The trend: More retailers are taking aggressive action to curb unionization activity.
Public support stays strong: While unpopular with employers, the burgeoning US labor movement has widespread support across industries and the country. And retail isn’t the only industry experiencing an uptick in union activity: Organizing initiatives have reached Big Tech firms, video game companies, and publishers like The New York Times.
Retailers sense an opening: Despite a still-tight labor market, growing economic uncertainty may tilt the balance of power ever-so-slightly in favor of employers, who can wield the threat of layoffs and reduced pay to keep workers in line.
Waiting it out: The tactic that’s yielded the most success thus far is stonewalling—which has been particularly effective in industries like retail with high turnover.
The big takeaway: Given the widespread support for organizing, corporations’ union-busting tactics look like bad PR moves that will haunt their attempts to recruit and retain workers. And with the NLRB becoming more proactive about protecting workers’ rights to unionize, companies may not be able to hide behind legal appeals much longer.
Go further: For more on the future of work, read our Analyst Take.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.
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