What Does Amazon Labor Union’s Win Mean for the Future of Labor Organizing in the US?

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Union organizer Christian Smalls speaks following the April 1, 2022, vote for the unionization of the Amazon Staten Island warehouse in New York. (Photo by ANDREA RENAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

Earlier this month, workers at an Amazon warehouse in New York City voted to form the first union in company history. Organized mostly by current and former workers, the successful union drive did not rely on professional organizers and was financed not by union dues, but by GoFundMe donations. The win is energizing to many self-organizing union drives that are gaining momentum elsewhere, like Starbucks and Apple stores. So could Amazon Labor Union’s success as an independent union contribute to a new playbook for labor organizing? We’ll take a closer look at the possible ripple effects and we’ll also learn about the often untold history of various labor organizers who similarly carved their own paths in the U.S. labor movement.


Noam Scheiber, reporter, The New York Times

Kim Kelly, journalist; author, "Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor"

Tia Orr, executive director, SEIU California