Power in a union: United Airlines workers join forces and win

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Lauren Burke

2018-19 Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity

In October, nearly 3,000 in-flight catering workers employed by United Airlines at six major US airports won union recognition after an election which was opposed tooth and nail by their employers. 

Writing in USAPP, the blog of the US Centre at LSE, Lauren Burke recounts how these workers were able to overcome a combination of heavy anti-union opposition from United and labour laws that largely favour employers. Their approach involved recruiting large numbers of employees into organising roles and winning the support of local immigrant communities.

Read Lauren’s blog on USAPP.

Lauren Burke is a 2018-19 Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity. She works with the Labor Network for Sustainability and spent over a decade as a worker organizer with UNITE HERE!

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme, the International Inequalities Institute, or the London School of Economics and Political Science.