Trying to win progressive change without rebuilding the labor movement is a fool’s errand. That’s why the union victories at Starbucks and Amazon are so promising: the current uptick in labor militancy could become a transformational upsurge.
Luis Feliz Leon is a staff writer and organizer with Labor Notes.
In a massive victory, Amazon workers recently won a union at a warehouse in New York. So now the company is trying every trick in the union-busting playbook to throttle worker organizing at a second facility.
Last week, workers at three of Amazon’s last-mile delivery centers in New York and Maryland walked off the job to demand better pay and working conditions. It’s the latest action by Amazonians United, a group organizing Amazon workers across the US and Canada.
Both Uber and a Teamsters local are backing a new Washington State bill that would give rideshare drivers new benefits — while codifying their status as independent contractors rather than employees.
In a landslide victory, workers at the largest GM plant in Mexico just voted out their corrupt union, known for employer-friendly “protection contracts,” for an independent one.
After rejecting a contract proposal from union leadership, 2,000 Washington carpenters walked off the job.
In an interview, the lead organizer for the Amazon union campaign in Bessemer says that the drive has built momentum to unionize Amazon despite the defeat — and that “Bezos had better not get too cocky, because them folks are pretty fired up.”
The richest 5 percent have gotten unfathomably richer this year. With post–COVID-19 austerity on the horizon, a campaign to tax the rich in New York State is gaining momentum.
Amid the pandemic, Uber and Lyft drivers are more precarious than ever. Even as the companies dodge court rulings, the battle for drivers to be legally classified as employees is growing.
The combination of rising property values and billowing police budgets have transformed New York City since the 1970s. Now, movements to defund the police are coalescing with calls to cancel rent.