Twin Cities DSA Little Red Letter #116: 2024 Labor Compression, UAW Strike Continues, Convention Reflections, And More!




Twin Cities
Democratic Socialists of America

Little Red Letter #116

2024 Labor Compression, UAW Strike Continues, Convention Reflections, And More!

It’s a labor heavy newsletter today folks! The working class is organizing across the country and right in our backyard, DSA members are with them and beside them, and it has been an exciting two weeks, so here’s a sample of just some of those fights.

On Wednesday, October 4th, the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation hosted a day of action at the Stellantis facility known to the members of United Auto Workers Local 125 as “The Annex” in New Hope, Minnesota. Penske Logistics, a non-union firm, was holding a job fair at The Annex in an attempt to hire scabs to replace striking members of UAW Local 125.

Several Twin Cities DSA members and several members of the Coulee Region DSA (LaCrosse, Wisconsin) participated in this action along with members of various local unions including the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59, Minneapolis Regional Retiree Council, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 13, United Steel Workers Local 2002, as well as other allied community organizations.

The main goals of this action were to dissuade workers from attending this job fair and to educate them on working class solidarity. A secondary goal was to boost the morale of the striking UAW workers who are picketing the site twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.While a few workers did cross the picket lines in order to apply for these scab jobs, the vast majority were dissuaded from doing so. The action was so successful that Penske Logistics was forced to put ads on the job board Indeed with significantly higher starting pay rates than were advertised at the hiring event.

This action would not have been so successful without the amazing turnout of DSA and local union members. These striking workers are extremely grateful for TCDSA support and tell us this every time we see them. We followed this up on Saturday with a grill out on the UAW national day of action at their Plymouth location, music provided by pro-labor musician Emmet Doyle. While negotiations continue nationally toward agreements with the Big Three automakers, showing up in person at picket lines builds esprit de corps like nothing else and that is what will carry all working people through these struggles.

Likewise, TCDSA has been helping to build momentum around the 2024 Labor Compression as a chapter priority. Multiple unions, with around 30,000 workers, including teachers, janitors, bus drivers, public workers, and more, are joining together in early 2024 to fight and win big – for themselves and for the entire working class of the Twin Cities. Even though they work for different bosses, they are fighting the same enemy: the ruling class.

On Saturday, October 7th, rank-and-file workers from these unions came together in a convention to ask themselves the question “What could we win together?” They allowed themselves to dream big and imagine what their combined labor power could accomplish for working people. Affordable and stable housing for all. Good public schools for their kids. Clean air and water on a livable planet. And dignity in their work and in their lives. They identified that their workplace struggles were not separate and not an accident, but a concerted effort by big corporate actors to take everything for themselves and leave nothing for the working class. And they discussed what they could do about it.

Alongside other organizations in the 2024 Solidarity Table coalition, TCDSA co-facilitated a breakout session during this convention where attendees discussed how to escalate actions around specific corporate targets that tie in with their combined demands.

In other local fights this year, we already see examples of organized workers turning up the pressure for what they deserve. Yesterday, Half Price Books workers at 10 unionized stores across the country walked off the job due to the corporation’s refusal to bargain in good faith.

This sent a strong message to the company’s owner, Sharon Anderson, who’s most recent “final offer” was to allow the unionized stores to keep their existing pay (well below a living wage), plus performance-based 1% annual increases in pay (less than 20 cents a year). Check out the video of the workers at the Roseville store taking things into their own hands and letting Sharon know how they feel about her efforts to union bust.

This comes on the heels of workers at Seward Community Coop, also represented by UFCW, unanimously ratifying an industry leading union contract that provides livable wages, pay equity and benefits. The workers had authorized an unfair labor practices (ULP) strike against management for unilateral changes in the contract, retaliation, and bargaining in bad faith. One day later, it was announced that management had come to the table and the bargaining committee had reached a tentative agreement with them.

For over 180 workers at Seward Community Coop, that agreement provides a real difference and a future at their workplace. For all the workers organizing and collectively asking the question “What could we win together?”, there hasn’t been a more exciting time in ages. For more information and opportunities to get involved, members can head to the #labor channel on the TCDSA Slack.

Coalition of Anti-racist Groups Responds to Racist Displays in the West Metro

In order to confront white power organizations in our communities we need to keep organizing and building coalitions. Read how members of the TCDSA West Metro WG are doing just that, and how you can get involved.

The State of Public Education

Deb K. R.’s regular semi-annual Education column in Southside Pride local newspaper focuses on challenges and successes facing public education after two and a half years of pandemic programming and in the face of the right-wing’s attacks on history, books, libraries, teachers, and gender diversity. 

What happened at the TCDSA Annual Convention?

