Major unions are also experimenting. This month, thousands of workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., will begin voting on whether to join the Retail and Departmental Stores Alliance. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters wants to help Amazon warehouse and shipping workers win union contracts.
Today, there’s a non-existent urgency when Miranda supports customers over the phone: Amazon is now the avatar of a monopoly economy. That economy made The 10 richest men in the world have been twice as rich in the terrifying months since March 2020. It’s an economy that makes me feel like a creepy zillionth on some global ant farm. The days I don’t, it’s because of the workers I talk to and the little things I see – at the Amazon and in nursing homes, truck parks, schools, factories, and grocery stores. Daniel Gross, a longtime organizer, told me: “We certainly wouldn’t have had a more favorable time to have a union. It feels like his way of saying it, Fixtures up; we all know the score.
Workers always organized in various ways, formal and informal. Since the beginning of the American labor movement, in the 19th century, there have been unions, as well as more specialized groups of workers. Around the time of the Amazon call center campaign, organizations like WashTech were in vogue. They are called “worker hubs” and tend to focus on communities (like Nepalese immigrants) or types of jobs (like restaurant delivery workers) that traditional unions don’t deal with. reachable.
I knew these groups in the middle of my thinking years, when, as an attorney, I joined a legal services agency representing worker centers in New York City. The center’s offices are welcomed and hung on red tape. They had limited resources and few members, but in the following years they achieved goals beyond their means: a domestic worker’s benefit bill, new technical regulations nail art and cyclists delivering food, clearing debt for taxi drivers.
I was impressed by their overall approach: A construction day worker is not defined by his wages and hours worked – he also needs an affordable apartment and help applying for it. green card. People at progressive unions thought so too, especially as the Great Recession and Occupy Wall Street highlighted the larger context for workplace struggles. And over the past decade, as a journalist and no longer a lawyer, I have seen the influence of progressives grow.
In 2020, I think the enthusiasm that strengthens this organization, combined with mass deaths and financial hardship, can bring about a broad movement of the working class. There have been signs of temper in essential workers’ walks and record turnout at protests after the killing of George Floyd. Then things calmed down – because, I think, about the temporary uplift of an expanded welfare state.
But then, from August to November 2021, more than four million employees leave their jobs every month – personal actions that demonstrate rebellious temper. I see similar discontent with organized labor: Last fall, thousands of union workers went on strike or were about to strike at the hospitals and clinics of John Deere, Kellogg, Kaiser Permanente and on Hollywood studios. The wave of people quitting their jobs was named the Great Resignation; the inner hysteria feels like a big rejection, a commitment to reject the status quo and demand transition.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/magazine/unions-amazon.html Do unions today have a chance to fight against American business?