strikes Archives - Jane McAlevey

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You Better Work! How the mood in Bessemer, Alabama turned from optimism to defeat: Jane McAlevey on the Amazon workers union vote

I appreciate @onthemedia for hosting this important conversation about the critical distinction between “didn’t win” and “can’t win” in Bessemer, Alabama. The conditions in this country are absurdly unfair. Of course it shouldn’t be so hard for workers to form a union. The segment with my interview begins about 22 minutes in. Read More

Amazon union push in Alabama

Blowout in Bessemer: A Postmortem on the Amazon Campaign: The warning signs of defeat were everywhere.

Earlier today the NLRB announced the results of the vote on whether workers at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., would join a union. The vote was 738 in favor to 1,798 against. It’s bad news, but it doesn’t mean workers in future Amazon campaigns won’t or can’t win. They can. Read More

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Smithfield Foods: A Huge Success You’ve Hardly Heard About

This is an excerpt  from my book,  No Shortcuts, pertinent to the vote by Amazon workers in Alabama. This chapter demonstrates how motivation and strategy may have more to do with failure and success across all sectors of workers than previously thought. Most academics have long assumed that organizing the unorganized might be possible only among low-wage service workers. Read More

Drivers demand job security and livable incomes at a protest at Uber and Lyft’s New York City headquarters in May 2019

Silicon Valley’s Offer of Sectoral Bargaining Is a Trick: If national union leaders acquiesce to the creation of a third category of worker in exchange for sectoral bargaining, collective begging will replace collective bargaining.

There is a massive power play taking place right now, being led by some of the biggest titans of industry—particularly in Silicon Valley—who seek to avoid having to contribute to society at all by rewriting the legal status of their workers. The current debate about who is a worker, who is an independent contractor, and who is legally eligible for things like Social Security and unemployment insurance centers around the question of whether state and federal policy makers accept or reject what is referred to as a “third category” of worker. Read More

chile general strike

Short of a General Strike, How Can Labor Stop Trump From Stealing the Election?: Lessons from Chile’s uprising—and from the 2000 Florida recount fight.

There has been a lot of social media chatter about a general strike here in the United States if the results are ambiguous and Trump tries to steal the election. It would be amazing if national trade unions here were prepared to take the same actions in November 2020 that Chile’s national unions took in November 2019—but there’s absolutely no indication that people in positions of power in significant sectors of the US economy are ready to act as boldly as Chilean leaders did. Read More