For the first time in my journalism career, during one week I wrote four stories about workers winning tough fights. … This extraordinarily rare string of victories leads me to believe that despite major attacks on workers’ organizing and collective bargaining rights, unions can take advantage of workers’ backlash against these attacks and win big victories. They can still organize.
This is not to say the tide is turning for labor because of the overreach of anti-union forces. During the same period of these small but significant victories for workers, others suffered a number of large defeats. … But the key lesson of these these small victories is this: When workers develop individual strategies for their own workplace—rather than rely on gran master plans from union leaders—they’re more likely to win.
After a bitter seven-month struggle that sometimes involved breaking the law, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) was able to prevent port company EGT from opening the first terminal on the West Coast not to be represented by the union.