Labor Studies Skills Courses 2023

Fall 2023

Cost: $50 for union-sponsored participants; $25 for participants without union support; free to anyone who cannot afford to pay. Registration is required for these virtual classes (you can get there by clicking on the class title). Zoom links to the class will be emailed after registration. 

The Most Common Anti-Union Talking Points—And Why They’re Wrong

Date & Time: Wednesday, November 8, 3:00pm - 4:30pm CT  
Facilitators: Sarah Lazare, editor of Workday Magazine and labor educator with the Labor Education Service. And Adam Johnson, media critic and co-host of the Citations Needed podcast. 

“Unions used to be relevant, but now they’re obsolete.” “Unions make sense in other industries, but not mine.” “Unions are a third party, an outside force.” These tropes are pervasive in our media, communities, and workplaces, and they are commonly used to erode support for organized labor. However, they are easily debunked, and the process of critically deconstructing them can shed light onto why unions are so important. In this class, we will examine these anti-union talking points, look at how they play out in public discourse, and break down why they’re misguided.  

Video Production for Organizers 

Date & Time: Thursday, November 9, 2:00pm - 4:00pm CT 
Facilitator: Isabela Escalona  

Video is an important part of storytelling and sharing a narrative for labor and community organizing. Whether you’re creating an ad, a campaign video, a TikTok, a fundraising pitch, promoting an event, or highlighting a member’s story, there are so many ways video can be used to share your campaign or movement’s story and vision for the future. In this session we will go over how to plan a video, how to produce a video with everyday equipment, how to capture a powerful interview and b-roll, how to edit, and ways to promote a video once it is produced. This class is ideal for beginners. 

Grievance Handling & Arbitrability

Date & Time: Tuesday, November 14, 3:00pm - 6:00pm CT 
Facilitator: Amy Livingston  

This class will cover the basics of the grievance handling process, from how to determine if a concern is a grievance, to how to determine if you should move an unresolved grievance forward to arbitration. Other topics covered include: how to investigate a grievance; how to write and file a grievance; investigatory interviews; just cause discipline; and how to support members when they have a valid concern or problem that is not subject to the grievance procedure.  


Mutual Aid

Date & Time: Thursday, November 16, 2023, 4:30pm - 6pm CT 
Facilitators: Susan Raffo, Rocki Simões 

What is mutual aid?  What are some historical examples of mutual aid in the labor movement in this country?   What are some examples of this practice in our communities, large and small?  How can I/we learn more?  These are some of the questions we will answer and ponder as a group in a facilitated presentation and discussion.  

Art is Organizing

Date & Time: Wednesday, December 6th, Noon - 1:00pm CT 
Facilitator: Cassie Williams

Art has been used throughout history to inform, tell stories, and to make change. This course will explore how art has been used in social movements to organize and how to incorporate it into our organizing strategies.