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Noah Smith

Amazon Is Helping to Resurrect the Labor Movement

Employees of the massive online retailer may be the new archetype of the American working class — and a rallying point for union organizing.


Photographer: Kena Betancurk/AFP

The U.S. labor movement has been moribund for decades, but a high-profile unionization drive at Inc. may be just what it needs to revive its fortunes. That's because Amazon workers embody a new working class that may start to develop the kind of solidarity that existed among factory workers last century.

The last 40 years haven't been good to unions in America. Since 1983, union membership has fallen by almost half, to the point barely one worker in 10  is organized: