Unionization efforts spread across US for Amazon, Starbucks

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(NewsNation) — Many workers across the country are calling for better working conditions, especially during the pandemic, and they are organizing in big ways. In recent months, scrutiny of conditions at Amazon facilities has intensified.

Some pro-union employees say they spend 10 hour shifts on their feet without enough time for breaks. They are hopeful a union could force Amazon to offer more break time or higher pay. However, the company has argued it already offers more than twice the minimum wage without workers having to pay union dues.

Starbucks is also facing similar scrutiny, with locations across the country launching union campaigns to secure what they’re calling appropriate wages and working conditions.

According to Gallup, 9% of U.S. adults are union members. Americans’ approval of unions is increasing. It’s at 68%, which is the highest point since 1965.

About 90% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans are pro-union, a number boosted by the president’s union-positive statements, most recently in regard to the Kellogg strike. And with former President Trump’s appeal to blue collar workers, some GOP members are also beginning to support key union issues.

Right now, there are about 11 million job openings in the labor market. Companies across the country are finding it difficult to hire workers, especially in industries majorly impacted by the pandemic such as warehousing and food services. Many workers are quitting positions and finding better opportunities, maybe making this a very favorable time for employees to unionize.

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