In a monumental shift against the Owners, the Bosses and the Elites — who have made off like bandits during the pandemic — tens of thousands of young adults at hundreds of companies across the country are organizing their own unions.
This uprising has caught Corporate America by surprise. For decades now, they have relished with glee that the nation’s unionized workforce has shrunk from a high of 33.2% in 1955 (or 50% if you also count those who work for public schools, hospitals and the government), to an all-time private sector low of only 6% of Americans who belong to a union.
But then the virus hit — along with a glorious, unintended consequence: A worker revolt! It began with workers deciding they did not want to handle both the threat of Covid and continuing to work at a miserable, unfulfilling job. So millions upon millions just up and quit. Suddenly businesses couldn’t function. They didn’t have enough employees. Desperate minimum-wage workplaces started pleading with workers to come back — not for minimum wage, but for $22 an hour! And still, not enough of the human chattel could be enticed back into the stables of mind-numbing misery. This was blowing the Owners’ minds. Covid had stripped the whip from their hands. They could no longer dictate the terms to the workers who refused to be wage-slaves no more, always on their knees, begging for a day off to care for a sick child, begging for a little more health coverage, begging for time to spend with their newborn, missing the moment they spoke their first word, missing the day they first walked on their own. Those moments come just once, you can’t get them back, you can’t recreate them for the video you want to send to the grandparents. Covid for many unexpectedly ended their indentured servitude. The bosses were no longer calling the shots.
The workers were.
For the first time since, like, forever.
And then, to top it off, came a second front in the revolt. Those who were still working, those who had chosen to stay, decided to create the most feared organism to the entire wealthy class: a union!
In just the last six months there has been a whopping 57% increase in the number of workers and labor groups demanding to be recognized as a union, demanding better wages, benefits, time off and safety protections.
And this rebellion is being lead by 20-somethings! Wait! What? Oh No! Surely you don’t mean this young generation we Boomers like to denigrate as a bunch of whiny brats! They’re leading this charge? How did this happen??!!
In recent weeks nearly 170 Starbucks locations have sought out the legal petitions to start the unionization process. Over 50 Amazon warehouses have found their employees doing the same.
The onslaught at both companies began with just one lonely location each, in the middle of nowhere (a Starbucks in Buffalo, an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island). Unlikely outposts where revolutions don’t usually begin. Each one so removed from where there was a big union, they had to start their own big union. Without a dime or a clue as to what to do. They went online to learn how to walk. They Googled it — just like the workers at one Google location did when they wanted to form a union at their Google workplace. They had no Walter Reuther, no Cesar Chavez, no A. Philip Randolph to lead them. Many of them did have what they thought was a worthless college degree that instead of finding them real employment, they were now trapped in a virtual debtor’s prison for the next 30 years to pay off all the loans they took out in order to get that worthless degree.
And in many of these workplaces that have been organizing a union, it’s the kids with those college degrees that turned out not to be so worthless after all. Thousands of these zoomers and millennials are now using the gifts their unionized teachers gave them, and they’re using some of the smarts they paid for to figure out how to create a union from scratch. And it is this revolt that is driving the mid-management hacks crazy because they don’t know how to stop these grunge and hip-hop unions from breaching the barricade. And now it’s out of control. (The Revolt of the College-Educated Working Class)
In addition to the union victories at Starbucks and Amazon, here’s a sample of other union success stories just since the holidays:
Vodeo Games — North America’s first video game union. They formed Vodeo Worker’s United which represents all the eligible employees. All 13 of them! As one organizer exclaimed, “You can start a union anywhere, big or small. Even a place with 13 workers!”
New York Times Tech Workers — In March, the tech workers at the Times who bring us the digital version voted 404 to 88 to form a union.
REI Outfitters — The well known outdoors clothing and gear store had their first store in NYC vote to join a union in March. The vote: 88 to 14.
Art Institute of Chicago — In January the staff at this world-renowned museum voted 142 to 44 to join the union local of AFSCME that represents museum workers around the country.
Apple — Workers at an Atlanta Apple store have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to unionize.
Indiana University grad students — Earlier this year 1,600 of the estimated 2,500 graduate workers signed a petition to unionize, and are currently on strike fighting to be recognized by the university.
Covid ripped the mask off latter day so-called capitalism, revealing it to be an economic system of unapologetic greed that in a time of tragedy and national crisis, the system of wealth would not be there for its workers, its fellow citizens, its communities. It immediately went about jacking prices so high, no one could afford a new home, rents eventually shot up 20% to 40%, and few could afford (or even find) a car to buy.
In fleecing us, American Billionaires during the pandemic got 62% richer, making themselves $1.8 trillion wealthier than they were in 2019.
Or here’s a more pleasant way to put it:
That right there should give us all pause on this May Day to bow our heads in shame that we have let this happen. You do know, right, that this day we call “May Day“ is not a communist concoction, or a day to honor the Blessed Virgin, or anything to do with a May pole.
It began when workers across America called for a mass general strike on May 1, 1886, to demand the establishment of the 8-hour workday. It was not unusual in those times for workers to work a 12 to 16 hour day.
In Chicago, the police battled the protestors for three days in the city’s Haymarket Square. Protestors and police died. The government then hung four of the workers with no evidence against them. The world responded in shock, and since then every May 1st has been considered International Labor Day — celebrated everywhere except the country where it began.
Instead, here in the OG land of May Day, we watched while millions in the pandemic died — and the rich got much, much richer. But once again, the overlords have overplayed their hand. And now the youth have picked up the torch. If you’re reading this, and you think it’s time to organize a union where you work, I’d like to help you by giving you links to places who can help you get unionized.
More and more these days, workers are choosing to organize independently. Read how Christian Smalls and Derrick Palmer organized the first Amazon union independently here.
If you’re interested in pursuing the more traditional route and joining an existing union, the Department of Labor and UnionBase are great resources to help you find potential unions to partner with near you. Also, to help you narrow down your choices and find the right fit, go to Center for Union Facts and learn more about these potential local & national unions — including union finances, leader salaries, member dues, political operations, unfair labor practices, and more.
The key here is that YOU hold the power. It may feel a bit scary trying to form a union. You may lose your job. Or you might just win! You might make history! You might be part of this new movement that is going to make life better for millions of people. The Owners are maddeningly afraid of you right now. Good! Take that and run with it. I will stand with you.
Please let me know of any attempt you’re making to form a union. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will share your actions here on my Substack. I will tell the public about it on my podcast. Thousands (millions?) will get behind you. We will call your company’s HQ and let them know they’ll receive no business from us if they don’t recognize your union! I will have some of you on as guests on Rumble. You are not alone in this! I admire your smarts and your courage. I am so proud of all of you. As a fellow union member myself, I want you to know I’ve got your back, I’m in the fight with you. THIS IS YOUR MOMENT!