In the mid-1950s, nearly 3 in 10 employed workers belonged to a union. Now that figure is down to about 10 percent—or just 6 percent in the private sector alone.
But labor organizing and pro-worker policymaking are on the rise. At more than 200 Starbucks outlets, an Amazon warehouse, and even an Apple store, workers are banding together to ask for higher wages, better benefits, and more control over their schedules and workplace conditions.
Dorian Warren has been a leader in those efforts. Dorian is a labor scholar and organizer, and the co-president of Community Change, a national organization that builds the power of low-income people—especially low-income people of color.
“This is actually an exciting time for the labor movement,” he tells Felicia and Michael. “There is something really going on across the spectrum in terms of one's class background, racial and gender background.”
Dorian talks about the diversity of those pushing for unionization in modern America, the importance of federal leadership when it comes to labor rights, and what’s really at stake: “No labor movement means no strong democracy. No labor movement means no middle class.”
Presented by the Roosevelt Institute, The New Republic, and PRX. Generous funding for this podcast was provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Omidyar Network. Views expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of its funders.
You can find transcripts and related resources for every episode at howtosaveacountry.org.