As we reflect on 2022, Brandworkers’ 15th year as a workers center, we can’t help but look back and see how far we’ve come. The past year has been a period of intense internal and external growth and change at Brandworkers. This growth has only strengthened our vision and helped build a sustainable foundation of support for worker leaders organizing in the workplace as we enter into 2023. We are also here today to share some exciting 2022 highlights with all of you:

  • New Beverage Production Organizing Committee: We are currently organizing a beverage production facility in New York City with numerous exploitative labor practices, including low wages, understaffing, and a range of health and safety hazards. The workers have formed a strong organizing committee, and came together to draft a petition for better, safer working conditions. A supermajority of production employees presented the petition to management, and won their demand for enhanced safety training within days. The organizing committee has continued to meet with Brandworkers organizers and campaigners since in order to plan an escalation strategy that will win the rest of their demands.
  • New Bakery Organizing Committee: Brandworkers has also supported the formation of an organizing committee at a bakery in NYC, where workers deal with last-minute scheduling, low wages, and unsafe working conditions. Our organizers have coached them in the practice of one-on-one organizing conversations in order to expand their organizing committee, and they are now in the initial stages of drafting a first petition.
  • Expanding Brandworkers Organizing Apprentice Program: Number of participants grew from 2 to 6 this year.
  • Formation of Brandworkers Staff Union (BWSU): The staff at Brandworkers voted to unionize with the Industrial Workers of the World in order to leverage the power of their labor to create a more equitable and dignified workplace. Brandworkers made the decision to voluntarily recognize the Brandworkers Staff Union on October 1st, 2022. The union’s demands for fair hiring and compensation processes, a robust racial and gender justice program and a commitment to transition into a cooperative decision-making model have all been met.
  • Commitment to Healing Justice Framework: As part of the staff unionization process, Brandworkers committed to implementing a healing justice framework within all aspects of our work. This framework will provide an educational pathway to understanding how to address systemic power structures that continue to show up in our work and aid us in implementing a restorative justice model for accountability involving all of Brandworkers stakeholders—including staff, members, board members, and allies.
  • Four new staff members: Yolanda (Lead Organizer), Cody Eaton (NYC Organizer), Joe Seider (New Organizing Coordinator), and Christa Tandana (Resource Mobilization Coordinator and Operations Manager)
  • Ally/Coalition Building in NYC:
    • Attended over 20 street actions with coalition partners
    • 40 in attendance at El Hormiguero Art Build, more than a dozen signs made for street actions
    • We doubled our volunteer membership and expanded to have two working groups focused on research and communications.
    • Brandworkers and El Hormiguero participate in international general strike with Italian union members UBS/Si Cobas and FAU- Free Workers Union
  • Ally/Coalition Building in New Jersey:
    • Joined Protect New Jersey Workers Coalition
    • Picket line support for Starbucks workers in Montclair, NJ
    • Coalition building with New Jersey Workers Centers, New Labor and Laundry Workers Center, and Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations
  • Raised over $50k for May Day!
  • 15th Anniversary Awards Social: Celebrated 15 years of worker-led organizing in person, honored Los Deliveristas Unidos and Starbucks Workers United, and raised over $100k! It was so meaningful to share space with you all and we look forward to many more opportunities to do so in the coming year.
  • Growth in Online Presence: 500% growth on Instagram, 30% growth on Facebook, expanded to TikTok with over 1,000 unique video views, 13,000 unique impressions on twitter in last 90 days

Thank you for being in community with us this year. We couldn’t have done it without your support and are looking forward to building solidarity and deepening our relationships in 2023.