State of the Unions Week

Source: Pacific Standard, April 2018

…. This week Pacific Standard will be taking a look at the current and future states of American labor. We’ll explore everything from the promise and limitations of “alt-labor” models of organizing, to the danger that autonomous vehicles pose to truck drivers (a traditional bastion of organized labor), to the future of songwriters in the Spotify era.

While the state of traditional organized labor may be weak by historical standards, the stories we’ll tell this week (as well as the stories that have played out recently in West Virginia and Oklahoma) suggest a more nuanced and complex narrative of worker organizing in the 21st century. Traditional unions may be down, but workers aren’t yet out. ….

Articles include:
CAN THE ALT-LABOR MOVEMENT IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR AMERICAN WORKERS?
By Dwyer Gunn
An expert gives us an overview of the movement sweeping labor reform.

A LOOK AT THE EDUCATION LABOR MOVEMENTS EMERGING ACROSS THE COUNTRY
By Elena Gooray
A round-up of the strikes and protests organized by educators around the country who are frustrated with low pay and gutted school budgets.

WHY CAN’T CHARTER SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS’ UNIONS BE FRIENDS?
By Elena Gooray
The president of California’s largest teachers’ labor group weighs in on the recent unionization of charters across the state—a shift that runs counter to the history of tension between charters and labor groups.

WHAT CAUSED THE DECLINE OF UNIONS IN AMERICA?
By Dwyer Gunn
Globalization, politics, and the American psyche are all to blame.

‘WE’RE ON LIFE SUPPORT’: IS STREAMING MUSIC THE FINAL NOTE FOR PROFESSIONAL SONGWRITERS?
By Jack Denton
Operating without a union, songwriters are still paid through royalty structures created in the days of player pianos and Tin Pan Alley. And in the streaming era, that’s a losing formula.

THE STATE OF THE UNIONS
By Dwyer Gunn
Introducing a weeklong Pacific Standard series on America’s labor unions.