Union Strikes are Back in the US: Labor Day Update

Labor Day 2023

It’s been reported that more than 500 labor actions, including strikes and protests, have occurred in the United States since Jan. 1, including 22 in Massachusetts, according to Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

It’s been estimated that more than 320,000 workers have participated in the actions this year, Cornell research showed, from the Teamsters’ settlement with UPS to the ongoing screen actors and writers strikes.

A management professor at American University, David Jacobs said the current negotiating battles will set a guide for others.

Jacobs told the Herald, “We have kind of an ‘Empire Strikes Back’ situation, in which we have seen enormous organizing and hope on the worker side and a battle in the courts that will determine whether a more progressive labor policy is effectuated.”  

As per Gallup research showed 48% of Americans backed labor unions 13 years ago, that shows a number which has steadily up to 71% in 2022 and 67% this year. An author and expert in the field of labor, Jacobs noted the rising support unions have from Americans since 2010.

Jacobs has also noticed that a most of his students have been pro-union compared to years past. The contributing factors were the financial crisis of 2008 and the coronavirus pandemic that push his students to question the labor norms.

Labor Day celebration is related to industrial revolution and labor conditions and it dated back in the late 19th century, when the world witnessed industrial revolution that brought notable changes to the American workforce.

To defend the rights of workers often faced long hours, poor working conditions, and low wages. The setup labor unions started to form, to advocate for workers’ rights and improvements in their working conditions.

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