As waves of Starbucks employees strike and organize across the country, baristas are bringing the fight to the company’s hometown. On Monday, Seattle’s Starbucks Reserve Roastery filed for a union election, joining dozens of Starbucks locations that plan to unionize. Starbucks’ corporate headquarters is just a few miles away.
On a 6-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a California labor law on Wednesday that allowed union organizers onto an agricultural employer's property to enlist farmworkers to join the union. The 1975 law was a legacy of Cesar Chavez, a founder of the United Farm Workers union.
Demand for couriers grew during the pandemic, yet their conditions only deteriorated. Lockdowns cut into their hours, leaving many workers struggling to pay bills and feed families. Eighty percent of gig workers surveyed in the summer of 2020 by the University of California, Los Angeles, Labor Center said they weren’t making enough to meet household expenses. A third did not have enough for groceries.(No paywall)
The government offered to help livestock producers locate contractors skilled in killing herds or flocks of animals and to provide cost-share funding for their disposal because the coronavirus pandemic has shut down packing plants and reduced consumer demand. The National Pork Board held a webinar on Sunday that discussed step by step "emergency depopulation and disposal" of hogs.(No paywall)
In Jennifer E. Gaddis’s new book, The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools, school lunch is the framework for serious thinking about politics and people power. Gaddis makes the case that to reform school food, we need better working conditions and pay for cafeteria workers in addition to more nutritious ingredients. I asked Gaddis, an assistant professor of civil society and community studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to discuss the pillars of her research and how school food policy should move forward.(No paywall)
Some Whole Foods employees are instigating a union drive, according to a letter leaked to the press Thursday. Citing layoffs and falling morale since the company’s 2017 acquisition by Amazon, the workers plan to push for higher wages and better benefits.
The organizer and human-rights activist, Greg Asbed, co-founded the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, (CIW) which has worked with major retailers and food companies to guarantee better pay and treatment for farmworkers through the coalition’s Fair Food Program. Asbed recently won one of the 24 MacArthur 'genius' grants, worth $625,000, for his leadership. As he told The New York Times in a phone interview, he plans to turn over all of that money to the coalition.