See Julio Colby’s important article on the possible resurgence of American labor. Although private-sector union membership sits at a historic low of 6 percent, the number of strikes and union elections have significantly increased since the pandemic, with successful unionization efforts at Amazon and Starbucks capturing national attention and public opinion of unions higher than ever.
But to understand the renewed interest in unions in the United States, it is important to understand how corporate power defeated them in the first place. Since the right to unionize was first granted to private-sector workers in 1935, corporations have exerted influence on every branch of government to craft law and policy that has made it harder for workers to collectively organize and easier for employers to bust unions.
Now, American workers who were told they were “essential” throughout the pandemic are organizing and demanding to be treated that way. But will they be able to defeat powerful employers who have the law on their side? Julio Colby talks to workers from the first unionized Starbucks locations in the state of Massachusetts to understand why this time might be different.
Read the article here.