2024 Southern Worker School

Capital, big business, and the forces of reaction and racism are openly aligned in their efforts to further drive down conditions for Southern workers and exploit our labor and our communities. The past several months are replete with examples – South Carolina Governor McMaster declaring war on workers, Alabama Governor Ivey vowing to fight organizing by autoworkers to join the UAW, Georgia lawmakers passing new limitations on organizing, among others.

All of this comes in the midst both of an election year and a lurch in mainstream politics further right, ongoing inflation and a general decline in conditions for workers, scapegoating and attacks on migrant, women, and LGTBQ workers, a worsening climate crisis, and a U.S. financed and armed genocide in Palestine, alongside growing threats of a wider war.

Nonetheless, workers in the South have demonstrated their commitment to organizing and fighting back. Notably, the UAW has launched one of the most ambitious organizing drives in recent memory, taking on the major automakers and opening new campaigns across the region. But the wave of worker action is much broader, with service and retail, public sector, healthcare, education, and workers from many other sectors forming organizing committees, engaging in collective action, and building power on the job. Many workers and their organizations have been on the frontlines of the fight for an immediate ceasefire and to push back against the broader attacks being waged.

In this context, rank and file workers from across the South will gather in Charlotte, NC for the 2024 Southern Worker School on May 17 – 19 to:

  • Strategize about how to strengthen and coordinate our efforts to build worker cadre and committees in strategic workplaces and sectors, and help to anchor broader social struggles in workplace organization
  • Train on how to build workers assemblies and engage unorganized workers to join the fight
  • Build networks across sectors to raise our ability to exchange lessons and align demands and actions
  • Engage in political education discussions to raise working class consciousness

It’s no accident that the U.S. South is the least unionized region of the country, a bulwark of right to work and anti-labor laws. The region plays a unique role in shaping systemic racism and white supremacy in the U.S. – from slavery, to Jim Crow, to today. It is dominated by some of the most reactionary and backwards forces in the country, and much of the U.S. military industrial complex – from bases to weapons manufacturing and more – is concentrated here. Nearly 60% of Black workers in the U.S. live in the South, and the region has the fastest growing population of migrant workers.

The impact of racist and anti-labor policies has been disastrous for workers here. We earn the lowest wages and have the highest levels of poverty, we have shorter life expectancy and lower access to quality health care, we often live in communities polluted by industrial waste and other toxic byproducts of production, to name but a few of the devastating outcomes of these policies.

We know that the only way to change the quality of work and life here is to get organized. Join us at the 2024 Southern Worker School to strengthen a network of rank and file workers that can lead the way to organize the South!

If you are part of a workers assembly, affiliated union or worker organization, or otherwise connected in with the Southern Workers Assembly network, you should have received the registration form by email. Please contact info@southernworker.org if you need that resent to you.

If the above does not apply to you and you are interested in participating in the upcoming worker school, please complete this short form and we’ll in touch with you soon.

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