This week, the Supreme Court gutted abortion rights. This is a workers’ issue, in a country where many struggle to afford an abortion and lack the paid leave needed to take multiple days off work to travel out of state for abortion access as state bans go into effect. The Economic Policy Institute’s Heidi Shierholz points out research showing that people who want but cannot get an abortion experience long-term financial consequences and increased poverty. Also highlighted here: The states where abortion bans are most likely are also states where wages and worker power are low.
The Supreme Court also essentially nullified states’ rights to limit permits to carry firearms, sending a signal that it would become more and more extremist on guns. This, too, is a workers’ issue, in a country where workplace shootings are all too common.
But make no mistake that this Supreme Court is also specifically opposed to workers’ rights and efforts to build worker power. Justice Samuel Alito may end his career most remembered for his spiteful opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, but he also has a long and equally spiteful track record of anti-union activism. As Jenny Hunter wrote at Balls and Strikes in 2021, “Alito’s ‘impartiality’ in cases about unions can not only ‘reasonably be questioned’; it simply does not exist. There is no doubt he will rule to limit workers’ collective power at every opportunity. The only question is how quickly he’ll upend the law in order to engineer his desired result.”
This month, the court gutted an important California workplace enforcement rule. Because, of course, Alito has company in his basic anti-worker stance. A lot of company on this Trump-packed court. Workers around the country are showing renewed interest in unions, but they will encounter a hostile Supreme Court for a generation or more, unless Democrats expand the court.
● I’m really overdue for a more extensive Starbucks update, but in very brief, there are 169 unionized Starbucks stores in 30 states, a ridiculous win rate when you consider that just 26 stores have voted against unionizing. But the company continues its union-busting campaign—over which the National Labor Relations Board is suing in federal court.
● Hawaii passed a minimum wage first: an $18 minimum wage by 2028.
● “Progressive” food company Amy’s Kitchen faces multiple unfair labor practice charges, writes Angela Bunay at Labor Notes.
● Over at In These Times, Brittany Scott reports on The creative methods workers are using to stop bosses’ abuse.
● The National Labor Relations Board is doing a strong job protecting workers’ rights, but it is seriously underfunded, Glenna Li reports at The American Prospect.
● The beating heart of the labor movement was at the Labor Notes conference, Alex Press writes.
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