• print
  • decrease text sizeincrease text size
    text

Tate’s Bake Shop threatens workers with deportation, this week in the war on workers

Share this post

Workers attempting to unionize at Tate’s Bake Shop are getting hit with an all-too-common, and totally vile, union-busting message: They say they’re being threatened with deportation

Yes, Tate’s—now owned by Mondelez International—hired an anti-union consultant, who apparently looked at the company’s many undocumented workers and went for the threat that would scare them the most. It’s an illegal threat—undocumented workers are explicitly allowed to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act—but a potent one.

“They began threatening people based on their immigration status, telling them that if their documents are not in order and they attempted to join the labor union they would get deported,” said Cosmo Lubrano, president of the Eastern States Joint Board of the International Union of Allied, Novelty and Production Workers.

”People are scared to talk,” a Tate’s sanitation worker told Gothamist. “They’re scared to express themselves.”

This blog originally appeared at Daily Kos on March 13, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Laura Clawson has been a contributing editor since December 2006. Clawson has been full-time staff since 2011, and is currently assistant managing editor at the Daily Kos.


Share this post

Union organizing Amazon workers emphatically disavows social media calls for boycott

Share this post

Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, are still voting on whether to join a union, in a mail vote that ends March 29. The company’s ongoing harassment campaign aimed at defeating the organizing effort has many workers looking forward to that date, when the barrage will end—much as Republican negative campaigning is aimed at turning people against politics and good governance.

This week, the workers and organizers have had to contend with another problem: a viral “boycott Amazon” campaign claiming to be in support of the workers. Many, many people shared the call to boycott the company for the week of March 7 to 13 in good faith—but it didn’t come from and wasn’t supported by the union or the workers, and it was not helpful.

After President Biden’s message of support for workers to vote free from interference, an anti-union worker at a media event organized by Amazon told reporters, “I don’t need someone from the outside coming in and saying this or that.” Workers on the fence about unionizing may also fear that a boycott will cost them their jobs, and that fear may make them more open to management messages that a union will hurt the company and its ability to create jobs. “One of Amazon’s talking points is that a union will hurt the business/lose jobs,” labor journalist Kim Kelly tweeted. “A boycott hands the boss ammunition.”

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union has disavowed the boycott call, saying the union had nothing to do with it—“The union has not called for nor endorses a boycott at Amazon”—and indeed, if you looked at both the RWDSU’s social media and that of the Bessemer Amazon union prior to the issue going viral, neither had said a word about a boycott. Having outsiders intervene in an organizing effort not by being responsive to the workers and the union can be directly harmful to the workers’ cause. So where did this come from?

The call to boycott originated with the “Leftist Unification Party,” which still has less than 100 followers on Twitter, having emerged on social media within the last few months. Slate’s Aaron Mak talked to the group’s “administrative director” and “head strategist”—lofty titles for what they told him was a six-person volunteer group. Administrative director Angie told him “This is my first time with any sort of leadership position—zero experience” after activist experience consisting mostly of canvassing and protesting.

Angie and head strategist Cassidy told Mak they intentionally hadn’t checked in with the union or workers about whether their boycott effort would be welcome because to do so would be an illegal secondary boycott. That’s not what a secondary boycott is. Strikewave’s C.M. Lewis explained, “A prohibited secondary boycott would be coercing a businesses to pull their merchandise from the Amazon marketplace, not telling consumers to not buy directly from the retailer.” When Mak challenged Angie and Cassidy on that, they stuck to their story about not consulting the union because it would be illegal to do so. On Twitter, they’ve also proudly proclaimed their lack of concern for the union’s preferences on this.

So maybe the six members of the Leftist Unification Party are just idiots who don’t know what they’re doing and got belligerent when people who do know something about organizing challenged them. (Sample tweet.) Or maybe the many questions people asked about exactly why and how a boycott call coming from a group that just appeared out of nowhere went viral at a time very convenient to Amazon are worth asking.

Unfortunately, there’s another part of the puzzle: The LUP’s boycott call was picked up and amplified, largely unattributed, by UComm, which made remarkable use of passive voice: “To support Amazon workers and let the company know that we do not approve of their union-busting tactics, a one-week boycott of the company has been planned. From Sunday, March 7th to Saturday, March 13th, everyone is being asked to not use Amazon or Amazon Prime and do not stream videos using the Amazon Prime video service.”

Planned by whom? Everyone is being asked by whom? That was never specified, just dropped in the middle of a piece reporting on the union effort. The inspiration, though, was the Leftist Unification Party. UComm is not a mysterious group like the Leftist Unification Party. It’s a communications consulting firm that works for unions and really should have known better, but, with more than 24,000 Twitter followers and more than 7,000 Facebook followers, it dramatically amplified the boycott push.

As one labor organizer tweeted, “the boycott call is, in the very best case, coming from amiable clowns and more likely coming from clout-chasers.” It took advantage of the good intentions of many people, though—and we need to take it as an opportunity for education. 

First off, when you’re dealing with an active union organizing effort, always take your cues from the workers and their union. The point of organizing is building worker power, and coming in from the outside saying you know better is detrimental to that even when it doesn’t also feed into the boss’s talking points.

Related, do your homework. The first thing I did when I saw people sharing the boycott call was look at the RWDSU and BAmazonUnion Twitter feeds. They said nothing about a boycott, ergo I knew there was no real boycott effort. 

What do I mean by “real”? The term “boycott” gets thrown around a lot, and it’s gotten cheapened as a result. Real boycotts, boycotts that are going to be effective, take work. It’s true that social media, with the potential for virality, has somewhat changed the equation—sometimes a brand will see a mass of negative attention and change course on something, like apologizing for an offensive ad or pulling back from a new practice. But a company as big as Amazon is not going to change its entire business model because of a social media boycott call. Boycotts take organization, planning, and clarity. They usually take institutional support, whether from unions or churches or major advocacy groups. They take follow-through—what do you do if the boycott succeeds? How do you make sure the win holds up, and, equally, how do you let your supporters know it’s time to stop boycotting?

There are lots of reasons to boycott—from the Montgomery Bus Boycott to the Nestle infant formula boycott—and a range of groups can organize them. But organizing is a key principle here. Educating people about why they should boycott and what success would look like. Viral hashtags are great, but if the goal is substantial change in the real world, they have to be backed up by something.

