Happy New Year’s Day!
For this show, Moment of Truth with Ami Chen Mills, we’re joined this time with guest host, Meilin Obinata. We’re discussing the life-changing magic of union organizing with the national president of Trader Joe’s United, Jamie Edwards. We’re taking a deep dive into the journey of creating a brand new independent union from scratch.
This conversation is inspired by our November 6, 2023 episode in which we discussed the importance of Gen Z and Labor with two union organizers from academia, retail plus a labor attorney. In our conversation, we cover:
- Why was COVID such a turning point for the new labor movement?
- Why secrecy is so important when forming a brand-new union?
- What is it like to organize a brand new union in a workplace?
- What doe unions have to do with intersectionality and wealth inequality?
- What is “structure testing” and why does it help you when you are forming a union?
- Why you should never play economics trivia games against organizers?
All this and more on this Moment of Truth!
Note that this podcast version contains more content than the broadcast version like the impact of the Affordable Care Act and other juicy bits like how to assess the financial fitness of a business when they don’t publish an annual report.
Show Notes and Resources:
“Why Unions Matter to You” a video from Robert Reich which Jamie Edwards mentions in our conversation, showing the connection between unions and productivity rates when union density is higher https://youtu.be/402m57yFjTM?si=h4JWDStP30-wihFc
How Trader Joe’s attempts to squash new unions, from New Republic https://newrepublic.com/article/177557/trader-joes-union-busting-bargaining-table-first-contract
On the union-busting pedigree of Kulture Consulting https://inthesetimes.com/article/kulture-consulting-union-busting-qanon-trump
Coverage from Jacobin about Trader Joe’s United https://jacobin.com/2023/08/trader-joes-workers-independent-unionism-organizing-tju-grocery-store
Coverage about the new union at Trader Joe’s in the Rockridge neighborhood on College Avenue in Oakland, California https://www.tastingtable.com/1238184/trader-joes-oakland-union/ https://www.sfgate.com/food/article/trader-joes-oakland-union-busting-17893529.php
Coverage from More Perfect Union about Trader Joe’s union-busting tactics on YouTube https://youtu.be/WleTV68axHc?si=kZeyNDasXdesNovM