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The history of America’s fight for fair labor

Union leaders are joined by community group representatives, elected officials and social activists for a rally in support of unionization efforts by Amazon workers in the state of Alabama in Los Angeles, California.
Union leaders are joined by community group representatives, elected officials and social activists for a rally in support of unionization efforts by Amazon workers in the state of Alabama in Los Angeles, California.

The pandemic has prompted a lot of change.

One considerable shift? Workers telling bosses they’re not gonna take it anymore.The so-called Great Resignation hasn’t slowed so far in 2022. In February, over 4 million people quit their jobs. About 74,000 of those who left worked in retail.

In addition to quitting, workers are also taking back control via unions. In two recent high-profile moves, employees at Starbucks and Amazon voted to organize despite their respective employers’ best efforts.

Those workers are building on decades of strikes and challenges to a system that didn’t always have their best interest in mind.

Kim Kelly is the author of “Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor.” She takes a look back at America’s labor efforts from the Black washerwomen of Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1800s to today’s sex workers on OnlyFans

We also hear from an organizer participating in the Warrior Met Coal strike. You can find Warrior Met Coal’s website on the strike here.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Michelle Harven