This week’s social media Amazon “boycott” is an unfortunate but excellent case study in the principles of listening to workers and not mistaking social media for real life. If the Amazon union effort fails, the company’s constant harassment of workers is obviously the first and by far the most important factor. But if it fails by a razor-thin margin … we’ll always have to wonder if this helped tip the balance.

This blog originally appeared at Daily Kos on March 10, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Laura Clawson has been a contributing editor since December 2006. Clawson has been full-time staff since 2011, and is currently assistant managing editor at the Daily Kos.


Share this post

Danny Glover Sees Centuries of Struggle in the Amazon Union Drive

Share this post

This interview originally appeared on The Real News Network.

One of the most historic union votes of our era is underway right now: 5,800workers at the Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, are currently voting on whether or not to unionize with the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union. If the union vote is successful, workers at the Bessemer facility will become the first unionized Amazon workforce in the United States. After the National Labor Relations Board dismissed Amazon’s motions to delay the union vote, ballots were sent to workers in early February, and the vote counting will begin on March 29.

On Feb. 22, 2021, world-renowned actor, activist, and Real News Network board member Danny Glover came to Bessemer to show support for Amazon workers and their struggle to form a union. TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez drove 14 hours from Baltimore to Bessemer to sit down with Glover and talk about why this vote is so significant and how Amazon workers in Bessemer, the vast majority of whom are Black, are part of a long tradition of labor struggle in the South.

The Real News Network will bring you more in-depth coverage of the historic union vote in Bessemer throughout the month of March. Keep checking TRNN for updates and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube and podcastchannels for upcoming installments!

This transcript has been edited for length and clarity. 

Maximillian Alvarez, TRNN Editor-in-Chief: Welcome, everyone, to this special production of The Real News Network. My name is Maximillian Alvarez, I’m the Editor-in-Chief here at The Real News, and it’s great to have you all with us.

At this very moment, one of the most historic union drives of our era is taking place in Bessemer, Alabama. Bessemer is a Southwestern suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, with a population of just under 27,000, the majority of whom are Black or African-American. Bessemer is also home to a massive Amazon fulfillment center, which opened last March, making the e?commerce giant the largest employer in Bessemer. After experiencing firsthand the breakneck workloads and top-down surveillance that Amazon’s fulfillment centers have become known for, as well as a reported lack of transparency and accountability from management, a group of workers at the Bessemer facility began the long, arduous process of organizing, with the hope of joining the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union.

Amazon has pulled out all the stops to discourage workers in Bessemer from voting to join the union, even bringing in outside consultants who are being paid $3,200 per day, per consultant to guide the company’s union busting efforts. Workers have reported receiving regular anti-union texts and emailsfrom Amazon, on top of being subjected to anti-union messages in company bathrooms and ?“information sessions.” On top of that, Amazon also filed a set of motions with the National Labor Relations Board in an attempt to delay the union vote, including a motion that would have prevented workers from being able to mail in their ballots while the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. After the NLRB eventually struck down those motions, ballots were sent out to Amazon workers. The vote counting officially began on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, and will continue through March 29.

There have been a number of attempts to unionize Amazon workers in the United States, but so far, none of them have achieved that ultimate goal. But workers and organizers on the ground have high hopes that this drive in Bessemer will be different, and that it will spark more successful union drives at Amazon facilities around the country. And make no mistake, workers unionizing at Amazon affects all of us. With so many fearing the hazards of trips to brick-and-mortar stores over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a boon to Amazon’s e?commerce model. While millions lost their jobs, homes, and healthcare, Jeff Bezos, the founder and current CEO of Amazon, reportedly increased his wealth by nearly $70 billion in 2020 alone. Amazon has become an international behemoth, and it has more power and influence over our lives than most entities. And yet, the general population has virtually no say over what Amazon does and how it does it. If Amazon workers were unionized, that could change.

On Feb. 22, 2021, world-renowned actor, activist, and Real News Network board member Danny Glover came down to Bessemer to show support for the roughly 5,800 fulfillment center workers who are currently voting on whether or not to unionize. I got in my car and drove 14 hours from Baltimore down to Bessemer to chat with Danny about why this union vote is so significant, and it’s my honor to share that interview with you now. And please, stay tuned for more of our extended coverage of the historic union drive in Bessemer through the month of March, including interviews with Amazon workers and union organizers on the ground. Coming to you right here on The Real News Network, let’s go… 

So, Danny, first of all, thank you so much for sitting down and chatting with me. I know how busy you are, and I know you devote a great deal of your time traveling across the globe to lend your powerful voice to freedom struggles around the world. So, in that vein, I wanted to start by asking: What brought you down here to Alabama? What was it about the workers’ struggle here that compelled you to come to Bessemer and show your support?

Danny Glover: Well, I think the first thing to say is that I was asked to come down. And I think it’s a very important moment, certainly, for workers?—?this challenge right here, with a company that [aside from Walmart] employs more people than any other company in the country, located here in the South, which is always considered to be a place where unions never fared well. And yet, we know there’s a history, particularly here in Alabama, around the miners and smelter workers’ in the ?’30s and their struggle for unionization?—?and, really, during the whole period of Jim Crow, particularly with the organizing of Black workers. Right here in Alabama, you had the cotton [mill workers’] strike in the ?’30s. So, there’s a history of resistance here to the oppressive conditions that people work under. And the South, of course, has its own history, one that carried the weight of the moral issue around slavery.

So, to be here at this particular moment is important. And part of my own history is in the South: My mother’s from the South, rural Georgia, and she found her way outside; she was able to go to college. She didn’t have to pick cotton in September, because she was going to school in September. And then, I come out of a union family, through the U.S. Postal Service?—?my parents came to the Postal Service in 1948. So, there are a lot of reasons why I would be here and, certainly, I’m here in the service of justice, workers’ justice. It seems to be one of my life’s purposes, outside of doing the work that I do on the stage and in front of a screen.

MA: I definitely want to ask more about that union connection to your family, but I wanted to follow up on something first. So, you touched on this a little already, but how do you see the struggle for workers’ rights and labor justice?—?how does that connect to the larger struggle for liberation and dignity?

