Mission Statement

Our union needs a new strategy, and we need a strategy to change our union. 

Over the decades the UFT has abandoned its militant origins. Today, our leaders rely on friendly relationships with politicians to cut inadequate, concessionary deals with the city.  Recent labor victories point to a better way.  NYC nurses struck against two powerful hospital systems, and won major improvements to their pay and working conditions. The United Auto Workers struck all three domestic auto manufacturers, using escalating tactics to achieve historic wage gains. These victories weren’t an accident.  They were the product of careful planning, mass mobilization, and direct workplace action, up to and including strikes.   StrikeHot invites today’s rank-and-file UFT activists to discuss strategies for rebuilding our union into a force that wins similar victories.

The goal of this publication is to promote a conception of strategy borrowed from the early Civil Rights Movement.  Civil Rights campaigns were shaped first and foremost by a shared understanding among movement activists of who they were, who their opponents and enemies were, and the political and economic landscape in which they all operated. They used a strategy focused on putting grassroots activists like Fanny Lou Hamer in the leadership of the movement and prioritizing conflict created by mass action over compromises with liberal politicians. The movement treated strategy as a living compassa guide on which tactics to employ and when, and a framework fluid enough to be revisited and revised based on new, collectively debated assessments.

Today, we need a strategy based on strike-ready unionism.  Strike-readiness can serve as a roadmap in our efforts to reform the union.  A strike-ready union is one where the vast majority of members know that their power comes from uniting in the workplace to fight back against the boss.  Making the UFT strike-ready means understanding why we win fights (and sometimes lose), identifying what issues matter most to our co-workers, and designing campaigns that draw the greatest possible numbers of union members into action at their schools. In this way we can contend for power throughout the union.

Strike-readiness provides a framework for friendly strategic debates in this publication. These debates will help us evaluate our work against a clear set of goals, organize more systematically, and to grow in size and influence.

StrikeHot looks forward to hosting discussion and friendly debate about union strategy among MORE members, other union activists, and all members of the UFT.


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