Posts tagged salts
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.
Big Labor’s Astroturfed Unionization of Starbucks
January 10, 2023 // It’s unclear the degree to which the Starbucks campaign has featured salts, but Brisack isn’t the only one. Articles in union and socialist publications Jacobin, In These Times, and Labor Notes all reference the organizing role played by employees who “consciously took jobs at Starbucks to organize.” Outside the workplace, Workers United also funded an array of consultants, organizers, and attorneys to support the campaign. When organizing her co-workers, Brisack would introduce them to professional organizers such as Bensinger “to show the baristas that she had a real union backing her,” according to the Washington Post.
Labor’s Militant Minority How a new class of “salts”—radicals who take jobs to help unionization—is boosting the organizing efforts of long-term workers.
June 16, 2022 // On May 1 organizers from the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) joined the New York City Central Labor Council and community organizations to march from Washington Square Park to Foley Park. After a long afternoon of marching and chanting in the sun, about a third of the core organizing committee made their way to a May Day party at the Communist Party headquarters in Chelsea. In the Party’s spacious office, adorned with pictures of William Z. Foster and Lenin, a racially diverse group of twenty-somethings—ALU organizers, members of the Young Communist League (YLC), and fellow travelers—drank Modelos and Bud Lights, ate pizza, and danced to the Backstreet Boys. They were celebrating May Day and the first successful union election at Amazon—the ALU’s April 22 victory at the JFK8 warehouse on Staten Island. Mie Inouye, Boston Review, May Day, Young Communist League, post-Occupy, post-Bernie, Organizing Methods in the Steel Industry, militant minority, Jaz Brisack, New Communist Movement,
Labor Relations Radio, Ep. 20—A Primer On How Union Salts and “Moles” Undermine Companies Like Amazon and Others
May 5, 2022 // While they are commonly known in the construction industry, with the uptick in union organizing activity across the country, union “salting”—or the planting of union “moles”—is becoming more commonplace in companies outside the construction industry—like Amazon’s warehouse in Staten Island.