The Kentucky IWW is represented by several workers in higher education, a number of whom are adjunct, precarious laborers subject to the neoliberal model of higher education. In February, Fellow Workers Kate Lafferty, Mick Parsons, and Reagan Sova organized and ran a series of teach-ins across the city of Louisville. Moving forward, the IWW commits itself to participating in further organizing for a day of national adjunct labor action (NALA) on Labor Day, 2015.
JOE HILL 100 TOUR
Fellow Worker J.P. Wright, our branch delegate, spend a bulk of the spring active in the Joe Hill 100 Tour, honoring the late Wobbly musician Joe Hill on the 100th anniversary of his death. This October we bring the Tour to Louisville, as part of an effort to spread the long history and culture of labor activism in the U.S. Learn more about the Joe Hill Tour here.
Hill was a Swedish-born immigrant who spent time as a dock worker, songwriter, and organizer between California and Oregon in the early 1900s. He is the writer of popular labor songs such as “There is Power in the Union,” and the Little Red Songbook is largely compiled in his honor. By honoring HIll’s unlawful execution, the Kentucky IWW hopes to showcase the rich artistic history of labor organizing for a new generation of activists.
DIGITAL MEDIA ORGANIZING
On October 8-11, the Louisville IWW will participate in a labor conference taking up the question of organizing, and unionizing, digital media workers. The event is held in conjunction with the Braden Center, in honor of Carl and Anne Braden, two Louisville locals who themselves were blacklisted for activism in the 1950s.
This conference comes on the heels of the historic decision of Gawker writers to organize within the Writers Guild of America. As more and more intellectual work is removed from a brick-and-mortar workplace and into the confines of our computer screens, the IWW is intent on being at the forefront of organizing the freelance, precarious, and traveling laborers that make up a majority of the contemporary worker place today.
FW J.P. Wright will again be present at the conference, sharing his organizing experience with writers from places such as Slate, Huffington Post, and Politico. The conference will coincide with the Joe Hill Tour, making for a big weekend for Labor.