Why Unions Matter Library

The Library is organized into the following sections:

Section 1: Worker Organizing Efforts
Section 2: Anti-worker Threats and Actions
Section 3: Labor Law and Worker Rights
Section 4: The Union Difference
Section 5: Worker Centers and Labor Boards
Section 6: Public Sector Unionization
Section 7: The Right to Work Experience
Section 8: Anti-union Arguments

Section 1: Worker Organizing Efforts

Robert M. Schwartz, “No-Strike Clauses: Tips for First-Contract Bargainers,” Labor Notes, March 4, 2023.

Sarah Jaffe, “Work Won’t Love You Back: After a Union Election Victory Comes the Hard Part,” The Progressive, February 21, 2023.

Eric Dirnbach, “Which Workers Are “Strategic” To Organize?Jacobin, February 20, 2023.

Colette Perold and Eric Dirnbach, “Union from The Start (You Don’t Have to Wait),” Labor Notes, January 30, 2023.

Karen K. Ho, “In 2022, Art Workers Continued To Unionize and Strike for Their Rights,” ArtNews, December 30, 2022.

Aurora Biggers, “2022 Oregon Labor Wrap: A burst of labor activity,” Street Roots, December 21, 2022.

Michael Sainato, “US judge orders Amazon to ‘cease and desist’ anti-union retaliation,” The Guardian, November 28, 2022.

Robert Ovetz, “Taylor’s Digital Stopwatch, What the U.S. labor movement can learn from European workers who are organizing against ‘algorithmic management,’Dollars and Sense, September/October 2022.

Taiwanna Milligan, “Southern workers are teaching each other how to organize,” Facing South, August 29, 2022.

Jane McAlevey, “How the Left Builds Power All Wrong,” The Bullet, July 18, 2022.

Ian Prasad Philbrick, “How college-educated workers are driving a spike in union organizing,” New York Times, July 17, 2022.

Sam Gindin, “The First Principle of Union Organizing: Spontaneity Isn’t Enough,” The Bullet, July 12, 2022.

Mie Inouye, “Labor’s Militant Minority,” Boston Review, June 15, 2022.

Steve Early and Suzanne Gordon, “Texas Soldiers Are Unionizing After Facing Attacks by a Right-Wing Governor,” Jacobin, May 9, 2022.

Noam Scheiber, “The revolt of the college-educated working class,” New York Times, April 28, 2022.

Eric Blanc, “The Workers Behind Amazon’s Historic First Union Explain How They Did It,” Jacobin, April 24, 2022.

Aparna Gopalan, “The Nurses Who Wouldn’t Come in From the Cold,” In These Times, April 20, 2022.

Dave Jamieson, “How Amazon Workers Beat The Union Busters At Their Own Game,” Huffpost, April 5, 2022.

Aimee Loiselle, Helena Worthen, Tracy Berger, and Trent McDonald, “Higher Ed Labor Unites for Equity for All: Faculty, Staff and Students,” Convergence, April 2, 2022.

Colin Staub, “Starbucks union goes viral,” Northwest Labor Press, March 17, 2022.

Paul Prescod, “How Tony Mazzocchi Built Worker Militancy in the Suburbs,” Jacobin, March 1, 2022.

Piper McDaniel, “Behind the Burgerville union,” StreetRoots, February 16, 2022.

Kate Rodgers and Amelia Lucas, “A ‘Gen U’ of Young Starbucks Baristas is Powering a Growing Push to Unionize,” CNBC, January 28, 2022.

Steven Greenhouse, “Newsrooms Are Unionizing Pretty Much “Nonstop.” Here’s Why,” Nieman Report, January 19, 2022.

Vanessa Veselka, “I’m a Longtime Union Organizer.  But I Had Never Seen Anything Like This,”  New York Times, January 14, 2022.

Section 2: Anti-worker Threats and Actions 

Mindy Isser, “Employers Steal Up to $50 Billion From Workers Every Year. It’s Time to Reclaim It,” In These Times, February 13, 2023.

