A Whole New, Same World

commentary

(Bloomberg)

Workers stand in line to cast ballots for a union election at Amazon's JFK8 distribution center, in the Staten Island borough of New York City, March 25, 2022, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Workers stand in line to cast ballots for a union election at Amazon's JFK8 distribution center, in the Staten Island borough of New York City, March 25, 2022

Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

by Kathryn A. Edwards

April 20, 2022

Workers in the United States have made significant gains during the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Wages are rising, employers are offering more perks, pundits are proclaiming the office obsolete, and unions are resurgent. Earlier this month, Amazon employees at a Staten Island warehouse achieved a breakthrough unionization, following on the heels of the first unionization of a Starbucks and last fall's “striketober” actions at John Deere, Kellogg, and elsewhere.

So is a new era of worker power emerging? I'm doubtful. By any meaningful measure, employers are still in charge.…

The remainder if this commentary is available at bloomberg.com.


Kathryn A. Edwards is a labor economist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation.

This commentary originally appeared on Bloomberg on April 20, 2022. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.