Why did the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) lose its fight against Amazon in Bessemer, Alabama? Jane McAlevey analyzed the loss in a widely read piece for the Nation. Sadly, everything she says is true. Read excerpts of Jane’s interview with Doug Henwood of Jacobin Listen Read More
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
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
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
Why Unions Must Recommit to Expanding Their Base: Demobilizing our base is never a good idea, especially when the right wing and the Trump forces continue to mobilize
Unions need to expand their base if Democrats are to stand any real chance in the future; simultaneously, they need to provide deep political education. Joe Biden’s platform for the economy, part of his Build Back Better plan, would substantially advance the quality of life among the multiracial working class—but the prospect of getting any of those proposals through the Senate, no matter the outcome in Georgia’s runoff elections, isn’t realistic. Read More