THERE are some interesting trends in the labor movement these days. The number of people covered by unions increased by nearly a quarter-million, even though the U.S. Labor Department reports the percentage of union workplaces declined to a new low. Many of the new union workplaces are in the service sector — but the effort to secure first contracts has been contentious.
The Starbucks coffee chain is perhaps the biggest example of this trend, where more than 200 stores have unionized, but there has yet to be a single contract.
Our guests are two Miami Starbucks workers leading the union effort. One of them says he was fired in retaliation for his activism, but the company denies that.