The wave of worker unionization continues


In addition, the economic fallout from the abortion decision will be felt for generations to come.

Workers organize across the country

The headlines about organizing workers at big global companies in the tech, retail and service sectors keep coming.

In Campbellsville, Kentucky, Amazon employee Matt Littrell is one of many workers leading an organizing campaign at Amazon’s fulfillment center where he works as a picker, Jacobin reports. Littrell said he hopes a union can push Amazon to address issues like excessive heat, brutal productivity quotas and missed login bonuses.

Apple Store employees in Towson, Maryland voted 65 to 33 to become Apple’s first unionized retail workers, Wired reports. But as the AP notes, serious hurdles remain in the process of certifying votes and negotiating contracts.

A wave of Starbucks employees are also organizing to take advantage of the collective bargaining power that comes with unionization. The More Perfect Union tracker maps these ongoing organizing efforts; as of this week, workers at 306 stores in 35 states have asked to unionize. 182 Starbucks stores won their union election.

What economic repercussions will we see from the abortion rights ruling?

Speaking of Starbucks, it’s one of a slew of large US corporations reportedly reacting to the loss of federal abortion rights protections by offering to pay for employee travel expenses to obtain an abortion. Some Starbucks employees, however, say the company has not specified whether the benefit would be available to staff at unionized sites, as Bon Appetit reports.

Critics say these gestures of solidarity are meaningless, pointing to the political spending history of many of these companies for candidates and groups who have “enabled” anti-abortion lawsuits. For many of these companies, these benefits are also limited to employees who already have company health insurance. “It’s all voluntary, a benefit that can be given and taken, or not offered at all,” Helaine Olen pointed out in a Washington Post column. “And it should be noted that this benefit is offered at a time of extremely low unemployment, when companies are making aggressive bids to recruit workers. This may not last when labor demand drops again.

The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will not only mean less access to abortion, but will also change the economic future of generations of Americans, especially people of color and low-income women, Marketplace reports. According to CNN, those denied abortions had higher rates of poverty, unemployment, and dependence on government assistance — and, therefore, the future and financial stability of their children. are also affected.

“We’re talking about disruptions in people’s careers that have long-term effects throughout their careers,” said economist Jason Lindo, who has studied how access to abortion affects educational attainment, says Marketplace. “We also need to think about the children growing up in households with these people who have more difficult access to abortion…the economic effects are actually likely to extend to the next generation as well.”

A The Washington Center on Equitable Growth fact sheet offers more resources for understanding these economic fallouts.

How Black Women Found Economic Mobility Through Fried Chicken

Check Eater’s latest essay in its “America’s Fried Chicken” series and sink your teeth into this meaty article. For more than a century, food has provided black women in America with a means to social and economic mobility.

“Enslaved black women were considered experts in preparing everything that was now thought to be Southern food, including fried chicken,” writes Debra Freeman. “After the Civil War, they understood that their freedom meant they could fully control their lives while creating and maintaining economic freedom for themselves through their culinary skills.” It’s a legacy that lives on today across the country, especially in Virginia.

Shania DeGroot is an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellow with Next City for the summer of 2022.


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