Let’s face it, the economy is in a tough place right now — between inflation and the wild swings of the stock market. But one bright spot is the reinvigoration of the union movement. From Amazon to Starbucks, Americans are standing up to claim their rights to bargain collectively.
I wanted to understand what’s behind this — how today’s union movement is building on the movement of the past, but with important changes that address some of the ways that the past excluded some of the most marginalized workers in the country.
Sarita Gupta is a long time organizer. She was the former executive director of Jobs With Justice, a leading worker rights advocacy organization, as well as co-director of Caring Across Generations, advocating for caregivers’ rights. Today, she leads U.S. Programs at the Ford Foundation, overseeing their work on civic engagement and government, and the Future of Work(ers) along with other portfolios. She co-authored The Future We Need with Erica Smiley, and joined me to talk about what’s motivating the rise in union organizing — and where it’s headed.