Red Hot Summer

The inaugural Red Hot Summer program of Summer 2022 has concluded but please read below for the resources that were shared throughout the six-week program, as well as additional political education readings and a few other resources that were given to us by Red Hot Summer participants. Thank you for your continued interest in labor organizing!

General Links

  1. Red Hot Summer Schedule
  2. FAQ Document
  3. YDSA
  4. Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC) 

Week One – General Introductions to Red Hot Summer

Simple Starter Questions

  1. Why are you here today? What are you excited about?
  2. Have any of your co-workers ever complained about anything at your job?

More Specific Questions

  1. ​​What are the major issues at your workplace?
  2. What was your first work experience like? 
  3. Have you ever experienced wage theft? 
  4. Have you and/or your coworkers ever fought back against management (through passive resistance or collective action)? 
  5. What do you want to change about your workplace?
  6. Why is it important to you to organize your workplace?
  7. What matters to you about the work you do? 

Week Two – Political Education

Reading + Questions

  1. No Left without Labor – Jonah Furman
    1.  Why are unions important for the political left? 
      • What are some ways we can reconnect the political left with the labor movement? 
  2. Ireland Strikes for Repeal – Aoife Frances
    1. How might we be able to use our organizing in our workplaces to advocate for other intersectional issues like abortion? 
      • What can we do specifically about abortion? 
      • What are other issues we should tie to our organizing efforts?
  3. Seizing the Means of Reproduction – Emily Callaci
    1. Do you see reproductive labor (including caretaking or service work) devalued or disregarded in your own workplace? 
      • If so, how could we fight that devaluation by organizing? 

Week Three – Workplace Mapping and Organizing Conversations

Beginning Exercises

  1. Mapping Your Workplace
  2. Organizing Conversations

Breakout Activities

  1. Breakout Activity One – Developing a Rap
    1. We want our co-workers to realize:
      • They care about a problem.
      • There is a decision-maker who has the power to fix this problem.
      • The decision-maker won’t fix it until someone pushes them to.
      • If your co-worker really wants this problem to be fixed, they have to join you and other co-workers in taking action.
  2. Breakout Activity Two – Organizing Questions Brainstorm
    1. Intro questions:
      • How is your day going?
      • How long have you worked here?
      • How have things changed since you started?
    2. Agitating questions:
      • Is that okay with you?
      • How long has that been going on?
      • Is that how you would do things if you were in charge?
      • What would need to change to make your job more fulfilling?
      • What would need to change for you to feel respected at work?
      • Why do you think we’re having this problem?
      • What does this mean for students/patients/the public?
    3. Polarizing questions:
      • Who is in the position to fix this? What would they have to do? 
      • Do you think this problem is going to fix itself? 
      • How much longer are you willing to put up with this? 
      • Is that ever going to get better if we do nothing?

Week Four – Political Education


  1. Bottom-Up Labor Solidarity for Palestine Is Growing – Suzanne Adely 
  2. – Willem Morris 
  3. Organizing Against Amazon Requires Strategizing Across Global Supply Chains – Charmaine Chua


  1. How does your work relate to other workers around the world? 
  2. Why is it important for workers to fight oppression abroad? Why should workers not only focus on organizing in their own country? 
  3. How can we accomplish this? 
  4. How can workplace organizing develop further political/class struggle?

Week Five – Escalation and Inoculation

  1. Identifying a Good Organizing Issue
    1. Breakout Activity – Evaluating an Organizing Issue 
  2. Action Thermometer
    1. Breakout Activity – Arrange These Tactics on a Thermometer 

Week Six – Political Education

General Reading

Reading + Questions by Category


  1. Why Socialists Should Become Teachers – DSA teachers of West Virginia
    1. What makes education a strategic industry to organize in? 
    2. What organizing challenges might we face as teachers? 


  1. The Nursing Strike That Beat Austerity – Keith Brower Brown and Mark Drexler
    1. What makes nursing/healthcare a strategic industry to organize in? 
    2. How can organizing in healthcare be part of a larger political campaign for universal healthcare? 


  1. Organizing Amazon is do or die for the Labor Movement – Eli Rose
    1. What makes logistics a strategic industry to organize? 

Films Shown

  1. “Pride” – 2014 movie about Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, a solidarity effort for the 1984-85 coal miners strike in the UK
  2. “Nae Pasaran” –  2018 movie about Scottish strikes against the Chilean dictatorship
  3. “The Killing Floor” – 1984 movie about Chicago meat packing unionization and the 1919 racist riot

Zoom Session Recordings

  1. Coming soon! 

Other Recommendations from Red Hot Summer Participants

  1. Podcasts
    1. “Capitalism Hits Home” by Democracy at Work
    2. It Could Happen Here

Extended Labor History Program Readings

Early 20th Century Radical Unionism

  1. The Bread and Roses Strike of 1912 – Graciela Pichardo
  2. Trade Union Education League – Chris Maisano
  3. Feminism and the Labor Movement: A Century of Collaboration and Conflict – Eileen Boris and Annelise Orleck
  4. The IWW – James Cannon
  5. The Program and Principles of the Trade Union Educational League” – William Z Foster
  6. Strike! by Jeremey Brecher; Chapter Four (“Nineteen Nineteen”)

The 1930s and 40s upsurge

  1. Anti-racist solidarity brought victory for all dock workers in 1934 San Francisco General Strike – Paul Wilcox
  2. Strike! by Jeremey Brecher; Chapter Five (“Depression Decade”)
  3. The Great Minneapolis Strikes” – James Cannon

Rank and File Rebellions of the long 1970s

  1. Decade of the Rank and File – Cal Winslow
  2. Workplace Feminism in the 1970s – Dorothy Sue Cobble
  3. Black Power at the point of production, 1968–73 – Lee Sustar
  4. The Radical Vision of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes – Kim Kelly
  5. An Injury To All, Chapter 3 (pages 41-69), – Kim Moody

The Modern Labor Movement 

  1. No Shortcuts, Chapter 4 – Jane McAlevey 
  2. The Entire Food Industry Should Go Union – Laila Dalton
  3. Opening the Door to a More Democratic UAW – Nelson Lichtenstein
  4. With Reformers Victorious, It’s a New Day for the Teamsters – Indigo Oliver
  5. Oakland teachers and ILWU strike against racism and gentrification
  6. How Seven Thousand Quebec Workers Went on Strike against Climate Change – Alain Savard
  7. This Is What the Beginning of a Climate-Labor Alliance Looks Like – Kate Aronoff