In recent years, organized labor has been experiencing a huge resurgence in advanced capitalist Western countries.
From coffee shops to newsrooms and beyond, it's all a bubbling of union initiatives and collective action. And now there is a lot of talk about it also in the US technology sector, the one that seemed less “at risk”: an epochal change.
That things were changing was in the air. Too many awareness since the pandemic: what has happened inside every worker "animus" has also been reproduced on a larger scale.
A small revolution
The data compiled by Collective Action in Tech, which are further quantified in the graph below by Statista, show that the major Big Tech companies have been "yanked" quite a bit since 2019. Collective action already increased that year more than the previous four years combined.
And we are not only talking about new unions, but also about collective action in general: threatening or implementing them, protests, petitions or votes to better organize dissent. Of the 481 shares registered at the time of writing, 352 are in the past three years.
I am very struck by this general wave of "new workers' revival". There were protests last year in the USA against Google (epochal: it was there that I realized that things were changing a lot). In the UK against the Deliveroo delivery platform. In Germany against the Gorillas, in South Africa collective action against Uber.
And in 2022?
The first months of the year already show what the next trend will be. Starting in January, five major collective actions against Activision Blizzard, Facebook, Google Fiber. And the last, the most striking: the April 3 vote in which Amazon workers in Staten Island voted to set up a union. It is the first time in the USA. Another similar vote, for another Amazon hub, is expected on April 25.