Labor Without Love
"'No one wants to work anymore' was the surprise refrain of late 2021, posted on the doors of businesses forced to close for lack of staff and delightedly memed by a burgeoning anti-work crowd online. Reddit’s r/antiwork subgroup, the clearinghouse for cathartic quitting stories and texts to horrible bosses, became so popular it warranted a report from the Financial Times. If the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic were marked by astonishing unemployment rates as businesses closed down and fired or furloughed staff, so many people quit their jobs in 2021 that the phenomenon acquired its own nickname: the Great Resignation. Baristas, the quintessential service workers, have won unionization campaigns at Starbucks franchises across the country; in April 2022, warehouse workers on Staten Island finally struck a blow against the seemingly invincible Amazon. Wages for American workers have risen rapidly, a novelty after decades of stagnation. But what should we take from these recent developments in the politics of labor? Are they aftershocks of the pandemic alone, or are they indicative of broader trends?"
Read more at The Nation.