Spurred by the pandemic, new groups of workers are pushing to form unions in activism not seen since the 1930s.View the lesson plan for this story
Labor Union Activism Is on the Rise, Recalling the Great Depression
With the economic pain of the pandemic, new groups of American workers are pushing to form labor unions at restaurants, stores and warehouses. Experts tell us that this is the biggest surge of activism since the 1930s. At the height of the Great Depression, with as many as 13 million Americans out of work, President Franklin Roosevelt pushed New Deal reforms through Congress, including the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, which guaranteed private sector workers the right to form unions. After a landmark strike at General Motors in 1936, union membership soared, and within two years, nearly two million Americans had staged strikes over working conditions at textile and steel factories.
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