Twin Cities DSA’s first two-day convention was held in both hybrid and virtual mode. It featured an exciting lineup of speakers, some intense discussion, and a lively social at a St. Paul brewery. 

Staying Focused

This article explores how our chapter sets and thinks about our priorities. Ethan BF uses debate from the convention as a launching off point. 

TCDSA committees and working groups need members to get involved in order to create the multi-racial, worker-powered socialist future we’re all aiming for. Below are some opportunities to be part of the exciting work going on in our chapter right now!

  • East Phillips Urban Farm and Environmental Justice
    • The EPNI/EJ Working Group is asking that Twin Cities DSA members and supporters in Hennepin County reach out to their Commissioner and tell them that waiting to shut down the HERC until 2040 is unacceptable. If members and supporters live outside of Hennepin County, then the ask if that you reach out to Commissioner and Board Chair Irene Fernando from district 2. Phone calls, emails, or both are all appreciated. 

      Key information and commissioner contact information is listed here.

  • Labor Branch
    • UAW Strike Solidarity
      UAW local 125 at the Stellantis Mopar Parts Distribution Center (13005 Hwy 55, Plymouth, MN 55441) and UAW local 722 at the GM Hudson Parts Distribution Center (2200 Willis Miller Drive Hudson, Wisconsin 54016) have been on strike. Picket lines are 24/7. Wearing a DSA shirt or red is encouraged. Show up whenever you can and show your solidarity with the workers. Members can visit the #labor slack channel for more information.

  • Solidarity Housing
    • The National Political Committee (NPC) of DSA is visiting the Twin Cities next month! We are working on offering solidarity housing for any NPC member who wants it. If you are interested and able to host a guest in your home sometime between November 2-6, 2023, please fill out this form

  • Newsletter University
    • Saturday, October 14: 10:00am – 2:00pmRegister Here

      Newsletter University is a teach-in being hosted by the Twin Cities DSA Newsletter Team. The goals of the event are to train Twin Cities DSA members on how to produce all aspects The Little Red Letter, to build ties amongst Newsletter Team members and supporters, to learn something new, and to have fun. 

      Event is being hosted at a member’s apartment complex meeting area in Minneapolis near Minehaha Falls. Please register for more details. Face masks are required outside of eating and drinking periods. This is an in-person only event. All ages are welcome. Recordings of specific trainings will be available online following the event. Lunch, with vegan and gluten free options, will be provided by the chapter. Please bring a laptop, tablet, or pen/paper with you to the event, if you are able. 

  • Door Knock for Soren Stevenson
    • Saturday, October 14: 1:00pm – 3:30pm
      5 E 38th St, MinneapolisRSVP Here

      Join us for a door knock with Soren Stevenson’s campaign in Ward 8! We’re meeting at Soren’s campaign office and will have a BBQ afterwards.

  • On the Left Bank Issue 5 Zine Read and Social
    • Saturday, October 14: 3:00pm – 4:30pm
      Crosby Farm Park PavilionRSVP Here

      Join the authors and editors of On the Left Bank, our homegrown socialist lit and art zine, to read pieces from the new issue and celebrate one year of socialist art zines! 

  • Door Knock for Jason Chavez
    • Saturday, October 14: 1:00pm – 3:30pm – RSVP Here

      Join us for a door knock with Council Member Jason Chavez in Ward 9!

  • Air Quality Monitoring Project (Environmental Justice Group) – Monday, 10/9, 6:00pm-6:45pm – Zoom Registration
    • Interested in doing something actionable with your programming skills for Environmental Justice? A small team of volunteers have been working with the data coming in from the City of Minneapolis’ Community Air Monitoring Project to create a text alert system for poor air quality events, but we need help. If you have any experience with Python and/or SQL and would like to be involved, please email Rob H at You can check out our GitHub repository here.

      After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

  • Environmental Justice Working Group (f/k/a East Phillips Urban Farm Working Group) – Monday, 10/9, 7:00pm-8:30pm – Boneshaker BooksZoom Registration
    • The Environmental Justice group meets every other week on Monday at 7p. Right now we are focusing most on shutting down the HERC and supporting Camp Nenookaasi Ikwe in East Phillips, and are also helping with the Reimagining of I-94 and shutting down major polluters in East Phillips. Join us to discuss how best to support the residents and realize this environmental and economic justice vision.

      This group’s meetings are hybrid, in-person at Boneshaker and on Zoom.

  • Minneapolis Rent Control Working Group – Tuesday, 10/10, 6:00pm-7:00pm – Zoom Link
    • Join the Minneapolis Rent Control Working Group as we fight for strong rent control in our city! Meetings on Zoom on the first Tuesday of the month at 6pm.

  • Internal Organizing Committee – Wednesday, 10/11, 6:30pm–8:00pm – Zoom Registration
    • All are welcome to join our monthly meetings of the TCDSA Internal Organizing Committee (IOC).

