business news in context, analysis with attitude

National Public Radio's Marketplace has a story about how unionization efforts seem to be getting some traction in the restaurant industry.

Some context from the piece:

"The food-and-beverage industry has one of the lowest unionization rates in the U.S. — 3.4% of workers last year, compared to the overall rate of nearly 10.8%. But workers from some high-profile shops hope to narrow that gap and have tried to organize at San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing; Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon; and, most recently, a group of Starbucks workers in Buffalo, New York."

This isn't entirely new;  unionization in the restaurant business started at the end of the 19th century.  But union representation in the industry declined even as it also dropped overall in the US.

But … "in recent years, though, momentum to organize has grown. Public support for unions is at the highest level in almost two decades, with two-thirds of Americans approving of them, according to a recent Gallup poll," at least in part because of all the pandemic-related stress being felt among front line workers.

KC's View:

One has to wonder if this trend will bleed over into other kinds of retailing, especially if front line workers continue to feel that they are not being taken care of to an appropriate degree.