Joe Lindsay


Despite truly noteworthy workplace organizing and strikes across the country—from Amazon, Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee, and now Trader Joe’s to the nascent movements in the heart of the tech sector—union membership is not keeping pace with the growing workforce. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the “share of US workers belonging to labor unions hit a historic low last year.” What’s up? This is the question William Gould addresses in his latest book, For Labor to Build Upon: Wars, Depression and Pandemic. Gould traces how the U.S. labor movement got to where it is today and proposes a course of action to reverse the downward trend of the past fifty-plus years. Gould, a professor emeritus at Stanford Law School, is a seasoned labor arbitrator and former Chair of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) under President Clinton. In recent years, Gould—a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators for over half a century—has remained active in the labor law community, serving as Chair of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board in California. Among Gould’s many notable accomplishments, my fellow baseball enthusiast successfully mediated an end to the long Major League Baseball players’ strike in the mid-1990s.

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