Labor Organizing: The Fight for Better Conditions in Food
In honor of May Day (celebrated world-wide on May 1st), we bring you four stories about workers organizing and unionizing around the country. First, we’ll start in our own backyard: New York City. We dive into the world of food delivery workers and their efforts to legislate the delivery apps that push them around the City. Next, we’ll move upstate to and look at farm workers fighting for more overtime pay before turning to the Texas Service Industry Coalition. Finally, we’ll end this episode in San Francisco with Anchor Brewing. The brewery is over 100 years old and ratified its very first union contract in 2019.
Although not officially recognized in the United States, May Day has its origins in America. On May 4th, 1886, workers gathered in Chicago’s Haymarket square to rally for an eight-hour work day. But a bomb was thrown into the demonstration, and several were killed. May Day commemorates the tragedy of the Haymarket Affair. But really, it celebrates every fight for better working conditions.
Further Reading and Listening:
You can follow Los Deliveristas Unidos and Jonán Mancilla’s organizing to improve conditions for delivery workers here, and the affiliated Worker’s Justice Project here.
Check out Alexandra Mateescu’s work on AI and automated technologies in labor at Data & Society.
There are two versions of our story on farmworker organizing for overtime pay in New York. You can find the Spanish version on Buenlimón Radio. You can also subscribe wherever you get your podcasts: (Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS).
For more information on the campaign to lower the overtime threshold in New York State, you can check out the New York Civil Liberties Union campaign, or Alianza Agrícola on Twitter, Instagram, and their website.
Learn more about the Restaurant Organizing Project (ROP) here.
Become more involved with the Austin Texas branch of the ROP here.
You can find the Dandelion Chocolate Union here.
Learn more about the DSA here.
Restaurants Workers United is an independent network of food service and allied workers. They hold organizing workshops available to anyone in the industry every Monday at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT.
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