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Corporations Are Stuck Between Their Staff and Politicians


Then, last month, Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor in Florida, took motion that threatened to derail that movement: Indignant that Bob Chapek, the chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, had spoken out against a Florida law called the Parental Rights in Education act or, by its critics, the “Don’t Say Gay” law, the governor retaliated. In a special session of the Legislature, Mr. DeSantis rammed through a bill to strip Disney, one in all the biggest private employers in Florida, of the autonomous district that it had managed near Orlando for 55 years.

And this week, Politico published a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion showing a majority of the justices voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that made abortion a constitutional right in america. There isn’t a problem in American politics more incendiary than abortion, and with some 60 to 70 percent of Americans in favor of retaining Roe, it seems there can be increasing pressure on corporate executives to take a stance in favor of abortion rights.

On this case, nonetheless, there’s more likely to be a countervailing pressure that will likely be hard to disregard. Thirteen states have passed so-called trigger laws that can effectively ban or curtail abortion access almost immediately if Roe is overturned. One other dozen or so are poised to follow the identical path. Virtually all of those are red states, led by governors who little question saw what Mr. DeSantis did to Disney. Looking back, following the lead of employees in standing up for climate motion, racial justice and the #MeToo movement was a no brainer for companies compared with taking a public position on abortion.

When the term “worker activism” began to realize popularity within the early 2010s, young staff — millennials normally with white-collar jobs — led the charge. They were fed up with each corporate greed and company indifference to issues they cared about. Millennials are actually between the ages of 26 and 41, they usually make up a big proportion of corporate employees.

“Millennials lean liberal, by an almost two-to-one margin over previous generations,” said Charlotte Alter, the creator of “The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For,” a book concerning the millennial generation. “They wish to work for firms that align with their values. And so they understand how much power they’ve within the system. They see their job as a lever they’ll pull.”

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