Writing
Organizers with substantial, direct experience in the field have an entirely different focus than authors who have not been involved in campaigns: we focus on how the work gets done (methods), and how to win.

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

no shortcuts book cover

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

May Day protest in Greece

Celebrating May Day Starts by Taking Workers Seriously: Here in the United States, workers need a lot more than another holiday.

“…here in the United States, the date is barely known beyond those immigrants whose home countries honor it, or among the most committed labor activists. Yet May Day commemorates the lives of four labor organizers in the United States who were hanged in Chicago after being falsely convicted of throwing a bomb into a group of police.” Read More