DG: Well, I think that organized labor in the era of industrialization?—?since the industrial revolution (over the last 200 years or so)?—?has fought for the most fundamental rights, human rights, all over this country and within the world itself. And that fight brings a kind of class consciousness, as well, which is an understanding that one of the elements that is essential to capital (or money) and the ways it expands itself is: How do you control labor? How do you undermine labor? How do you de-radicalize labor? And when you’re fighting for the basic means of paying rent or putting food on the table, those are real things.

We’re talking about a country where the majority of the population lives in the urban areas and often crowded areas (and it’s like that around the world, too). Whether through forced migrations and enclosure laws, or through voluntary migrations to find work and everything else, this process of industrialization drove people to the city and drove them right into the places where they had to sell their labor in order to survive. And I think that is what we are dealing with?—?it’s the same now. No matter how much technology we have, no matter how much we dismiss the whole idea of unions, the point is that human beings sell their bodies, sell themselves for a price, in order to survive. They don’t grow their own food, they have to purchase their food. So, all these intricate relationships are surrounded by systems that are often unjust, and you have to place some sort of context or place some sort of structure around it to make sure that the benefits of what they produce are shared in some way. I’m babbling right now, to some extent, but you see how this sets the picture for this particular moment… 

And so, from the robber barons of the 19th century (the latter part of the 19thcentury) to now, their objective was always the same thing: How do we control labor? How do we now exploit labor? Not just control, exploit it, because their objective is exploitation. How does that added value that they bring go to them so less of it goes to the working force, the people who create the value? Because they (the workers) create the value.

And that’s why we’re here right now?—?it’s that simple. We have the [second] largest employer in this country?—?certainly the largest employer in this area now?—?and there are 5,800 workers here who have an opportunity to say, ?“We want some sort of safeguards for ourselves. We want to be in a position where we set out a certain standard, which we believe is important for us to be able to negotiate around our wages, benefits, and working conditions.” Right now, this large company, Amazon, controls all of that. They control the working conditions the workers work under, the wages that they’re paid, and whatever benefits that they may accrue without any say from the workers themselves. And the best structure for them to have a say in their lives is unionization. That was the case 200 years ago, and it remains the same now, as well.

MA: You mentioned how you have your own roots in the South, and how your family was a union family… So, let’s talk about the significance of this union vote happening here in the deep South, in Bessemer. Because I think that, to some people who aren’t in the South, to some people who are watching what’s happening here from the outside, it seems like this union drive came out of nowhere, right? Because they’re not familiar with the labor history here. And I mean, let’s be honest, we don’t really get a good labor history education in most parts of the country. So, could you talk about how this union vote connects to a longer tradition and history of labor struggle in the South?

DG: Well, it certainly has that tradition. I mean, you talk about Alabama… Alabama had major deposits of iron ore. During the Civil War, I believe that the center for where the armaments that the South made was in Selma, Alabama. So, they had the material. And that’s in the latter part of the wonderful book ?“Hammer and Hoe,” which Robin D.G. Kelley wrote about the labor history in the South, the struggle of formerly enslaved Africans here post-Civil War, post-Reconstruction, and during the period of Jim Crow. The purpose was always to find various ways to diminish their capacity. And so, there is a rich history of labor struggle around here. As I told workers here, ?“You’re part of a continuum; you’re part of an ongoing struggle that began long before you. And, certainly, that struggle has led you to where you are today in your own efforts to build solidarity and in your own demands to build better working conditions for workers.”

Now, economically, since 85% of the Amazon workers in Bessemer are Black, unionization elevates your standard of living and diminishes the wealth gap. We can talk about the wealth gap in different contexts, but the point is that unionization has been a platform to raise people from low wages to the middle-class. And that is what we’re talking about here. We know the dynamics of poverty within Alabama and how they affect those who are the most underserved, and we know that all the other kinds of disparities that we have in our society (healthcare disparity, etc.)?—?those are a part of this region, too. Unionization is a way of mobilizing, not just under the rubric of controlling what happens in the workplace, but it’s a way of organizing the community, as well; it elevates the community’s sense of self-purpose in all facets. 

So, when we’re talking about unionization, we’re talking about other aspects, as well. Unionization creates citizens, it provides a platform for citizens to take action. And that is the case here, no matter if… You know, we can talk about whether the Mayor or the City Council of Bessemer are Black and everything else. They function on another level… But unions function in ways that strengthen the community itself.

MA: And speaking of that, how has it been when you’ve talked to the workers themselves in Bessemer and the union organizers here at the RWDSU? What have you been hearing from them when you talk to them about this union vote and about their working conditions at Amazon?

DG: When I spoke to workers (and we spoke with groups of workers yesterday), I mean… it’s unbelievable, some of the hardships that they have, the difficult ways in which they have to maneuver around. There’s surveillance on these workers in Amazon unlike any other kind of systems of surveillance on workers. They’re probably the most watched workers?—?every single detail of their work is being watched. And, in some ways, the demands placed on them to get their workload out… it’s basically unattainable. The periods that they have for breaks, for finding a restroom, the accommodations there, the availability of restrooms?—?all those different things are a concern. And here’s the thing: They have no control at all. Here’s a modern country where workers have no control and no say in what happens in the workplace, and it’s all left to the discretion of the managers themselves. This system has used technology in ways that we haven’t seen before (in creating Amazon’s wealth and business model, and in creating the working conditions around that model, as well). 

I mean, some of the stories have been quite saddening. And these people come here to work. They apply for jobs to work, and they give what they have to work. But some of the conditions that they work under, whether it’s inadequate breaks, or a feeling that you’re being watched, or being treated often in inappropriate ways… Amazon controls that. They control your paycheck and they control so many different things that workers have no say in.

MA: For folks out there who are listening to this, it’s important to convey that this isn’t just another union drive, right? And that’s not to say that any union drive, no matter how small, isn’t important. But as you said, Danny, Amazon is… I mean, it’s an international behemoth. And with the COVID-19pandemic, the power of Amazon has only increased, the influence of Amazon has only gotten stronger. And we are all just basically following where it leads right now. And I think that we should all be thinking long and hard about where it’s leading us to. So, I guess, in that vein, could you talk a bit more about where Amazon as a company is going and why it’s so important for workers to have more of a say in that direction?

DG: First of all, Amazon is a global company, and certainly, it deals with unions in other places. There are places in Europe where they have a relationship with unions. So, the question is always: Why not here, in its home base? Why are they so resistant to having a union in Amazon’s home base? Why are they using every device available to them to dis-encourage workers from joining the union, or voting to have a union? So, it’s significant from the vantage point that it sets the tone, I think, for all workers. 

