The Future of Unions

News reports have focused the nation’s attention on labor unions in recent months. Workers have voted in favor of unionizing at a number of Starbucks stores across the country, workers voted to form a union at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island and are now voting in other locations, workers at an Apple Store in Atlanta have filed a petition to hold a union election, and tech workers at the vaunted New York Times recently voted to unionize. There also appears to have been an increased level of labor actions in companies and organizations that are already unionized.

The fact that labor organizing efforts have occurred at iconic, extremely well-known companies such as Starbucks and Amazon helps explain why they are getting so much attention. But more broadly, the unionizing efforts give rise to questions about the future of unions in this country. As one pro-union writer said about the Starbucks union effort, “It’s a spark of optimism in a union movement that has been in decline for decades.”

That last phrase is important. All indicators show the general trend in union membership has been down in recent decades. Is it possible that unions could be on the cusp of a renaissance?
— Read on

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