Hamilton Nolan, “How to Stop AI From Eating Journalism,” In These Times, February 8, 2023.

Tyler Walicek, “Union-Busting Firms Are Teaching Corporations to Cynically Co-Opt Progressive Rhetoric As They Crush Worker Organizing,” Truthout, February 7, 2023.

Elizabeth Lopatto, “Why are so many tech companies laying people off right now? Didn’t they just have record-breaking profits?The Verge, January 26, 2023.

Zephyr Teachout, interviewed by Daniel Drake, “Live in Fragments No Longer,” Portside, August 18, 2022.

Marcus Baram, “Overworked and Underpaid (4 part series),” Capital & Main, May 10, 2022

Dave Jamieson, “Starbucks Broke Law By Firing And Threatening Pro-Union Workers, Labor Board Alleges,” Huffpost, May 6, 2022.

AFL-CIO, “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, 2022,” AFL-CIO Report, April 26, 2022.

Jonathan Rosenblum, “Union Organizing at Amazon, Has the Labor Board Provided a Way Forward or Another Detour?,” The Bullet, February 28, 2022.

Steven Greenhouse, “Amazon chews through the average worker in eight months. They need a union,” The Guardian, February 4, 2022.

Zephyr Teachout, “When Big Brother Is Your Boss: The Rise of Surveillance Wages,” The Nation, January 5, 2022.

Marcus Baram, “Inside the Secretive World of Union Busting,” Capital & Main, December 9, 2021.

Heather Rust, “Hospitals Are Using the Nursing Shortage to Stiff Health Care Workers,” Jacobin, December 5, 2021.

Section 3: Labor Law and Worker Rights

Jennifer Sherer and Margaret Poydock, “Flexible Work Without Exploitation: Reversing tech companies’ state-by-state agenda to unravel workers’ rights and misclassify workers as ‘contractors’ in the gig economy and beyond,” Economic Policy Institute, February 27, 2023.

C.M. Lewis, “The Supreme Court Could Gut the Right to Strike,” In These Times, January 13, 2023.

Martin Hart-Landsberg, “In the US you can be fired for any or no reason: It doesn’t have to be this way,” Reports from the Economic Front, January 5, 2023.

National Labor Relations Board, “NLRB Improves Back Pay Formula,” December 13, 2022.

Jeff Schuhrke, “Unionizing Is Now on Track To Be a Constitutional Right in Illinois,” Working In These Times, November 11, 2022.

Gabriel Thompson, How Millions of Gig Workers Could Be Impacted by a New Labor Rule,” Capital and Main, November 9, 2022.

Terri Gerstein and Jenny Hunter, “The Supreme Court Could Not Have Timed Its Latest Attack on Unions Any Worse,” Slate, October 14, 2022.

Robert Iafolla and Bruce Rolfsen, “Punching In: Pandemic Union Election Surge Hits Trump-Era Rules,” Bloomberg Law, July 18, 2022.

Glenna Li, “President Biden’s Best Agency Is Starved for Cash,” American Prospect, June 23, 2022.

Terri Gerstein and LiJia Gong, “The role of local government in protecting workers’ rights, A comprehensive overview of the ways that cities, counties, and other localities are taking action on behalf of working people,” Economic Policy Institute Report, June 13, 2022.

Ian War, “The Lie That Helped Kill the Labor Movement,” Politico, June 7, 2022.

Martin Hart-Landsberg, “Labor law failings, workplace organizing challenges, and possibilities for union renewal,” Economic Reports from the Front, May 9, 2022.

Charlotte Garden, “Was it something I said? Legal protections for employee speech,” Economic Policy Institute report, May 5, 2022.

C.M. Lewis, “The NLRB needs funding – and Congress needs to deliver it,” The Strike Wave, April 18, 2022.