When we talk about winning battles… the battles that workers win aren’t permanent?—?because they’re always struggling under different dynamics, new dynamics arise outside the workplace, within the workplace. When you have the unions, you’re empowering the worker. And that’s the most important thing that I think we have to say: We’re empowering workers. We’re empowering the community itself. Amazon… where are they going to go? They came to Bessemer, a place where, certainly, work has declined. Because of technology and automation, work has become unavailable. Good-paying jobs have become unavailable here for many reasons. Some of the work that would have happened here may have been outsourced to another country. But in advanced countries, like in Europe, where there are strong unions, Amazon deals with those unions. They have to deal with these unions in ways that they may feel uncomfortable with, but at the same time it gives workers power. And as I said before, it also gives the community power.

MA: And, Danny, what strikes me as a real, I don’t know, bizarre phenomenon in the mind of the American worker… is that, so often, we don’t feel like it is our right to have a say in our working conditions. Right? We feel like we’re asking too much, even though we spend most of our lives at work. Why do you think that is?

DG: Well, I think that there’s something about… I remember watching something long ago, which said (and this was in the developed world): The moment that people begin to structure their lives around their own independence and self-sufficiency, then they become dangerous, to some extent. Because they’re empowering themselves. 

What happens is that power, those people who dictate our lives, shape our lives, shape what we think all the time… what they do, what that power does, is they only provide what they think you need, not what you actually need. A better way to say that is that power diminishes those expectations to the point where… I missed my thought. [Laughs]… But the point is: Sometimes you gotta catch yourself in those moments where you can think philosophically about what is really happening here. And what power does is essentially attempts to give us what they want to give us, not what we need.

MA: So, zooming out, and thinking about everyone who’s listening to this right now, everyone who has their eyes on Bessemer, but especially all the folks who are just now learning about the struggle here… How would you convey to people that this is something that they should care about? How can we learn to see struggles like the one happening in Bessemer as part of our common struggle for a better world? And how would you encourage people to get involved in that struggle like you have?

DG: Philosophically, there are a lot of reasons why I think we should get involved in making a better world. We can talk about it from the side of redistributing resources. Amazon has fared very well. I think its value has doubled or tripled during the pandemic?—?I’m not sure what the numbers are. But apart from that… I don’t know how to tell people, really. Because we all end up selling our labor some way, and most people are, unfortunately, in a position where they themselves need and would want more control over what happens in their workplace, or what happens in terms of their… [Pause] I don’t know what to say.

One of the things, Max, is that I come down here out of passion for the work itself. What I’ve always felt from the beginning is that, for everything I do, if I’m there, it’s because I care. I’m not there for any other reason. If I’m asked to come here, it’s because I care about the issue itself, and the issue is important to me. And I think it takes that from all of us?—?to say that this is important to us. This struggle has significance for all of us who work, for all of us who feel discriminated against, for all of those who feel powerless at points in time. (And we already feel powerless because of COVID-19 and all the restrictions and hardships it has imposed on our lives.)

So, I just think that this… after the 20th century fights for labor, fighting for rights, fighting for equality (whether it’s with women, whether it’s with minorities, etc)?—?at any point in time, the struggle for access and the struggle for a world that works for all of us is what we need to talk about. And unionization and the struggle here in Bessemer is important because it has the possibility of not only changing the lives of these workers here, but also of providing the courage to foster other battles and other struggles.

MA: Thank you all so much for listening to this special production of The Real News Network. We’ve got lots more coverage of the historic union vote at the Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama coming your way. So, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, visit our website, subscribe to our YouTube and podcast channels, and check out all the great content that we produce on a weekly basis. And lastly, if you really want to support the work that we’re doing, then please consider making a monthly donation at the?re?al?news?.com/?s?u?pport. That’s the?re?al?news?.com/?s?u?pport.

The Real News Network is a nonprofit, viewer-supported center for digital media, dedicated to telling the stories that matter and lifting up the voices and struggles that so often go ignored by mainstream media. We make media for the people, not corporate advertisers, and so we cannot do this work without you. So, thank you so much for your support, and thank you for listening. This is Maximillian Alvarez from The Real News Network, sending love and solidarity from Baltimore.

This blog originally appeared at In These Times on March 11, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Maximillian Alvarez is a writer and editor based in Baltimore and the host of Working People, ?“a podcast by, for, and about the working class today.” His work has been featured in venues like In These Times, The Nation, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and The New Republic.


Share this post

It’s Time for an Organizing Revival

Share this post

The time has come for an organizing revival. Where we celebrate the evolution of this craft, and reground in organizing fundamentals that transcend form and context.

We have shifted an organizing field that was largely designed to win the best thing possible in the existing political and ideological landscape, to one dead-set on changing that landscape.

Contesting to win the battle of ideas — advancing ours about race, class, gender, immigration, markets, and the role of government; a seismic shift toward contesting for governing power; using technology to be in relationship with more people; and a shift in who is leading our organizations and movements. You’d be hard pressed to find a decade where the organizing field has changed in such powerful ways.

If, in the pace of it all, something got lost, it was a culture that supported organizing fundamentals like starting where people are and the art of deep leadership development. Fundamentals that cut across organizing lineage for a reason — they work. Absent a revival, I believe they may be endangered.

To deliver on the promise of this moment, and to beat back the threats, what got us here will not get us there. Not alone. The social movements of the last decade have powered large-scale change, especially at a cultural level, that would have seemed dreamy ten years ago. Now we’ve gotta turn that awakening into sustained power to win tangible change in people’s lives.

That will require reaching into the cracks, organizing people untouched by our organizations and movements. People we will not reach with a better message or targeted facebook ad, but only through coming to them, asking about their greatest hopes, most pressing pain, and how they are making meaning of it all.

Forty million Americans live in poverty. We are in relationship with a small percentage. As many or more are defined as working class, many of whom are downwardly mobile. Most don’t even know we exist.

We need an organizing revival that helps us get to the next wave of people, and from there, the next. That is going to require lots of very good organizers.

There are many fundamentals we need to revive. Here are just a few that feel essential.

