A new spirit of defiance is spreading on the wind that whips through the North Pole workshop complex. Elves are chafing against long hours and discovering their increased leverage—both resulting from a labor shortage that has jammed up critical points in the supply chain.
Polar warehouses are stacked to the rafters with gingerbread men no one has frosted and headless nutcrackers awaiting a delayed shipment from the parts plant.
In Columbus, Ohio, a little collective action “did a lot of good for morale,” said delivery driver and Teamsters Local 413 steward Nick Perry.
Employers never let a crisis go to waste. Like clockwork, after this awful year, here come the demands for concessions.
Steelworkers at Allegheny Technologies are on strike to defend their benefits. The company wants them to start paying more, though it’s flush with cash. If you ask why, you’re not thinking like an employer.
The mountain climber George Mallory, when asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest, supposedly answered, “Because it’s there.”
What if I told you an employer had agreed that it could no longer make any change to policies affecting members without “prior affirmative consent” from the union?
Wow, you might say—that’s what I call worker power! But hold your applause till you hear who the employer is: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency that detains and deports immigrants.
This week the U.S. labor movement lost its best-known and best-loved troubadour: the great folksinger-songwriter Anne Feeney. She died of Covid on February 3, at age 69, with her children at her side. With her fantastic songs and feisty spirit, she made an incalculable contribution to the movement. She is irreplaceable, and gone too soon.