America’s Latest Union Push Needs Teeth

Stanford Law Professor William B. Gould, IV

(Originally published by The Boston Globe on July 25, 2022) 

For more than 50 years, organized labor has been on an almost-uninterrupted downward spiral of membership decline, representing 10.8 percent of the workforce today (6.1 percent in the private sector) as compared to 35 percent in the mid-50s. Hastened by globalization, deregulation, and technological innovation, union leadership has too frequently been stuck in lethargic bureaucratization, unable to recapture the aggressive involvement pressed forward by new unions during the Great Depression and World War II.

But now, in less than a year, workers have taken on the lion’s den of employer anti-union conduct by recruiting members and winning union elections in companies like Amazon, Apple, and Starbucks (so far there have been 300 election petitions filed with Starbucks in 35 states).

(Continue reading the opinion essay on The Boston Globe’s page here.)