Why Unions Matter Library

The Library is organized into the following sections:

Section 1: Worker Organizing Efforts
Section 2: Labor and the Climate Crisis
Section 3: Anti-worker Threats and Actions
Section 4: Labor Law and Worker Rights
Section 5: The Union Difference
Section 6: Worker Centers and Wage Boards
Section 7: Public Sector Unionization
Section 8: The Right to Work Experience
Section 9: Anti-union Arguments

Section 1: Worker Organizing Efforts

Peter Cole, Rafeef Ziadah, Katy Fox-Hodess, “Dockworkers and Labor Activists Can Block the Transport of Arms to Israel,” Jacobin, November 27, 2023.

Steven Greenhouse and Shawn Fain, “UAW President Shawn Fain on How the Auto Workers Won and What’s Next,” In These Times, November 7, 2023.

Jenny Brown, “Steward’s Corner: How AA Flight Attendants Scored a Huge Strike Vote,” Labor Notes, November 2, 2023.

Nelson Lichtenstein, “UAW Strikers Have Scored a Historic, Transformative Victory,” Jacobin, November 1, 2023.

Lillian Karabaic, “Oregon sees record-high unionization,” OPB, October 7, 2023.

John Ruch, “The Stakes Are Sky High in Historic Delta Labor Battle,” Capital & Main, September 21, 2023.

Robert Kuttner, “A Union of Their Own: How a culture of gross sexism in the airlines created America’s most militantly feminist union,” American Prospect, September 28, 2023.

Sam Gindin, “A Missed Opportunity? A Closer Look at the Teamster-UPS Agreement,” The Bullet, August 24, 2023.

Dered Seidman, “As Starbucks Stalls Negotiations, Workers Use New Tactics to Push for Contract,” Truthout, August 16, 2023.

José Álvarez Díaz, “Indigenous Trade Unionists From Around the World Call for More Inclusion and Solidarity: “We Are Not Just There To Sing the Songs and Do the Opening Prayer, Equal Times, August 9, 2023.

Hamilton Nolan, “A New Idea for New Union Organizing,” In These Times, August 2, 2023.

Nelson Lichtenstein, “The SAG-AFTRA Actors’ Strike Shows L.A. Is Leading the Labor Movement,” Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2023.

Sonali Kolhatkar, “TV Writers Flex Their Union Power,The Bullet, April 25, 2023.

Steven Greenhouse, “A Roller-Coaster Year for Organizing Workers,” The Century Foundation, April 10, 2023.

Josh Eidelson, “The Undercover Organizers Behind America’s Union Wins,” Bloomberg Businessweek, April 3, 2023.

Sam Gindin, “Beyond Fatalism: Renewing Working-Class Politics,” The Bullet, March 19, 2023.

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.

Section 2: Labor and the Climate Crisis

Lee Harris, “Solar Could Become a Model for Sectoral Bargaining,” American Prospect, October 27, 2023.

Luis Feliz Leon, “Will the Clean Energy Auto Economy Be Built on Factory Floors Riddled With Toxic Chemicals and Safety Hazards?In These Times, August 30, 2023.

Eleanor J. Bader, “Kitchen Workers Demand Federal Protections Against Excessive Heat,” Truthout, August 17, 2023.

Julia Conley, “Protect Workers in Electric Vehicle Transition,” Common Dreams, August 15, 2023.

Sarah Lazare, “In a Summer of Record Heat, These Striking Workers Are Making Climate Demands,” In These Times, August 8, 2023.

Section 3: Anti-worker Threats and Actions 

Josh Eidelson and Brendan Case, “Why Dollar General Might Just Be the Worst Retail Job in America,” Business Week, September 20, 2023.

Caitlyn Clark, “Countering Dangerous Work at Amazon,” Labor Notes, September 8, 2023.

Steven Greenhouse, “Will Starbucks’ Union-Busting Stifle a Union Rebirth in the US?,” Guardian, August 28, 2023.

Dave Jamieson, “The Persuaders, Workers wanted a union then the mysterious men showed up,” Huffpost.com, July 24, 2023.

Josh Dzieza, “AI is a lot of work: As the technology becomes ubiquitous, a vast tasker underclass is emerging — and not going anywhere,” The Verge, June 20, 2023.

Celine McNicholas, Margaret Poydock, and Marc Edayadi, “Employers regularly engage in tactics to suppress unions,” Economic Policy Institute, March 28, 2023.

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.

Section 4: Labor Law and Worker Rights

Dee-Ann Durbin, “US labor board delays new employment rule after business groups sue,” AP News, November 17, 2023.

Dee-Ann Durbin, “New rule would make it easier for millions of Americans to unionize, but businesses are pushing back,” AP News, November 13, 2023.

Jason Vazquez, “The NLRB Still Hasn’t Overturned Ex-Cell-O?,” On Labor, October 31, 2023.

Mark G. Kisicki, Elizabeth T. Jozsi, and Zachary V. Zagger, “NLRB Casts Wider Joint-Employer Net With New Final Rule,” Ogletree, October 27, 2023.

Harold Meyerson, “A labor day like no other,” The American Prospect, September 4, 2023.

Don McIntosh, “Abruzzo shows what it’s like to enforce a ‘pro-worker statute’,Northwest Labor Press, August 4,2023.

Max Nesterak, “Minnesota Lawmakers Approve 9 Major Worker-Friendly Changes,” Minnesota Reformer, May 19, 2023.

Sarah Lazare, “How Secret ‘Bondage Fees’ Trap Contracted Workers in Low-Wage Jobs,” Workday Magazine, May 4, 2023.

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.

Section 5: The Union Difference

Equitable Growth, “What recent research says about the benefits of labor strikes and growing worker power for broader U.S. economic growth,” Equitable Growth, October 25, 2023.

Jim Grossfeld, “Union and Queer,” The American Prospect, September 4, 2023.

GBAO Survey, “The State of Labor Unions Is Strong,” August 25, 2023.

Josh Bivens, Celine McNicholas, Kyle K. Moore, and Margaret Poydock, “Unions promote racial equity,” Economic Policy Institute, July 31, 2023.

Ted Van Green, “U.S. Adults See Decline of Union Membership As Bad,” Pew Research, April 22, 2023.

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.

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

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

Section 6: Worker Centers and Wage Boards

Janet Bauer, “Wage Boards Benefit Workers, Businesses, and the Economy,” Oregon Center for Public Policy, March 13, 2023.

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 7: 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 8: 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 9: Anti-union Arguments 

Lee Harris, “Econ Commentators Join TSMC to Declare U.S. Workers’ Premature Defeat,” The American Prospect, August 2023.

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.