Start Where People Are At

It sounds so simple, but this is the first organizing superpower. We humans do not easily start where people are at. We tend to start where we are at — what we need, what we believe, what we want. Something profound opens up if we start where the other person is, truly work to be in their shoes, to understand their experience.

Our biggest campaign should not be one of mobilizing, but one of listening. This is how we build. We’ve been mobilizing non-stop for ten years. Now, let’s go and listen to millions of people.

How we do it matters — we should listen to learn, not to confirm. Be curious. Seek to understand. All people need to be seen and heard. Let’s go meet that human need, and from there great organizing can happen.

Agitate People to Greatness

We live in a constant haze that blinds us from truths about society and ourselves. Even when we do see through it, sensing that little can be done, we get comfortable being uncomfortable. This is no accident, but of design.

We are taught through experience that we are not powerful, that change is not possible, that we need to stay in our place. Breaking through this repressive worldview requires that people be stirred up.

Agitation, done right, is an act of love. We move people toward a more accurate and powerful sense of self and possibility. Done wrong, agitation is aggressive and sloppy. As an act of love, it can alter someone’s path in immeasurable ways, and unleash new power into the world. It is one of the most essential ways we develop leaders.

Winning Matters

We are clearer than ever on our North Star demands. We need to be equally clear on the structural stepping stones that build toward those larger transformations. Organizing works because we create evidence that coming together and putting in the time is worth it.

We joke about when organizers used to work on stop-sign issues, and yet there is a reason we did. It provided evidence that coming together was worth the time. We don’t need to go back to stop-signs but we do need to develop a field that is clear on the structural stepping stones toward our north stars, and has a theory on how to deliver.

A “political revolution or bust” stance may work for people of means and a diehard few, but it is not sustainable for most people. We have to be winning. To relieve people’s pain, to grow confidence in organizing.

There are other fundamentals: don’t do for others what they can do for themselves; it’s not where people start, but where they end up; all organizing is re-organizing; and many more. All worthy of remembering and reviving.

We can revive the fundamentals through training, culture, stories and our history.

Training

Organizing, really good organizing, is complicated. For a tiny handful this craft is intuitive on all fronts. For most, there are parts that come easy, and parts that come hard. Let’s train in how to organize the unorganized and truly develop leaders. To run great meetings, strategic actions, develop winning campaigns, to be curious about power. Training that helps us understand what is blocking our own growth, so we can help others realize theirs.

Culture

Training will only take us so far if that training is at odds with the culture of our organizations. Good organizing should be the air we breathe. If the culture of organizing is strong in our organizations, so will be the craft.

If the culture rewards starting where people are at, truly developing other people, and building organizations that belong to members, people will do good organizing because they landed in the right context.

If the culture of our organizations celebrates the gamesmanship of the non-profit sector, we will grow people good at playing that game. If our culture rewards organizing the already converted, we’ll get more of that. The choice of what culture we set moving forward is ours.

Clear the Decks 

There is too much on the plate of today’s organizer that is not organizing. When I was on the street, the job was organizing and a few other things would compete for that time. Today, I sense it can be the opposite, with people fighting to make time for organizing.

Let’s take a clear-eyed look at our calendars and ask — how is this shit helping us organize and reach more people? Is this really building power for our members? If not, cut it loose.

Storytelling

The fundamentals come alive through stories. Stories of risky actions, leaders developing, winning campaigns. Let’s reignite a culture of storytelling — sharing the story from last night’s meeting, or of a campaign forty years ago.

Organizers, the really good ones, are storytellers — inspiring us with stories from the past, and ones that spark our imagination about what comes next.

Honor Our History

There’s no better source of stories than the folks who did this before us. Let’s bring our elders back into the fold. There is valuable, hard-earned wisdom on the sidelines. People who chartered these waters, suffered wounds so we would not have to, people who put language to the fundamentals. Let’s soak up that wisdom, and celebrate those who built the foundation we walk on.

There’s a sense among organizers that something is not right. That the craft is not right. It’s a strange thing to feel when we’ve made so much progress. Yet it becomes clearer by the day that what got us to this point, will not get us to the next one. That we have to organize another circle out, and after that another.

This requires organizing that builds on recent evolutions in our craft, and swings back to pick up some things lost along the way. I feel confident we can do both.

This blog originally appeared at Our Future on March 8, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: George Goehl is the director of People’s Action, a national grassroots organization fighting for economic, racial, gender, and environmental justice.


Share this post

There Are No Make or Break Moments In a Movement

Share this post

The Amazon union drive in Alabama, we are told, is a ?“once-in-a-generation opportunity,” a battle which must be won now lest it slip through our grasp forever. That is not true at all. If the workers at that Amazon warehouse win their historic union, it will be a signal that the labor movement should unleash a broad campaign of similar organizing drives at more and more warehouses across the country. And if they lose? Same thing. 

The human mind is naturally wired to make us feel that we are, at all times, the stars (or, at least, best supporting actors) of a movie called ?“HISTORY,” and that what is happening at this very moment is both the culmination of, and the launching point for, all that has come before or since. We tend to recoil at the idea that we are but tiny insects borne along on mighty winds that were blowing long before we were here, and that will continue long after we are gone, and that the totality of our experience may be just a momentary glimpse of the sun before we are plunged once again into darkness. To the extent that these questions are philosophical or even spiritual?—?who cares? But when it comes to political action, well, these sorts of perceptions can really matter.

It is always tempting to tell people that the particular fight we are in today is a make-or-break one?—?that if we win this battle, total victory is ours, and if we lose it, all is lost, so buckle down and focus. But it is almost never true. You may have noticed that every single presidential election of your lifetime has been declared to be ?“The most important presidential election of our lifetime,” a historic appellation that is inevitably superseded by the next presidential election. Electoral politics, at least, has the excuse that it is composed of an endless series of regularly scheduled recurring events, only one of which is happening at any given time. But when we discuss movements—whether social justice movements pushing a specific cause, or the labor movement, pushing for general worker uplift?—?we are talking not about a series of things, but an ongoing process, which will never end until humans evolve into some higher form of being with no problems. Just as sharks die if they stop swimming, movements always have to keep moving. Preferably forward.

