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A Latest Labor Movement: How Employees Are Unionizing Amazon, Starbucks And REI


After a long time of decline in the USA, unions could also be poised for a comeback.

Every month seems to bring more promising news for organized labor. Employees at corporations like John Deere and Kellogg’s have gone on strike to win pay raises and fight concessions. Employees at Starbucks have organized roughly 100 stores from coast to coast since last fall. REI employees formed the outdoor retailer’s very first union. And Amazon employees defied all the percentages and won an 8,000-worker union election in Latest York City.

Just 1 in 10 U.S. staff now belongs to a union, down from roughly 1 in 3 within the period following World War II. Yet the labor movement is showing more muscle now than it has in years. Emboldened by a good labor market and two years of toiling through a pandemic, staff are succeeding in organizing corporations which have staunchly resisted unionization, and plenty of of them are doing it practically on their very own.

HuffPost will likely be gathering a few of them together to elucidate how and why they did it.

On June 14, staff from the Amazon, REI and Starbucks unions will participate in a HuffPost panel discussion called “A Latest Labor Movement,” moderated by our labor reporter, Dave Jamieson. The employees will talk concerning the roots of their organizing campaigns, the connections they forged with their coworkers and the tactics they used to defeat the anti-union campaigns waged by their employers.

All these corporations have strongly opposed their employees’ effort to prepare, each in their very own way. Starbucks has flooded stores with managers and been accused of retaliating against union activists. Amazon has spent tens of millions of dollars on high-priced anti-union consultants. And REI has brandished its progressive image in hopes of diluting union support. Organizers will share their stories of fighting powerful corporations from the within, often at great personal risk, and their views of where the U.S. labor movement is headed.

The event will likely be at 4:00 p.m. on June 14 on the BuzzFeed offices in Latest York City. Speakers will include Chris Smalls, president of the Amazon Labor Union; Steve Buckley, REI employee and member of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union; and Reese Mercado, Starbucks employee and member of Starbucks Employees United.

HuffPost will likely be livestreaming the event here and on our Facebook page. Audience members within the room will likely be allowed to ask questions, but we’d also wish to hear from those of you who can’t make it in person. If you may have an issue you’d wish to submit or wish to get a reminder concerning the livestream, you may email labor@huffpost.com.

And if you happen to’d wish to attend the event, please RSVP here. Space is restricted and RSVPs will likely be approved on a first-come, first-served basis.

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