Posts tagged Jaz Brisack

    The Undercover Organizers Behind America’s Union Wins

    April 5, 2023 // The practice of joining a workplace with the secret aim of organizing it is called “salting.” Westlake was addressing recruits at the Inside Organizer School, a workshop held a couple times a year by a loose confederation of labor organizers. At these meetups, experienced activists train other attendees in the art of going undercover. Speakers lecture and lead discussions on how to pass employer screenings, forge relationships with co-workers and process the complicated feelings that can accompany a double life. Most salts are volunteers, not paid union officials, but unions sometimes fund their housing or, later, tap them for full-time jobs. Workers United, the Service Employees International Union affiliate that’s home to the new Starbucks union, hired Westlake as an organizer around the time the coffee chain fired him last fall.

    Workers United Has an Alter Ego

    April 4, 2023 // Workers United is the largest shareholder of “union controlled” Amalgamated Bank, and is frequently described as its majority owner given its unique control of the bank. Amalgamated reports investments to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that go against both the union and the bank’s self-proclaimed values. Both Workers United and the bank have put forth an image of progressive values and social responsibility. This image has helped Workers United popularize some of its major organizing campaigns, including efforts to organize baristas throughout the country.

    Labor foe Schultz returns as Starbucks union effort grows

    March 22, 2022 // “He took it really personally that his workers wanted to be part of a union, because he thought with him in charge they wouldn’t need it,” said Pam Blauman-Schmitz, a retired union representative who worked to organize Starbucks’ first stores in the early 1980s. “He would say stuff like, ‘Maybe you need unions in the coal mines, but not at Starbucks stores.”


    December 1, 2021 // She and other members of the Starbucks Workers Union’s organizing committee indicated that they’re already fielding queries about organizing from other Starbucks units, particularly a store in Mesa, Ariz., that’s already filed a federal request to hold a vote on unionizing.