The temptation to see any given fight as a ?“make or break” moment has a steep downside. For one thing, it implies that we’ll have it made if we win; for another, it implies that we’ll be broken if we lose. Neither is true. The Amazon union drive is a case in point. It’s easy to see why we would play up something like this as an existential battle: it’s important! It is the single most important union drive of the past several years at least, and unionizing Amazon is an absolutely vital goal for the entire labor movement, to prevent millions more of us from being transformed into heavily monitored warehouse workers in order to further enrich Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world. Convincing everyone that this is a chance that will not come along again has a strong motivational effect. But if it were actually true, it would be awful. If this union drive succeeds, about 6,000 Amazon workers will have a union?—?out of a million. Changing the practices of this monster company will require organizing ten times this number, and then ten times that again. The amount of work necessary to achieve the goal we are aiming for will make Bessemer look like a light warmup. A win just means that we have a formula for unionizing a warehouse that is proven to work. A loss just means that we have a formula that doesn’t work, that should be improved before the union world moves on to the next warehouse, and then the next. Events may succeed or fail, but movements just adapt and keep moving on. 

The labor movement is unfortunately susceptible to this counterproductive cycle of hyping itself up for a big campaign, and then losing and wallowing in despair, or winning and assuming that we can rest now. We can never rest! (I mean, any of us can rest when we get burned out, but there should be other people to take our place in the meantime?—?another great quality of strong movements is that they don’t depend on a single leader whose absence causes them to collapse.) You can discern this tendency in the union establishment’s all-or-nothing rhetoric right now about the PRO Act, a very good labor law reform bill that has zero chance of making it through the Senate as long as the filibuster exists. It is very easy to imagine unions spending the next two years maniacally focused on passing this bill to the exclusion of all else, only to melt into a puddle of regret when Republicans win the next midterms and the bill has still not been passed. Instead of falling into this trap, the labor movement needs to think like a movement: There are millions of workers to organize and thousands of unions to build every hour of every day in every state. None of them may individually make the splash of a brand-name campaign or a revolutionary bill, but collectively, they are the bulk of the substance that makes the movement stronger. 

Yeah, get hype for the Amazon union. Make those calls for the PRO Act. Just remember that this is a process, not a championship game to be won. This is a thing that was going on before we got here, that we check into for a while to do our part, and that will continue long after we are all dead and gone. Because the second we stop working, the thing that the movement was built to overcome starts creeping back into our world. Even if we get our asses kicked today, be sure to come back tomorrow. Movements only die when they stop trying. 

This blog originally appeared at In These Times on March 8, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Hamilton Nolan is a labor reporter for In These Times. He has spent the past decade writing about labor and politics for Gawker, Splinter, The Guardian, and elsewhere.


Share this post

An Alabama Amazon Worker’s Case for Unionization

Share this post

At this very moment, one of the most historic union drives of our era is taking place at the Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama. Around 5,800workers at the facility, the majority of whom are Black, are currently voting on whether or not to unionize with the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU). If they are successful, the workers in Bessemer would become the first unionized Amazon workforce in the United States, and Amazon is pulling out all the stops to keep that from happening. We got to sit down with Jennifer Bates, one of the fulfillment center workers in Bessemer, to talk about her working conditions and about why this union vote is so important.

This blog originally appeared at In These Times on March 4, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Maximillian Alvarez is a writer and editor based in Baltimore and the host of Working People, ?“a podcast by, for, and about the working class today.” His work has been featured in venues like In These Times, The Nation, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and The New Republic.


Share this post

Why Amazon Is Fighting So Hard to Stop Warehouse Workers From Unionizing

Share this post

Thousands of warehouse workers at an Amazon plant in Bessemer, Alabama, are at the center of a potentially game-changing union vote taking place right now. On February 8, the warehouse workers were sent ballots by mail to decide over the next seven weeks if they want to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Just getting to this point was a major victory considering the aggressive union busting by the world’s largest retailer and the fact that employees are working during a pandemic. If workers vote affirmatively, they would have the first unionized Amazon workplace in the United States.

Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the RWDSU, described to me in an interview the shocking details of what he calls “the most aggressive anti-union effort I’ve ever seen,” aimed at the 5,800-strong workforce. “They are doing everything they possibly can,” he said. The company has been “bombarding people with propaganda throughout the warehouse. There are signs and banners and posters everywhere, even in the bathroom stalls.”

According to Appelbaum, the company is also texting its workers throughout the course of the day urging a “no” vote and pulling people into “captive-audience” meetings. Unsurprisingly, Amazon is resorting to the most commonly told lie about unions: that it will cost workers more money to be in a union than not. One poster pasted on the wall of the warehouse claims, “you already know the union would charge you almost $500 a year in dues.” But Alabama is a “right-to-work” state where workers cannot be compelled to join a union if they are hired into a union shop, nor can they be required to pay dues.

Complementing its heavy-handed in-person union-busting efforts is a slick website that the company created, DoItWithoutDues.com, where photos of happy workers giving thumbs-up signs create a veneer of contentment at the company. On its site, Amazon innocently offers its version of “facts” about a union that include scare-mongering reminders of how joining a union would give no guarantee of job security or better wages and benefits—with no mention of how Amazon certainly does not guarantee those things either.

On the company’s own list of “Global Human Rights Principles,” Amazon states, “We respect freedom of association and our employees’ right to join, form, or not to join a labor union or other lawful organization of their own selection, without fear of reprisal, intimidation, or harassment.”

But in a page out of Donald Trump and the Republicans’ playbook, the company tried to insist that even in the middle of a deadly pandemic, the union vote must be “conducted manually, in-person, making it easy for associates to verify and cast their vote in close proximity to their workplace.” The National Labor Relations Board rejected Amazon’s appeal for a one-day physical election.

Ballots were mailed out to workers on February 8, and the union and its advocates are shrewdly using the seven-week-long voting period to campaign and encourage workers to vote “yes.” But Amazon is also continuing its efforts at countering the RWDSU. Organizers in Bessemer had taken to engaging the workers while they stopped at a red light upon leaving the Amazon warehouse. But the company, according to Appelbaum, “had the city change the traffic light so our organizers wouldn’t be able to speak to them.” (A statement from Bessemer city denies the claim.)

So aggressive are Amazon’s anti-union tactics that 50 members of Congress sent the company a warning letter saying, “We ask that you stop these strong-arm tactics immediately and allow your employees freely to exercise their right to organize a union.” Even the company’s own investors are so shocked by the tactics that more than 70 of them signed on to a letter urging Amazon to remain “neutral” in the vote.