Jonathan Bosenblum, “Lessons for Organizing: From the Depression to Amazon and Beyond,” The Bullet, March 1, 2022.

Amy Qin, “1 in 4 Temp Workers Reports Wage Theft, New Survey Finds,” In These Times, February 10, 2022.

Indigo Olivier, “Bill Would Outlaw Bosses Cutting off Healthcare to Striking Workers,” Working In These Times, February 4, 2022.

Moshe Z. Marvit, “The Supreme Court has long been anti-worker. This is Biden’s Chance to Change That,” In These Times, February 3, 2022.

Section 4: The Union Difference

Steven Greenhouse, “Challenger Shawn Fain Set to Win UAW Presidency,” In These Times, March 17, 2023.

David Leonhardt, “Why Unions Matter So Much, The shrinking of unions effectively redistributes income from low- and middle-income workers to affluent investors”, New York Times, March 10, 2023.

Juliana Kaplan and Madison Hoff, “Being in a Union Means You Could Make $1.3 Million More Over Your Lifetime,” Insider, October 11, 2022.

C.M. Lewis, “How unions are fighting to protect abortion rights,” In These Times, June 8, 2022.

Steven Greenhouse, “What Unions Are Doing to Protect American Democracy,” The New Republic, May 6, 2022.

Hamilton Nolan, “They were forced to stay at work as a tornado bore down. Would a union have saved them?,” The Guardian, December 16, 2021.

Hamilton Nolan, “How the Mighty Culinary Union Survived the Apocalypse,” In These Times, December 15, 2021.

Steven Greenhouse, “A Look at How Unions Lift Workers,” American Prospect, November 22, 2021.

Economic Policy Institute, “Unions help reduce disparities and strengthen our democracy,” Fact Sheet, April 23, 2021.

Lawrence Mishel, “The enormous impact of eroded collective bargaining on wages,” Economic Policy Institute report, April 8, 2021.

Reina Sultan, “8 People Describe How Unions Changed Their Lives,” Vice, March 16, 2021.

Andy Sernatinger, “Understanding unions in the United States, A primer on labor law and history,” Tempest, January, 2021.

Paul Prescod, “New York’s Building Trades Unions Are Showing the Way Forward on Green Jobs,” Jacobin, December 8, 2020.

Alex J. Rouhandeh, “As Racism Plagues Health Care, Unions Offer a Treatment,” The American Prospect, November 18, 2020.

Meredith Schafer and Martí Garza, “Viewpoint: This Election Shows Labor’s Ground Game Matters (Especially During a Pandemic),” Labor Notes, November 15, 2020.

Martin Hart-Landsberg, “There is a union difference: mortality rates from COVID-19 are lower in unionized nursing homes,” Reports from the Economic Front, September 19, 2020.

Celine McNicholas, Lynn Rhinehart, Margaret Poydock, Heidi Shierholz, and Daniel Perez, “Why unions are good for workers—especially in a crisis like COVID-19,” Economic Policy Institute, Report, August 25, 2020.

David Kroman, “Labor Council to Seattle Police Union: Address Racism or Get Out,” Crosscut, June 4, 2020.

Jared Odessky, “ What Do Unions Do in a Pandemic,” On Labor, April 6, 2020.

Section 5: Worker Centers and Labor Boards

Juan Carlos Ordonez, “Oregon can protect exploited, low-paid workers. Here’s how,” Oregon Capital Chronicle, December 7, 2022.

Guardian Staff, “California fast-food workers close to winning historic protections,” The Guardian, August 30, 2022.

Ken Jacobs, “FAST Recovery Act will raise labor standards and open new opportunities for fast-food worker organizing in California,” UC Berkely Labor Center, August 30, 2022.

Steven Greenhouse, “Embracing and Resisting: The Variable Relationships Between Worker Centers and Unions,” The American Prospect, April 22, 2021.

Matthew Cunnington-Cook, “Black Worker Centers: Building Workplace Power in the Communities,” The American Prospect, April 20, 2021.