      This committee works to create the spaces, structures, and resources to initiate and sustain members’ active and healthy participation in chapter work. Through internal organizing, we strive to grow our capacity by developing confident and skilled organizers and leaders who are empowered to turn their resources into collective power to make socialist change. Join the #internal-organizing channel on Slack for more info.

  • Political Education Committee – Thursday, 10/12, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Zoom Registration
    • All members are welcome to join the Political Education committee or to attend any of our meetings to discuss the continuation of Socialism 101 and lifting up Pol Ed for new, curious, and established TCDSA members.

      This group meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month. For more information, check out the #politicaleducation Slack channel. Not on Slack? Submit to verify you’re on the member list.

  • Health Justice Working Group – Thursday, 10/12, 7:00pm-8:00pm – Zoom Registration
    • The Health Justice working group is rebuilding! 

      Join us for our monthly meeting and get to know other comrades to discuss the healthcare industry, learn about current healthcare-related legislation, and plan how our chapter can work for health justice. 

  • Steering Committee Meeting – Sunday, 10/15, 3:00pm-4:30pm
    • Check #steeringcommittee for the zoom link and agenda. If you are a member and need access to slack, sign up at

  • East Phillips Health Team – Tuesday, 10/17, 6:00pm-7:30pm
    • Note, this is NOT the DSA Health Justice WG.

      Goal: To improve health outcomes in East Phillips by reducing air pollution in the neighborhood. Jointly led by TCDSA, Seward Vaccine Equity Project (SVEP), and East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI).

      This group meets every other Tuesday from 6 to 730pm. It is on Zoom, but not always on DSA accounts. Please email for access to the Zoom link.

  • Labor Branch Meeting – Tuesday, 10/17, 7:00pm-8:30pm – Zoom Registration
    • The TCDSA Labor Branch meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. For information about this meeting, see the #labor channel on Slack. Not on Slack? Submit to verify you’re on the member list.

  • Internal Organizing Phonebank – Wednesday, 10/18, 6:00pm–7:00pm – Zoom Registration
    • Join the Internal Organizing Committee for our bimonthly phonebank to call new TCDSA members. We meet on Zoom to go over the script, mute ourselves and make phone calls to other DSA members, and then return to debrief how our calls went. A brief training is provided and no prior experience is required. These phonebanks are a chance to meet other members to TCDSA, hear what they need from our chapter and what brings them to socialism. All are welcome to join!

      IO phonebanks are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. For more information about joining this meeting, see the #internal-organizing Slack channel.

  • Communications Committee Meeting – Thursday, 10/19, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Zoom Registration
    • The Communications Committee meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month.

      For information on joining this meeting, see the #communications channel on Slack. Not on Slack? Submit to verify you’re on the member list.

Go to to see everything!

More Funding, Fewer Cops

Why are police salaries skyrocketing but police departments shrink? I use a Marxist lens to make sense of the political economy of the police shortage in Minnesota. 

From: Ethan BF

Economists call for strong federal rent control

A letter signed by 30 US economists calls for a federal rent control policy, noting that there is not a single state where a worker earning a full-time minimum wage salary can afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.

From: Deb K R

Saltwater incursions cause big problems in NOLA

As drought grows in the central US, southern Louisiana finds a formerly rare emergency becoming more frequent: saltwater is infecting drinking water city by city up the Mississippi River.

From: Deb K R

Antarctica – unsafe for women and LBGQT fieldworkers

In August of last year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a damning report about the pervasive culture of sexual harassment and assault on research stations located in one of the world’s most remote and isolating places for field work, Antarctica. 

From: Deb K R

Camp Nenookaasi – how to support

Camp Nenookaasi – located at East 24th Street and 13th Avenue South, Minneapolis – is a community based healing camp rooted in native practices & inclusive of all unsheltered relatives. Here is a call directly from the organizers outlining ways to help.

From: Deb K R

Include EPNI in your vote for Seward Co-op “community choice” SEED recipients

Every year, Seward Co-op chooses twelve (monthly) recipients for lucrative grants in its SEED program. Four of those are chosen by the community at large, regardless of membership. Vote for our organizing partner East Phillips Neighborhood Institute for 2024 funds. 

From: Deb K R

Reviews of Jem Bendell’s Breaking Together

Breaking Together is the latest book from Jem Bendell, a UK academic who founded Deep Adaptation. The article links to numerous reviews and a free e-pub.

From: Deb K R

Dr. who wrote first CDC report on AIDS (1981) has a lot more to say

Dr. Michael Gottlieb knows more about the history of AIDS in America than anyone. Read this great interview this year he gave to one of his former patients in the 80s, journalist and AIDS survivor Mark S. King of POZ.

From: Deb K R

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