On April 22-23, 2017, the Southern Workers Assembly (SWA) will hold the second annual Southern Workers School in Atlanta, GA. This will be the first of an 8 session series of education, training and development of organizing tools to help prepare SWA worker-representatives to embark on a plan to build the organized rank-and-file infrastructure in workplaces and industries across the US South for the development a Southern Labor Congress. In 2016, more than 70 rank and file workers from many different states and sectors participated in 2 in person sessions of the SWA School and 6 continuing online sessions between the two meetings. We hope to increase participation in this upcoming session.
Several dozen rank and file leaders of unions and workers organizations from Virginia to Texas are planning to participate in this historic gathering - but we need your help to make it a success!
ABOUT THE SOUTHERN WORKERS ASSEMBLY
The restructuring of the US national economy resulting in the loss of millions of decent paying union jobs and the bankrupt of major cities, is the result of 4 major factors - the automation of major industries, the relocating of major companies to the US South, the outsourcing of jobs to other countries in the global South and the lack of a strong, united, rank-and-file led social movement to organize labor in the US South. The 12 Southern states combined have less union membership than the state of New York.
The US South has the highest regional concentration of anti-labor right-to-work laws, low wage labor, environmental injustice. As a region, it provides major financial incentives taken from community and infrastructure development needs, to bring US and international companies to the South. The profits made from these conditions have made the US South the 4th largest world economy.
The AFL-CIO passed a resolution at its 2013 National Convention on Organizing the South. This important resolution was drafted and presented by rank-and-file trade union activists and leaders from the US South and was supported by others from across the country. It must be given life and meaning by a rank-and-file social movement.
The Southern Workers Assembly (SWA) is a growing rank-and-file labor network of local unions, worker organizations and activists with support of allies committed to building a social movement to organize labor in the US South has been organizing itself since 2012.