Labour with a “U”! In May 2024, KOOP Celebrates Workers’ Rights

Posted on: April 25, 2024
may day

During May 2024, KOOP’s Community Council lifts up and celebrates International Workers’ Rights/Labour Day, which falls on Wednesday, May 1 this year. 

In the place we now call the United States, we celebrate Labor Day in September while people in many other parts of the world celebrate Labour Day/International Workers’ Day in May. The reason for the spring/fall, Labour/Labor distinction falls in the lap of our 22nd (and 24th!) president Grover Cleveland who divided American labor movements from those in the rest of the world in June 1894 (eight years after the Haymarket Affair) by saddling September with celebrations of the American working class and—not coincidentally, in the cosmic sense–with back-to-school shopping sales. By positioning American labor celebrations in September, the US government diminishes solidarity among American and global movements for international workers’ rights.

How Can You Help Celebrate May Day This Year?

1. Go to the events listed below! Invite family, friends, coworkers, and community members to spread the word and support the global labor movement together;

2. Reach out to KOOP! If you have a story, cause, program, or idea to share, email;

3. Read about Workers’ Rights and the International Labor Movement;

4. Get inspired! Linked here is a list of songs about the rights of the working class; Here’s historian Peter Linebaugh on Democracy Now! discussing his 2016 book, The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day;

    5. If you have an employer, consider organizing your coworkers and unionizing. Even though Texas is a Right to Work state, employee unions are still powerful mechanisms for creating equity-based relationships with coworkers. Here’s a 2023 AFL-CIO webinar on how employees can organize workplace unions;

    6. Here’s a list of Workers’ Rights, including speaking with coworkers about salaries, from the National Labor Relations Board; and

    7. If you have time or money to donate, local workers’ rights organizations include TX AFL-CIO, the Workers’ Defense Project, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Good Work Austin, and the Equal Justice Center.

    May Day Events Coming Up in Central Texas:

    • Saturday, April 27 @ 4pm, Black Star Co-op: Collective Campaign’s Q&A/open discussion Lunch and Learn about Collective Campaigns, a full-service political and non-profit consulting firm that is union-staffed and cooperatively owned.
    • Wednesday, May 1 @ 6pm, Online: The City of Austin’s free, virtual, May Day webinar, Co-ops and Unions, a talk about union co-ops, which are co-ops that are unionized or birthed from union organizing (like Collective Campaigns, above).
    • Wednesday, May 1 @ 8pm: Austin Film Society screens “Union,” a documentary following the group of Staten Island workers behind the first Amazon Labor Union. The event features an in-person Q&A with labor organizers Chris Smalls and Angelika Maldonado and the film’s producer and director of photography, Martin Dicicco. Ticket holders can join a reception with the filmmakers in the AFS Cinema lobby from 7–8pm before the screening.
    • Saturday, May 4 @ 12pm, Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches: Union-Only Job Fair brought to you by Austin Democratic Socialists of America with live music and networking.
    • (National Event) Wednesday, May 1 @ All Day: Labor for Palestine, a national labor organization, offers the following social media and local organizing strategies to support grassroots labor organizers and invigorate the legacy of working class solidarity with Palestinian resistance to settler colonialism.

    If you’re interested in talking more about these ideas, or to join the Community Council’s May 2024 International Workers’ Rights Celebration Event team, please reply to this email with your interest email

    In Solidarity,

    KOOP’s Community Council