Saurav Sarkar

Starbucks Workers United (SWU) won its third store election February 28 in Mesa, Arizona. The vote was an overwhelming 25-3, with three additional contested ballots, despite heavy anti-union pressure from the company and in a state with only 5.4 percent union density.

“We led with kindness and care and just did our jobs in the face of union-busting from upper management,” said shift supervisor Liz Alanna, who helped lead the effort. Shift supervisors coordinate the day-to-day running of a store but are eligible for union membership because they don’t have hiring and firing power.

Twenty-year-old Starbucks shift supervisor Gianna Reeve is a firebrand who doesn’t hesitate to speak up for the co-workers she loves. So when former CEO Howard Schultz came to Buffalo to give an anti-union spiel, Reeve stepped up to confront him.

Labor Must Rise Against Vaccine Apartheid


My grandmother, Ila Bose, passed away in October after several days in the hospital. The exact trajectory leading to her death is not known—she had pneumonia towards the end—but my mother (also a physician) suspects she may have had lingering effects from a previous Covid case.

As horrible as it is to say this, our family were the lucky ones. My grandmother was well-off compared with most people in India, and while she faced adversities throughout her life, access to medical care was not among them. She even received two doses of one of India’s vaccines.

If you ordered a teddy bear or a designer picture frame as a holiday gift, you know that it likely took a lot longer to get here than in past years.

There have been problems getting things from point A to point B since the pandemic started. At one point in October, 77 percent of the world’s ports were experiencing long delays.

Javier Gonzalez used to send money every two weeks to his 85- and 90-year-old parents in his home country. He had to stop because his employer, Boston Marriott Copley Place, terminated Gonzalez and 230 of his co-workers last September, after temporarily laying them off at the start of the pandemic. They made up more than half the hotel’s workforce.

Don’t Compromise on Farmworker Rights


I covered the immigrant “mega marches” as a freelance reporter in 2006. In response to some horrific, punitive legislation passed by the House of Representatives, millions of immigrants took to the streets of Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and other cities.

But unions didn’t take advantage of that energy in the streets to build a movement. Instead, union officials reacted—some for, some against—to policies coming from DC.

“I have pepper spray and I hold it every time I’m alone right now in case I see someone that is really frightening,” said New York City teacher Annie Tan, who is Chinese American.

By February 2020, friends of hers had already been verbally harassed on the subway. One had been deliberately coughed on. Another was too scared to take the train anymore.

Many Asian Americans and Asian immigrants are experiencing similar incidents.

Communications Workers Fight Telecom Giant for MLK Day Off


One multinational company is using Martin Luther King Day to issue a slap in the face to its union, undermining the very legacy of the civil rights leader.

Louisiana-based telecommunications giant Lumen Technologies (formerly CenturyLink) announced to its staff October 23 that it would be newly establishing a company holiday on MLK Day—but for non-union workers only.

The hypocrisy of leaving out 10,000 union workers on MLK Day was not well received by Anna Robbs, an African-American employee and union steward.