Chris Brooks

What pushed tea factory workers to their boiling point?

In August the workers who supply Lipton’s entire North American market voted 108-79 to join Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400.

They were fed up with an unrelenting schedule that produces constant fatigue, injuries, and broken relationships.

Lipton brings tea from around the world through the Port of Virginia. At its single 20-acre plant in nearby Suffolk, 200 workers roast, blend, package, and warehouse it, producing over 6 billion bags a year.

Tennessee’s infamous anti-union union is fading away for lack of members. Will Volkswagen’s rationale for keeping out a real union crumble with it?

The American Council of Employees, a business-financed rival to the United Auto Workers at Chattanooga’s VW plant, no longer meets the minimum membership threshold to qualify for meetings with management as part of the company’s so-called “Community Organization Engagement” policy.

Putting the Con in the Gig Economy

It’s called the Independent Drivers Guild—but the new organization for New York City’s estimated 35,000 Uber drivers is “independent” in name only.

Co-founded by Uber and the Machinists union, it's not a union, it has no collective bargaining rights, and it receives financial support from Uber.

Just how much support, we don’t know, since Uber and the Machinists won’t release their agreement—not even to drivers.

If you’ve attended a Fight for $15 rally or a Black Lives Matter protest in Chicago recently, chances are you’ve seen members of Future Fighters.

Their T-shirts proudly proclaim that they are “a movement of young leaders actively fighting against income inequality, racial profiling, police brutality, and homelessness; while engaging and educating other young workers who are taking direct action to unite and rebuild our communities.”

Where’s our economy headed? This is part two of our interview with Kim Moody, co-founder of this magazine and the author of many books on U.S. labor.

Despite the hype about the “gig economy,” Moody argued in Part 1 that the bigger change most workers are experiencing is the rise of the crappy-job economy. On the bright side, he pointed out how just-in-time production has created huge concentrations of workers—and vast potential for organizing.

Where’s our economy headed? Soon every factory worker will have to start driving for Uber, and the trucks will drive themselves—at least so the business press tells us.

But Kim Moody, co-founder of this magazine and the author of many books on U.S. labor, paints a different picture. Chris Brooks asked him to cut through the hype and describe what’s coming for working people and the opportunities for unions.

This is Part 1 of our interview with Kim Moody. Watch for Part 2, coming next week. —Eds.

As grocery industry standards erode, UFCW Local 21 is bucking the trend, building power through activism at work and alliances in the community.

Indiana factory workers defeated a two-tier wage and pension system by rebuilding their local from the bottom up.

Dealing with 'Freeloaders'

What if stewards didn't have to represent non-members? Just ask a Tennessee teacher whether that's a union-building or union-busting policy.

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