This is not your grandpa’s union (rerun)
Jan 3, 2023
Episode 835

This is not your grandpa’s union (rerun)

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In 2022, unions are coming to smaller workplaces.

Hey smarties! We’re on a break for the holidays and revisiting some of our top episodes from 2022. We can’t do this show without you and we still need your support. If you can, donate today to keep independent journalism going strong into 2023 and beyond. Give now to support Make Me Smart. Thank you so much for your generosity, happy holidays and we’ll see you in the new year.

Labor organizing looks a lot different today than it did in the past.

The workplaces are different compared to decades ago. Think less industrial factories with thousands of workers and more StarbucksREI and Trader Joe’s with bargaining units of a couple of dozen employees, all organizing one location at a time.

“On one hand, it could be easier because you’ve got a smaller group of people to be making the demands. But then you have this challenge of power … it’s hard when you’re looking at a massive corporation, but you’re organizing it piece by piece,” said Sarah Jaffe, labor journalist and co-host of the podcast “Belabored.”

The AFL-CIO’s goal is to unionize 1 million workers in the next decade. Could organizing smaller workplaces be the path toward reversing decades of declining union membership?

On the show today, what labor organizing looks like in the modern economy, why it’s different from what we saw in the past and what it means for the workplace of 2022 and beyond.

In the News Fix, the wild story of an Olympic athlete and what it says about modern-day slavery. Plus, we’ll tell you about an airport to avoid if you’re traveling this summer. Later, we’ll hear from listeners about deep sighs and coupons, and we’ll make you smart about flapjacks!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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The team

Marissa Cabrera Senior Producer
Marque Greene Associate Producer