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LEVER WEEKLY: Launching A New Conversation On Union Busting

Feb 5, 2023 The Lever
Our coverage this week is forcing people to take a hard look at an industry that operates in the shadows.
LEVER WEEKLY: Launching A New Conversation On Union Busting
Police arrest a Burger King employee at an Atlanta fast food protest in 2014. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

This is Lever Weekly, a recap of our work from the past week. If you only read one email from us all week, this should be it.

Below you will find a breakdown of our reporting, podcasts, videos, and live events — a feature now open to all subscribers. Following that, we are providing paid subscribers with an original column, written by a member of The Lever, connecting the dots on our coverage to deliver important takeaways.

In this week’s column, exclusively for paid subscribers, David Sirota shares how this week, an important story we worked on for months demonstrates how “The Lever is clearly helping shift the narrative, and forcing a different perspective into the media discourse.”

Stuff The Lever Reported This Week:

• Fear And Loathing Among The Union Busters — At a gathering of the National Restaurant Association’s legal arm, lawyers and executives grappled with a worker uprising.

• A Wall Street Time Bomb — After reaping huge fees off workers’ savings, private equity firms’ subterfuge could imperil promised benefits for millions of workers and retirees.

• Mass. Prisoners Could Choose Between Freedom And Their Organs — A new bill would allow prisoners to get time off their sentence if they donate their organs or bone marrow.

• Billionaire Funded Judges Who Could Decide His Speech-Crushing Beto Case — Following the money behind a Texas lawsuit against Beto O’Rourke that could pave the way for punishing political candidates who criticize wealthy donors.

Stuff To Watch & Listen To:

• LEVER TIME: Where Spirituality Meets Politics — David Sirota is joined by Russell Brand to discuss his evolution from comedian to political content creator.

• LEVER TIME PREMIUM: Chokepoint Capitalism — Sirota interviews journalist Cory Doctorow and law professor Rebecca Giblin about their new book, Chokepoint Capitalism: How Big Tech and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We'll Win Them Back.

• LEVER LIVE: Union Busting And The National Restaurant Association — Sirota spoke with Julia Rock about her exposé on a restaurant legal summit focused on union avoidance.

Launching A New Conversation On Union Busting

By David Sirota

This week, The Lever published an eye-opening exposé on a gathering of a powerful corporate lobbying group and its plans to respond to an insurgent labor movement in the U.S. hospitality industry. Julia Rock’s story on the conference, hosted last October by the National Restaurant Association’s legal arm, revealed how the restaurant industry and its lawyers are grappling with new union campaigns at companies like Starbucks and Chipotle.

Substantive reporting on the union avoidance industry, like this story we published, is exceedingly rare because it’s an industry that operates mostly in the shadows. That’s in part because Biden has declined to issue a “persuader rule” requiring employers to disclose when they hire third parties to advise them on union campaigns.

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