Section 6: Public Sector Unionization

Rosa Pavanelli, “UBI Without Public Services is a Neoliberal’s Paradise,” The Bullet, September 11, 2020.

Travis Albert, “Milwaukee-Area Letter Carriers Are Refusing to Go Along with Mail Delays,” Labor Notes, August 19, 2020.

Barbara Madeloni, “Educators Demand Virtual Schools as ‘Least Bad’ but Safe Option,” Labor Notes, August 17, 2020.

Dave Jamieson, “California Child Care Workers Will Hold The Biggest Union Election In Years,” Portside Labor, February 5, 2020.

Micah Uetricht, You Don’t Get This Perfect Storm of Class Struggle Very Often–An Interview with Eric Blanc,” Jacobin, July 5, 2019.

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, “Oregon Governor Signs Sweeping Union Rights Law Affecting Public Employers,” The National Law Review, July 1, 2019.

Johanna Brenner, “California Teachers on the March: An Interview with Joel Jordan,” Solidarity, April 4, 2019.

Reid Wilson, “States race to prevent teacher strikes by boosting pay,” The Hill, January 19, 2019.

Heather Gies, “Disaster Averted: How Unions Have Dodged the Blow of Janus (So Far),” In These Times, January 12, 2019.

Section 7: The Right to Work Experience

Craig Mauger, “Michigan Senate Approves Repeal of Right-To-Work Law, Return of Prevailing Wage,” Detroit News, March 15, 2023.

Rachel M. Cohen, “Two states, two visions for the future of labor: Right to work is on the ballot,” Vox, September 29, 2022.

Rick Haglund, “Right to Work has failed to live up to conservative hype,” Michigan Advance, April 13, 2021.

Eric Dirnbach, “What’s the Likely Effect of the Janus Case? Let’s Look at the Numbers,” Portside, March 19, 2018.

Robin Urevich, “Judging Janus: The Money Machine Behind the Attacks on Labor,” Portside, November 20, 2017.

Bill Knight, “Iowa Workers Defy Attempt to Weaken Their Unions,” Pekin Times, November 14, 2017.

Desmoinesdem, “GOP Law Fails to Break Iowa’s Largest Public Sector Unions,” Bleeding Heartland, October 25, 2017.

Don McIntosh, “’Right to Work’ coming to the public sector,” Northwest Labor Press, May 16, 2017.

Steve Smith, “Rep. Steve King and the Racist Origins of So-Called Right to Work,” California Labor Federation, March 13, 2017.

Leah Fried, “Five Steps to Maintain Unity and Membership under Right to Work,” Labor Notes, February 1, 2017.

Ross Eisenbrey and Teresa Kroeger, “A tale of two states (and what it tells us about so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws),” Economic Policy Institute, blog, January 12, 2017.

Section 8: Anti-union Arguments 

Grover Norquist, “Biden’s PRO Act is a covert tax hike on 7.7 million Americans,” The Hill, April 27, 2022.

Jack Stine, “You want a union? Start your own business,” KIRO news radio, March 23, 2022.

Sean Higgins, “Pro Act Limits Workers Rights,” The Hill, September 6, 2021.

Daniel DiSalvo, “Not Public-Spirited, Government-employee unions—including those for police—put the power and interests of their workers above the public interest,” City Journal, June 8, 2020.

Richard A. Epstein, “The Decline Of Unions Is Good News,” Defining Ideas, Hoover Institution, January 27, 2020.

Elizabeth Hovde, “The union way – penalizing community-minded employers,” Oregonian, May 28, 2018.

Steve Buckstein and Kathryn Hickok, “My View: Time to stop forcing union membership,” Portland Tribune, August 24, 2017.

Oregonian Editorial Board, “Oregon ‘right to work’ initiative is suddenly very relevant: Editorial Agenda 2016,” The Oregonian, April 1, 2016.

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