Belabored: Labor at the Ballot Box

Belabored: Labor at the Ballot Box

While the presidential race ended with a narrow victory for the Democrats, the electorate revealed how sharply divided it is—what does it all mean for labor?

Nevada Culinary Workers Union members canvas in Las Vegas in October. (Melina Mara/Washington Post via Getty Images)

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Election Day has finally come and gone, and we’re going to take stock of the aftermath. While the presidential race ended with a narrow victory for the Democrats, the electorate revealed how sharply divided it was. And traditional labels like “union voter” no longer provide a coherent framework for analyzing the politics of working people. There were some notable labor victories at the ballot box. Florida voted to increase the state minimum wage to $15 an hour; in Colorado voters said yes to paid family and medical leave; and in Arizona, teachers helped push through a measure to generate fresh revenue for public education through a tax on rich households. But voters also gave Uber and Lyft the greenlight to make rideshare and delivery drivers second-class workers. We discuss what these outcomes mean with Stephanie Luce (who last joined us for a post-election analysis in 2016) of the School of Labor and Urban Studies at the City University of New York, Joe Thomas of the Arizona Education Association, and Geoconda Argüello-Kline of UNITE HERE.

In other news, we cover ballot initiatives with Nicole Moore of Rideshare Drivers United, the plight of unionized nonprofit workers with Kayla Blado of the Nonprofit Professionals Employee Union, mobilizing to get out Pennsylvania voters, and standing up for Philadelphia nurses. With recommended reading on the the “sacrificial” victims of the COVID-19 crisis and the inadequacy of voting out Trump.

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Ballot Measures: Mixed Results for Workers (Labor Notes)

Support The Democracy Collaborative Workers’ Union in their layoff negotiations

A difficult but necessary time at TDC: The truth about our reorganization

PA Stands Up

At least 1,500 nurses in the Philadelphia area may be on the verge of going on strike (CNN)



Viewpoint: This Election Shows Labor’s Ground Game Matters (Especially During a Pandemic) (Labor Notes)

Arizona Proposition 208, Tax on Incomes Exceeding $250,000 for Teacher Salaries and Schools Initiative (2020)

Michelle: A Blow for Labor Rights in California (Dissent) 

Argh, I wish I’d written that!

Michelle: Sarah Jones, COVID Took My Grandfather. But It Wasn’t What Killed Him (New York Magazine)

Sarah: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Voting Trump Out Is Not Enough (New Yorker) 

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