ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Jeremy Telman
Oklahoma City University
School of Law

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Future of Unions

SBUXAlthough this blog has a category called "Labor Contracts," we rarely use it.  Labor unions have long been in decline, and there just haven't been many labor contracts to discuss outside of the context of collective bargaining in professional sports.  Perhaps the tide has turned.

Over the weekend, The New York Times featured a story about Jaz Brisack, a Rhodes Scholar who decided that the best use of her time and talents was to become a union organizer and so she took a job as a Starbuck's barista.  Hers was the first Starbucks-owned store to unionize; 150 others have since followed suit, and 275 have filed paperwork to hold elections.   The are two unionized Starbucks shops in my fair city, Oklahoma City!  I don't always drink Starbuck's Coffee, but when I do, I will henceforth prefer to purchase it at 36th & May or 23rd and Robinson!

It is such a great story, and it is an exciting moment in the history of the labor movement. The long slide in the percentage of the work force in labor unions seems to have stalled.  There are even some signs of growth, such as this story about the first Apple Store to unionize.  

Let us hope for a future when Americans are outraged that there are billionaires and not by a mandatory living wage for hourly workers.

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