what campaigns unions are involved in to expand justice. Ask if MTA can be represented. Candidates running for office will be out in full force. Print out copies of the Pledge to Amend form (the Candidate Pledge form is at https://www.movetoamend.org/pledge-amend) and have candidates fill them out on the spot.
If you’re able to have a table, post a sign and have MTA petitions and materials. Go HERE to download a half-page handout, “Expand Human and Worker Rights by Abolishing Corporate Constitutional Rights.” [NOTE: Download the flier and enter local contact information before making copies, which should be done on your personal printer or at a union print shop. If at a union printer, then “printed in-house” will be replaced with a union “bug.”]
√ 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 MTA pin. Have MTA petitions (but don’t be pushy). Share your food, your stories, your struggles and your solidarity. Stay connected. Explore ways to connect afterwards.