When “microtransit,” the new rage in transit privatization, showed up in Denton, Texas, union activists decided to fight back.
Microtransit is a loosely defined term that combines on-demand service with flexible scheduling and routes—imagine replacing a bus system with shared Ubers. It is presented as a high-tech alternative to public transit, but in reality it’s an extension of the drive to privatize.
Eighty thousand New York City municipal workers who had been largely working remotely for the past 18 months were forced back this week to full-time, in-person work—after less than two weeks’ notice.
The majority of the city’s 300,000 municipal workers were already back at work. Many—such as sanitation workers and health care workers—never stopped working in person. These remaining 80,000 were those the city had deemed “non-essential.”
Working conditions at Amazon have been under a spotlight for months—not only for workers in the company’s warehouses but also for its delivery drivers, who face extreme quotas, long hours, and intense surveillance.
Listening is one of the most important skills for a workplace organizer. And you’ve got to allow yourself to be surprised about what you might hear—and what you do with it.
I was reminded of this recently while reading about the early days of organizing the Transport Workers Union in New York City’s subway and bus system. When TWU was getting its start, unions in the transit system had been severely repressed for decades, and had trouble holding ground.