At Labor Notes trainings I hear lots of reasons why union members think their co-workers aren’t involved: They don’t understand labor history. They don’t appreciate all the union has done for them. They watch Fox News. They’re scared or apathetic.
I always say, “Remember what inspires people to organize a union in the first place. They join and stay involved when they experience what it means to wield collective power.”
The Machinists’ loss in the February 15 union vote at Boeing was devastating. Out of 3,000 workers eligible to cast ballots at the Charleston, South Carolina, plant, 2,097 voted against unionization, and only 731 in favor.
But contrary to the armchair wisdom of pundits, this vote was not a referendum on whether or not it’s possible to organize in the South.
The Machinists faced a relentless anti-union campaign. Boeing and a statewide business advocacy group saturated local television, radio, newspapers, and social media with hundreds of anti-union ads.
In solidarity with a massive protest that erupted at New York’s JFK Airport January 28, the city’s Taxi Workers Alliance organized a one-hour strike at the international terminal.
New Yorkers flocked to protest after President Donald Trump’s Executive Order banned legal immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries and refugees from anywhere.
Hundreds of immigrants were detained that day by border agents upon arrival at international airports across the U.S., including dozens at JFK.