This Labor Day We Reflect on Worker Movements Across the US
Most of us have seen a steady decline in the share of workers represented by organized labor. As we return from a long and needed Labor Day weekend, we are taking stock of surging labor activism within all sectors of the economy.
CFA members joined more than 5,000 people marching for farmworkers’ rights and protections on August 26.
The rally was part of advocacy around Assembly Bill 2183, which would give farmworkers the right to vote for union elections free from intimidation.
Last year, Newsom vetoed a similar one, and the governor’s office stated that he would not sign this bill. Criticism of Newsom has centered on his ownership of hospitality and wine businesses.
Recently United Farm Workers held a vigil in the sweltering Sacramento heat to press await Governor Newsom to sign signature on AB 2183. While many had Labor Day weekend off agricultural workers were still working in life threatening temperatures.
On Sunday, President Biden stated his support of the bill.
“Farmworkers worked tirelessly and at great personal risk to keep food on America’s tables during the pandemic,” he said. “In the state with the largest population of farmworkers, the least we owe them is an easier path to make a free and fair choice to organize a union.”
Across the Country Workers are rising up.
A recent Gallup poll indicates that union popularity at an all-time 57 year high.
Last year, there were zero unionized Starbucks locations in the US. This Labor Day, workers in more than 235 Starbucks stores across 33 states have unionized, with nearly 100 more filling for elections.
Amazon workers at the JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island formed the first unionized Amazon warehouse. Since then, organizing has continued sparking worker actions.
In Hadley, Mass., and Minneapolis, Minn., workers at Trader Joe’s voted to form a union.
REI workers in New York City voted to form the company’s first union. A store in California is forming the second union.
At Chipotle and Apple stores, workers formed the companies’ first unions.
Over 50 percent of potentially 5,000 Minor League Baseball players recently signed union recognition cards.
UPS workers are gearing up for what are expected to be contentious contract negotiations, with most expecting a strike. With 350,000 workers represented by Teamsters, a potential strike would be the largest in US history.
Planned Parenthood and reproductive justice workers are unionizing in historic numbers despite precarious political environments.
Over 2,000 mental healthcare workers at Kaiser in Northern California remain on strike into their third week with NUHW.
Fifteen thousand members of the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) have set a strike date for September 12. The proposed MNA strike could be the largest private sector nurses strike in US history.
Over the weekend Boston University Grad student Workers announced their intention to form a union.
In a time of massive corporate profits and increasing income inequality, corporations’ anti-union tactics are rife.