News & Commentary

September 21, 2022

Jason Vazquez

Jason Vazquez is a staff attorney at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 2023. His writing on this blog reflects his personal views and should not be attributed to the IBT.

Hundreds of dock workers at one of the largest ports in the United Kingdom walked off the job on Tuesday, launching a two-week strike in demand of higher wages. Since thousands of firms, including several transnational giants, rely on the port, the strike threatens to intensify the pressure on an already-strained global supply chain. What’s more, the dock strike may portend a wave of labor agitation across the British economy, for hundreds of thousands of U.K. workers are prepared to strike in the coming weeks. This includes, among others, bus drivers, garbage collectors, college lecturers, and workers at airports, railways, and docks.

In the latest organizing news, employees at a Home Depot in Philadelphia filed an election petition with the Board on Monday for a prospective bargaining unit encompassing nearly 300 store associates. The organizing drive represents the latest in the ongoing surge of “independent unionization,” embodied in the recent high-profile efforts of the Amazon Labor Union, Starbucks Workers United, Trader Joe’s Union, Apple Retail Union, Chipotle United, REI Union, and Geico United, to name a few. Home Depot remains the world’s largest home improvement retailer, and if the organizing drive proves successful, the union would be the first certified at any of the company’s more than 2,000 U.S. stores.

New Jersey’s labor agency announced on Tuesday that Chipotle will pay the state $7.7 million to settle “alleged widespread and persistent violations” of the state’s child labor laws. The news arrives less than a month after New York City secured a $20 million agreement from Chipotle to settle wage and hour violations, the largest in the city’s history (which I discussed here).

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