Our new Gilded Age of obscene wealth and arrogance stands in stark contrast to the everyday struggles faced by tens of millions of exhausted workers fighting just to stay healthy and alive, avoid eviction, make the next month’s rent payment, or find the kind of job that will leave enough free time to help their children with homework. Read More
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Labor Needs an Outside Strategy: Only worker power can make good on the promises of the Biden administration.
Despite staggering wealth and income inequality in the United States, President Biden is bargaining against himself on his already way-too-small proposal to tax the rich, and far too many Democrats oppose the measure. While disappointing, that’s to be expected. But what’s now becoming absurd in the race to the death of the working class and our unions is the lack of strikes or any serious effort to build the power required so workers can reverse fifty years of nonstop abuse. 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