Why Unions Matter Library

The Library is organized into the following sections:

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

Section 1: Union Organizing Efforts

David Madland, “The Re-emergence of Sectoral Bargaining in the US, Britain, Australia and Canada,” Onlabor, April 22, 2021.

Luis Feliz Leon and Joshua Brewer, “Inside the Alabama Amazon Union Drive: An Interview with the Lead Organizer,” Labor Notes, April 17, 2021.

John Logan, “Bravery, Not Blowout,” Against the Current, May-June 2021.

Jane McAlevey, “Blowout in Bessemer: A Postmortem on the Amazon Campaign,” The Nation, April 9, 2021.

Cody R. Melcher interviews Michael Goldfield, “White Supremacy and Labor’s Failure,” Solidarity, March 28, 2021.

Principles for Sectoral Bargaining group, “Sectoral Bargaining: Principles for Reform,” March 1, 2021.

Nora De La Cour, “The Fight to Organize Amazon Is a Fight for Racial Justice,” Jacobin, February 3, 2021.

Steven Greenhouse, “What can Biden do to reverse Trump’s assault on labor rights?Guardian, January 9, 2021.

Clarissa Redwine, “The ABC’s of Googles’s New Union,” Popular Resistance.org, January 4, 2021.

Eric Dirnbach, Meet the Volunteer Organizing Team Helping Non-Union Workers During the Pandemic, Portside, December 2, 2020.

Alice Herman, “Healthcare Workers Are Organizing Like Their Lives Depend On It,” In These Times, December 1, 2020.

Cindy Estrada and Chris Schwartz, “Organizing Rural Manufacturing Workers Matters,” The Forge, October 19, 2020.

Marianne Garneau, A History of the IWW’s Organizer Training Program, September 17, 2020.

Tyler Sonnemaker and Allana Akhtar, “New Tech Labor Movement Unites Office and Gig Workers After Protests,” Business Insider, July 21, 2020.

Hamilton Nolan, “The Case For Sectoral Bargaining Is Now Stronger Than Ever,” In These Times, May 21, 2020.

Jessica Goodheart, “Can Workers Organize in the Deep South During the Pandemic?” Capital & Main, May 11, 2020.

Section 2: Anti-worker Threats and Actions 

Ehud Sopher, “Instacart’s harsh ratings system hurts grocery delivery people like me,” Vox, March 19, 2021.

Michael Sainato, “14-hour days and no bathroom breaks: Amazon’s overworked delivery drivers,” The Guardian, March 11, 2021.

Zoe Schiffer, “Google union files labor board charge against contract company, AWU member Shannon Wait was suspended after discussing unfair working conditions,” The Verge, February 4, 2021.

John Logan, “12 Facts About Morgan Lewis, Amazon’s Powerful Anti-Union Law Firm,” Laboronline, February 2, 2021.

Russell Brandom, “Amazon will pay $61.7 million to Flex drivers after wage theft allegations, ‘Amazon stole nearly one-third of drivers’ tips,’ alleges FTC commissioner,” The Verge, February 2, 2021.

Sarah Lazare, “The ‘Essential Worker’ Swindle, How this label is used to justify a social order in which workers are abused, discarded and left to die,” In These Times, January 22, 2001.

Zoe Schiffer, “Instacart is firing every employee who voted to unionize, The Verge, January 21, 2021.

Tess Riski, “Workers Risking the COVID-19 Outbreak at Amazon’s Troutdale Warehouse Signed a Strict Confidentiality Agreement,” Willamette Week, December 2, 2020.

Aneri Pattani, Robert Lewis and Christina Jewett, “OSHA Let Employers Decide Whether to Report Health Care Worker Deaths. Many Didn’t,” The Guardian, December 1, 2020.

Lauren Kaori Gurley, “Secret Amazon Reports Expose the Company’s Surveillance of Labor and Environmental Groups,” Vice, November 24, 2020.

Hadas Their, “Mass Unemployment Is a Crisis—But We’re Not Treating It as One,” Jacobin, October 18, 2020.

Jay Peters, “Internal documents show automated Amazon warehouses have higher injury rates,” The Verge, September 29, 2020.

Josh Eidelson, “Shut Up and Work: Covid Gag Rules Leave Everyone in the Dark,” Bloomberg Law, August 27, 2020.

Martin Hart-Landsberg, “The pandemic, technology, and remote work: the corporate push for greater control over workers’ lives,” Reports from the Economic Front, August 11, 2020.

Section 3: Labor Law and Worker Rights

Lynn Rhinehart and Celine McNicholas, “Shortchanged—weak anti-retaliation provisions in the National Labor Relations Act cost workers billions,” Economic Policy Institute report, April 22, 2021.

Fred Wang, “The Promise and Danger of the NLRB’s New Workplace Civility Doctrine,” Onlabor, March 23, 2021

Joe Burns, “Joe Biden Will Not Save the Labor Movement,” Jacobin, March 19, 2021.

Olivia Paschal, “The PRO Act,” Portside, March 13, 2021.

Jon Levitan, “NLRB Abandons Rulemaking that Would Have Stripped Graduate Students Workers of Right to Unionize,” OnLabor, March 12, 2021.

Lynn Rhinehart, “The Amazon Workers’ Campaign Shows the Need for Labor Law Reform,” The Nation, February 25, 2021.

Don McIntosh, “A fix for America’s broken labor law,” NWLabor Press, February 17, 2021.

Robert Lafolla, “Top NLRB Lawyer Rolls Back Broad Slate of Trump-era Policies,” Portside, February 2, 2021.

Mark Joseph Stern, “Biden Gave Trump’s Union Busters a Taste of Their Own Medicine,” Slate.com, January 22, 2021.

Eduardo Porter, “How the American Unemployment System Failed,” New York Times, January 21, 2021.

Michelle Chen, “Trump’s National Labor Relations Board Is Sabotaging Its Own Mission,” The Nation, September 21/28, 2020.

Section 4: Worker Centers

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 5: The Union Difference

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 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

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 

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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