- by theguardian
- 21 Sep 2023
America is in the midst of the biggest surge in labor activity in a quarter-century.
The United Auto Workers (UAW), the Writers Guild of America, the actors' union known as Sag-Aftra, Starbucks workers, Amazon workers, the Teamsters and UPS, flight attendants. The list goes on.
More than 4.1m workdays were lost to stoppages last month, according to the labor department. That's the most since 2000. And this was before the UAW struck the big three.
Some worry about the effect of all this labor activism on the US economy, and view organized labor as a "special interest" demanding more than it deserves.
Rubbish. Labor activism is good for the economy in the long run. And organized labor isn't a special interest. It's the leading edge of the American workforce.
What accounts for this extraordinary moment of labor activity?
Not that workers enjoy striking. Even where unions have funds to help striking workers offset lost wages, they rarely make up even half of what's forgone. Large corporations whose operations are hobbled by strikes often lay off other workers, as the big three and their suppliers are now threatening to do.
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