The path to this union vote was paved by staggeringly high inequality that worsened during the pandemic as workers were stripped of their insultingly low hazard-bonus of $2 an hour while the company reaped massive gains over the past year. CEO and soon-to-be “Executive Chair” of Amazon, Jeff Bezos is the world’s second-richest man. He is now worth a mind-boggling $188 billion and saw his wealth increase by $75 billion, over the past year alone—the same time period that about 20,000 of his workers tested positive for the coronavirus.

Bezos’ announcement that he was moving into a new role at the company came on the same day that the Federal Trade Commission announced Amazon had stolen nearly $62 million in tips from drivers working for its “Flex” program. Appelbaum speculated that “what Bezos was trying to do was to create a distraction just like Trump would do,” and that “instead of focusing on the $62 million they stole from their drivers, people would talk about the fact that Bezos was getting a new title.”

Appelbaum sees the historic union vote in Bessemer as more than just a labor struggle. “Eighty-five percent of the people who work at the facility are African American. We see this being as much a civil rights struggle as a labor struggle,” he said. Indeed, conditions at the warehouse are so shocking that they sound like a modern-day, technologically enabled incarnation of slavery. “People were being dehumanized and mistreated by Amazon,” said the union president. He explained, “people get their assignments from a robot, they’re disciplined by an app on their phone, and they’re fired by text message. Every motion they make is being surveilled.”

Union advocates are countering Amazon’s combative anti-union efforts with their own information war. In addition to organizers talking to the warehouse workers in Bessemer every chance they get, an informational website Bamazonunion.org shares data from various studies about the dangerous working conditions in Amazon facilities. The site reminds workers that unions are able to win contracts where workers can only be fired for “just cause” and not on the whim of managers; that complaints against the company can be filed via formal grievances; and that wages and benefits are negotiated collectively.

As a proud union member of SAG-AFTRA, my colleagues and I at KPFK Pacifica Radio have benefited regularly from such protections even against a small nonprofit public radio station struggling to make ends meet. When faced with a ruthless for-profit corporation that has built its empire on the backs of a nonunionized workforce, Amazon’s workers are on the front lines of those who most need the protections a union can provide.

“This election is the most important union election in many, many years because it’s not just about this one Amazon facility in Alabama,” said Appelbaum. “This election is really about the future of work, what the world is going to look like going forward. Amazon is transforming industry after industry, and they’re also transforming the nature of work,” he said. Indeed, the level to which Amazon has fought against unionization at just one warehouse in Alabama is an indication of how important it is to the company that its workers remain powerless.

This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

About the Author: Sonali Kolhatkar is the founder, host and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations. She is a writing fellow for the Economy for All project at the Independent Media Institute.


Share this post

RWDSU-UFCW Leads Organizing Drive at Amazon Fulfillment Center in Alabama

Share this post

The strongest effort to create a union at Amazon in many years is underway in Bessemer, Alabama. Organizers with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union-UFCW (RWDSU-UFCW) have been working with employees at the Amazon fulfillment center. By December, more than 2,000 workers had signed union cards, leading to an election set to begin in February. The company is engaging in union-busting activities in response, but the workers are not backing down. Many of the organizers and the employees at the fulfillment center are Black, and the organizers have focused on issues of racial equality and empowerment as a part of the drive.

Read more about the drive in The New York Times or on Twitter @BAmazonUnion and #BAmazonUnion.

This blog originally appeared at AFL-CIO on January 26, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Kenneth Quinnell  is a long-time blogger, campaign staffer and political activist whose writings have appeared on AFL-CIO, Daily Kos, Alternet, the Guardian Online, Media Matters for America, Think Progress, Campaign for America’s Future and elsewhere.


Share this post

Google workers form union, not to bargain a contract but to press the company to stop being evil

Share this post

The tech industry’s overwhelmingly non-unionized status took a small but significant hit on Monday, with the announcement of the Alphabet Workers Union, a minority union at Google (the parent company of which is Alphabet). Their goal—at least in the short term—isn’t to win a union representation election and get the company to the bargaining table. It’s to create a platform to pressure the company on a range of issues as a group rather than as individuals. Google remains committed to keeping its workers isolated as individuals, with a spokesperson saying “as we’ve always done, we’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees.” That’s manager-speak for “divide and conquer.”

“Our bosses have collaborated with repressive governments around the world,” Parul Koul and Chewy Shaw, the union’s executive chair and vice chair wrote in a New York Times op-edintroducing the effort. “They have developed artificial intelligence technology for use by the Department of Defense and profited from ads by a hate group. They have failed to make the changes necessary to meaningfully address our retention issues with people of color.”

The Alphabet Workers Union intends to fight for Google to do better. And, significantly, the minority union structure allows participation by some of the workers most wronged under the company’s current system, workers who would be blocked from participating in a typical union bargaining unit. Koul and Shaw explain: “About half of the workers at Google are temps, vendors or contractors. They are paid lower salaries, receive fewer benefits, and have little job stability compared with full-time employees, even though they often do the exact same work. They are also more likely to be Black or brown—a segregated employment system that keeps half of the company’s work force in second-class roles. Our union will seek to undo this grave inequity.”

More than 225 workers have signed on—a fraction of Google’s workforce, but enough for a voice as they build on earlier activist efforts like the massive protests against the company’s sexual harassment policies, protests that won significant changes in 2018.

Google has shown its willingness to play dirty when it comes to worker protest, with the wrongful firing of two worker activists as well as the firing of artificial intelligence researcher Timnit Gebru after she criticized the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts and the biases in AI models. With the Alphabet Workers Union, workers will have a collective voice, and an affiliation with the Communications Workers of America.

This blog originally appeared at Daily Kos on January 4, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Laura Clawson has been a contributing editor since December 2006. Clawson has been full-time staff since 2011, and is currently assistant managing editor at the Daily Kos.


Share this post

Google Workers Say the Endless Wait to Unionize Big Tech Is Over

Share this post

The five most valu­able com­pa­nies in Amer­i­ca are all big tech com­pa­nies, and none of them are union­ized. Com­pound­ing this exis­ten­tial chal­lenge for orga­nized labor is the fact that the huge work forces of the com­pa­nies make union­iz­ing them seem an impos­si­bly large task. Now, one union has solved that prob­lem with a rev­o­lu­tion­ary approach: Just start. 

