2022 is the year of the labor movement across the country.
Over the past few months, unions have been forming at Starbucks nationwide and at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island. Now, there are reports of an Apple store in Atlanta where workers have filed for a union election through Communications Workers of America with the National Labor Relations Board, and another Apple store in Grand Central Terminal has begun organizing as well.
The NLRB says that from October 2021 through March 2022, it has received 1,174 petitions seeking union representation. That is a 57 percent increase from the same period a year prior, and the most union organizing the NLRB has seen in a decade.
“Interest in unions is on the rise, and New York continues to set the pace as one of the most unionized states in the nation,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “Public-sector unions have remained strong despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision, and it’s invigorating to see workers banding together from Amazon to Starbucks to the agricultural sector. The trajectory for organized labor in this state — and the nation, for that matter — is one of greater worker voice, better working conditions and more economic justice.”
While efforts by the CWA, Amazon Labor Union and Starbucks Workers United may seem separate from our work as education professionals, they represent one interconnected labor movement of which we are all a part. NYSUT and AFT recently lent support in a letter submitted by the ALU to New York State Attorney General Letitia James calling on the AG to investigate Amazon for violation of the terms of the Excelsior Jobs Program with their union-busting activities.
And Amazon workers are just the latest organizers that NYSUT is standing in solidarity with. The union has been assisting Starbucks workers organizing efforts in Western New York, where Starbucks Workers United unionization efforts first started brewing, and elsewhere in the state.
We all must remain vigilant during these times. Watch your local stores and support your union siblings where you see them. Together we can ensure a fair future for all.
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