Emma Chambers tried to unionize her Los Angeles Starbucks store. As a result, she was fired and lost stable housing and health care. But she says that if she knew all that going in, she’d still have stood up for herself, her coworkers, and the working class.
Despite a valiant effort by millions of rank-and-file workers to prevent its passage, Taft-Hartley became law on June 23, 1947 when the Senate overrode President Truman’s veto. Taft-Hartley halted what had been a remarkable decade of progress for working people, tamed union militancy, and set the stage for the long decline of the U.S. labor movement. We are still feeling its effects today.
Every blip in worker struggle raises a question: Is labor finally turning the corner? But our current moment features both pissed-off workers and successful militant union reform movements. Together, the two could turn worker anger into something much bigger.