Will COVID-19 Spur a Wave of Unionization?

Summer 2020
By Steven Greenhouse, Dissent Magazine

Workers have been infuriated by the callous treatment they’ve received in their workplaces. Many of them recognized that the most surefire way to get their employers to provide the protection they needed was through collective action.

In mid-March, someone asked me whether COVID-19 would spur a wave of unionization. My first reaction was no. How could workers possibly unionize when there was all this social distancing and people couldn’t even meet in groups? Moreover, I thought workers would be so cowed by the horrors of the pandemic that they wouldn’t give much thought to unionizing.

That response was short-sighted. I didn’t realize how furious many workers would become about the uncaring, even callous way their companies have treated them during this crisis—about the many employers that didn’t lift a finger to provide masks or hand sanitizer. Many of these irate workers recognized that the most surefire way to get their employers to provide the protection they needed was through collective action.

Read the full story from Dissent Magazine

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