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
Section 6: Public Sector Unionization
Section 7: The Right to Work Experience
Section 8: Anti-union Arguments

Section 1: Worker Organizing Efforts

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.

Ned Temko, “Gig Contractor or Employee? Delivery Drivers Seek Rights Worldwide,” Christian Science Monitor, December 20, 2021.

Dee-Ann Durbin and Carolyn Thompson, “In a First, Starbucks Worker Agree to Union in Buffalo,” AP News, December 9, 2021.

Tyler Walicek, “A Unionization Wave Is Reshaping Museums and Cultural Institutions Across the US,” Truthout, November 27, 2021.

Don MacIntosh, “Union reaches agreement with Burgerville,” Northwest Labor Press, November 17, 2021.

Michael Sainato, ““U.S. School Bus Drivers in Nationwide Strikes over Poor Pay and Covid RiskGuardian, November 16, 2021.

Michael Goldfield and Cody R. Melcher,Moments of Rupture: The 1930s and the Great Depression,” ORGUP, November 9, 2021.

Luis Feliz Leon and Maximillian Alvarez, “Beneath Striketober Fanfare, The Lower Frequencies of Class,” Labor Notes, October 29, 2021.

Molly Osberg, “The Revenge of the Essential Worker,” The New Republic, October 19, 2021.

Tanzil Chowdhury, SIerra Dodd, and Kdan Lee, “17,000 University of California Researchers Could Soon Win a Union,” Jacobin, July 29, 2021

Sam Gindin, “How Labor Can Win at the Bargaining Table,” The Nation, July 8, 2021.

Section 2: Anti-worker Threats and Actions 

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.

Steve Wishnia, “New Union-Busting Tracker Debuts Online,” LaborPress, November 18, 2021.

Lauren Kaori Gurley, “Leaked Audio: Amazon Workers Grill Managers at Anti-Union Meeting,” Motherboard, November 17, 2021.

Union Busting: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO),” November 14, 2021.

William Thornton, “Alabama Judge Orders Stop to Picketing at Warrior Met Coal,” al.com, October 28, 2021.

Umme Hoque, “Front-line Workers Weren’t Protected During the Pacific Northwest Heat Wave,” Prism, July 14, 2021.

Anna North, “Bosses are acting like the pandemic never happened,” Vox, May 28, 2021.

Section 3: Labor Law and Worker Rights

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

David Doorey, “Why Canadian Employers Do Not “Permanently” Replace Strikers,” Onlabor, December 6, 2021.

Sam Mellins, “Joe Biden’s Labor Board Picks Have Been Surprisingly Encouraging,” Jacobin, August 26, 2021.

Dave Jamieson, “Scabby The Rat, Union Protest Icon, Survives Legal Challenge From Trump Appointee,” HuffPost, July 21, 2021.

James Coleman and Nick Gonzalez, “We Are Zoomers and We Want the PRO Act,” In These Times, July 20, 2021.

Megan Rose Dickey, “Gig Workers are Prepping for a Battle Against Uber, Lyft and DoorDash,” Protocol, July 7, 2021.

Dave Jamieson, “Biden Has A Chance To Boost Unions With New Labor Board Appointments,” Huffington Post, July 3, 2021.

Mindy Isser, “The Heat Wave Shows Climate Change Is A Workers’ Rights Issue,” In These Times, July 1, 2021.

Nelson Lichtenstein, “Not All Labor Law Reforms Are Created Equal,” Jacobin, June 3, 2021.

Section 4: The Union Difference

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

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

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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