U.S. Business Casts a Wary Eye at the Surging Labor Movement Led by Young and Optimistic Activists
Like many workers in the service industry, Sara Mughal found that her job got harder during the pandemic. Mughal, 31, is a shift supervisor at a Starbucks location in Hopewell, N.J. In those early months of 2020, she found there weren’t enough workers on the floor to enforce new safety protocols or tend to agitated customers. She wondered what it would look like to work with her fellow baristas to push for better working conditions, but she kept that thought in the back of her mind until the unionization drive at three stores in Buffalo, N.Y., began to get media attention last year.
A 2019 study by the Economic Policy Institute estimated that employers spend $340 million annually on union-avoidance firms. Starbucks, for example, currently retains counsel from Littler Mendelson, the law firm with the largest union-avoidance practice in the U.S.
For employers who engage in union-avoidance campaigns, “the goal is to educate the workforce so that the employees understand what it truly means to have union representation and how that works,” says Jason Reisman, a management-side labor and employment lawyer at Blank Rome, a Philadelphia-based law firm.
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"U.S. Business Casts a Wary Eye at the Surging Labor Movement Led by Young and Optimistic Activists," by Colin Lodewick was published in Fortune on February 24, 2022.