This morn­ing, work­ers at Alpha­bet, the par­ent com­pa­ny of Google, announced the for­ma­tion of the Alpha­bet Work­ers Union (AWU), affil­i­at­ed with the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Work­ers of Amer­i­ca, one of the few major unions that has ded­i­cat­ed resources to orga­niz­ing the tech indus­try. The AWU is start­ing with just over 200 mem­bers?—?a tiny frac­tion of the more than 200,000 total Google employ­ees, includ­ing full timers and con­trac­tors, that make up the $1.2 tril­lion com­pa­ny. But, after years of iso­lat­ed issue-based activism by employ­ees, they real­ized that if they ever want­ed a union, the only way to get it was to forge ahead. 

“A lot of us joined the com­pa­ny because we believed in the val­ues. That wasn’t a sec­ondary thing, that was why we joined,” says Chewy Shaw, a Google soft­ware engi­neer since 2013 who is now the vice chair of the AWU. Shaw describes a slow sour­ing of his rela­tion­ship with the com­pa­ny in recent years, as work­ers per­ceived as trou­ble­some were pushed out by hos­tile man­age­ment, and oth­ers chose to leave over sharp eth­i­cal dis­agree­ments about the company’s direc­tion. The inter­nal uproar last year over Google’s con­tracts with gov­ern­ment agen­cies like ICE was a clar­i­fy­ing moment for Shaw, who decid­ed that if he was going to stay at the com­pa­ny, he had to start organizing. 

Since the 2018 Google walk­outs protest­ing sex­u­al harass­ment (and the sub­se­quent retal­i­a­tion against its orga­niz­ers), Google has been the most high pro­file hotbed of work­er orga­niz­ing among the big tech com­pa­nies?—?though all of that orga­niz­ing focused on spe­cif­ic issues as they arose, rather than on form­ing a union. Shaw began attend­ing events that employ­ees set up relat­ed to orga­niz­ing: a lun­cheon, a book club, a lec­ture. Even­tu­al­ly, he con­nect­ed with CWA staff and began actu­al labor orga­niz­ing in earnest. Last June, a group called Googlers Against Racism got more than 1,000 employ­ee sig­na­tures on a Cowork?er?.org peti­tion urg­ing the com­pa­ny to take a num­ber of steps to pro­mote diver­si­ty and end con­tracts with police. That group pro­vid­ed a pool of inter­est­ed activist work­ers that led direct­ly to dis­cus­sions about union­iz­ing, and to recruits for the union. Shaw says that the fir­ing last month of Timnit Gebru, an inter­nal crit­ic of the com­pa­ny, was ?“a real­ly big ral­ly­ing moment.” 

(In response to today’s news, the com­pa­ny said in a state­ment: ?“We’ve always worked hard to cre­ate a sup­port­ive and reward­ing work­place for our work­force. Of course our employ­ees have pro­tect­ed labor rights that we sup­port. But as we’ve always done, we’ll con­tin­ue engag­ing direct­ly with all our employees.”)

Google is a com­pa­ny of engi­neers, and if there’s one thing engi­neers under­stand, it’s struc­tur­al issues. After the 2018 walk­out, ?“it became clear to me that it wasn’t enough. We weren’t able to move the com­pa­ny the way it need­ed to be moved,” says Auni Ahsan, a soft­ware engi­neer and one of the union’s found­ing mem­bers. ?“We need a struc­ture that we can devel­op that can be resilient.” 

Shaw scoffs at the long­stand­ing canard that engi­neers are con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly hos­tile to labor orga­niz­ing, an idea that has often been float­ed with­in both the labor and tech worlds to explain why the tech indus­try remains large­ly non-union. ?“Peo­ple are at a com­pa­ny that has orga­nized 250,000 peo­ple to work on sim­i­lar projects,” he notes dri­ly. As Google employ­ees have worked with CWA to build their union, they have also been study­ing labor his­to­ry and Amer­i­can labor law, and their diag­no­sis of the weak­ness­es in today’s labor move­ment has helped inform their path. ?“We’ve been think­ing some of [the decline of unions] is due to how peo­ple have been lean­ing on the legal struc­ture, and it does­n’t give enough pro­tec­tion unless you fit a spe­cif­ic sce­nario,” Shaw says. 

The AWU’s struc­ture could be a mod­el for future tech orga­niz­ing. It will be a dues-sup­port­ed orga­ni­za­tion, like a union, but it will be open to both full time employ­ees and con­trac­tors, who make up more than half of Google’s work force. The union has been orga­niz­ing in secret, mean­ing that much of its recruit­ment work was restrict­ed to the social net­works of its var­i­ous employ­ee orga­niz­ers. They decid­ed to go pub­lic after claim­ing 200 mem­bers, and they hope that the rush of pub­lic­i­ty will bring in thou­sands of more mem­bers in short order. AWU will not be able to engage in for­mal col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing like a union that rep­re­sents the entire staff, but it will be a per­ma­nent, grow­ing, and very vocal labor group posi­tioned square­ly inside one of the world’s most pow­er­ful com­pa­nies?—?some­thing that would have been vir­tu­al­ly impos­si­ble if CWA had tried to fol­low a tra­di­tion­al union orga­niz­ing route with­in Google. 

“Thou­sands or mil­lions of peo­ple will wake up and see this sto­ry and see that you don’t need to wait for the labor board to approve your union,” Ahsan says. ?“You have a union when you say you have a union.” 

This blog originally appeared at In These Times on January 4, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Hamilton Dolan is a labor reporter for In These Times. He has spent the past decade writ­ing about labor and pol­i­tics for Gawk­er, Splin­ter, The Guardian, and else­where. 


Share this post

Subscribe For Updates

Sign Up:

* indicates required

Recent Posts

Forbes Best of the Web, Summer 2004
A Forbes "Best of the Web" Blog

Archives

  • Tracking image for JustAnswer widget
  • Find an Employment Lawyer

  • Support Workplace Fairness

 
 

Find an Employment Attorney

The Workplace Fairness Attorney Directory features lawyers from across the United States who primarily represent workers in employment cases. Please note that Workplace Fairness does not operate a lawyer referral service and does not provide legal advice, and that Workplace Fairness is not responsible for any advice that you receive from anyone, attorney or non-attorney, you may contact from this site.