Labor Unions Are Back

October 7, 2022

And they’re essential for a strong democracy.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

Why We Need a Strong Labor Movement

With recent union drives at workplaces from Starbucks to Amazon to Apple, labor organizing is on the rise again after decades of low levels of unionization in the US.

Dorian Warren—a labor scholar and organizer, and co-president of Community Change—has been a leader in such organizing efforts.

The stakes are high: “No labor movement means no strong democracy. No labor movement means no middle class,” Warren tells hosts Felicia Wong and Michael Tomasky on this week’s episode of How to Save a Country.

Warren also talks about why federal leadership is important when it comes to labor rights, how the fight for a $15 minimum wage became mainstream, and the ways unions can create social and political communities and multiracial solidarity.

Listen now, and subscribe for new episodes every Thursday.


Slowing Job Growth

The US economy added 263,000 jobs in September—indicating that job growth is slowing, and job openings declining.

Though job growth is still above pre-pandemic levels, “[a]nother Fed rate hike would unnecessarily bring us closer to a recession and undo the gains of low- and middle wage workers,” Roosevelt’s Deputy Director of Worker Power and Economic Security Alí Bustamante cautions

Read Bustamante’s recent issue brief for more on post-pandemic employment levels.


An Economic Step Forward for Racial Equity

This week, the US Treasury announced the members of its new Advisory Committee on Racial Equity (TACRE). The establishment of the committee demonstrates the Treasury’s commitment to a fair and equitable economy.

“Any efforts to address inequality in the United States must account for the legacy of racial exclusion built into our economy,” said Roosevelt President & CEO Felicia Wong, who joins the committee’s inaugural membership as vice chair. 

“I look forward to working with this distinguished group of leaders to propose ways to harness Treasury’s power and authority to redress these harms, toward a more just and equitable future.”


What We’re Reading

Can You Curb Inflation without Killing Jobs? Economists Have Some Ideas. [feat. Roosevelt’s Mike Konczal]CBS News

The Pandemic Could Have Changed How Employers Think about Layoffs [feat. Roosevelt fellow Aaron Sojourner] – Vox

New Supreme Court Case Could Weaken Unions’ Ability To Strike – HuffPost

Reclaiming the Deep State [feat. Roosevelt’s Todd Tucker]The American Prospect

Hurricane Ian Is a Reminder That the US Has Always Been Bad at Protecting the Most VulnerableThe New Republic