Modern Union Activity and Corporation Responses
February 11, 2015 12:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm doing some background research for a writing project and I'm looking for material related to recent burgeoning union activity, particularly in the fast food and retail sectors.

Some examples of the type of thing I'm looking for include:

- Articles about the establishment of a union in a previously non-unionized workplace, especially unions set up autonomously by employees.
- Union-busting tactics and dirty tricks employed by large corporations.
- Profiles of interesting union leaders, particularly female.
- Anything that adds color and detail to the activities of modern unions.
- Documentaries related to the difficulties of working on minimum wage.
- Interesting/infuriating stories related to corporate bastardry towards their employees - for example, the Walmart that set up a food drive for its own employees, the Pizza Hut that fired a manager for refusing to open on Thanksgiving etc. etc.

I've already found some good material but others may have come across something I've overlooked. Any help will be most appreciated.
posted by smithsmith to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Most of the following sources will cover several of the areas you are interested in. You can also look at Fast Food Forward and Fight for $15 related stuff on Twitter.

Look at Josh Eidelson's writing, formerly at Salon, now at BusinessWeek for a lot of what you want.
Labor Notes will have a lot of what you want, too.
Dig through articles tagged "labor" in The American Prospect.
If you have access to the NY Times archive, look for articles by Steven Greenhouse.
Look at the "Working In These Times" section of "In These Times."
posted by cushie at 2:10 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is a striking article from a September issue of the New Yorker, called "Dignity: Fast-food workers and a new form of labor activism." I really think it hits all of your points: setting up a union in a previously non-unionized workplace; following a female union member's life and activities; showing the union-busting tactics and dirty trucks (of McDonalds specifically); totally infuriating; adds color and detail to the activities of modern unions. It has the added bonus of exploring race relations between Latinos and African Americans in the fast food industry, as well, to an extent.

Would love to read the end result of your writing project. I have a big, bleeding heart for labor unions and am always looking for more literature on the topic.
posted by nightrecordings at 4:05 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

That should say dirty tricks, not dirty trucks of McDonalds. Still kind of works.
posted by nightrecordings at 4:15 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Are you familiar with Joey Quits? Here's a HuffPost article with background for starters as well as their Facebook page and a Tumblr site. (And, yes, that video and his activism really are legit!)
posted by smorgasbord at 7:02 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all! Really appreciate your fantastic help.
posted by smithsmith at 10:13 PM on February 11, 2015

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