“The Aftermath of a Growing Labor Movement: What’s Next for the U.S.?
The past few years have seen an increased interest in labor movements in the U.S., with strikes like the “Red for Ed” teacher’s strike and other movements gaining traction. The impetus behind this push is simple, a desire for better compensation for labor, better benefits, and conditons for gig economy workers. This is the newest iteration of the long struggle for better working conditions for American workers. What will the future look like when the dust settles? Predictions vary on what exactly will change, but there are a few certainties that come with the dust settling. For starters, workers will have more leverage when it comes to speaking up and negotiating. Increased leverage could lead to larger pay bumps, better benefits, and better rights within the workplace. However, employers may be more suspicious, tight-lipped, and defensive when it comes to discussions about labor rights. It is possible workers will have to fight even harder tooth and nail to ensure their demands are heard and met. This could take the form of workers forming their own guilds to leverage power or figuring out ways to mobilize and protest. In either case, employers will need to be more understanding and considerate if they want to avoid disruption. Furthermore, the labor movement is also likely to lead to more corporate transparency. This could be in the form of greater oversight from shareholders and more reporting and disclosure of labor practices. This could potentially mean more stringent regulations for employers. Nevertheless, the open and honest dialogue instigated by the dust settling could lead to a more sustainable working environment. Finally, the future of labor movements in America could depend on what happens in the upcoming election. Political factors will no doubt have an impact on the dust settling and how workers are dealt with going forward. For instance, if the presidential election goes in favor of a labor-friendly candidate, changes could be more widespread and progressive than if another candidate wins. Of course, it’s impossible to predict at this point. The dust settling of labor movements in the U.S. will no doubt mean more rights and benefits for workers, but it is likely to be a rocky path to get there. Employers will need to be more cognizant of their actions and more willing to have open and honest conversation with labor. Political changes could increase or decrease labor laws, but no matter who wins, the fight for better labor standards in the U.S. will continue.