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Signed, Sealed, and Turned In

Yesterday I submitted my final capstone paper and what a relief that was. This MJ-LEL program has been both challenging and rewarding. For the Capstone final paper, I wrote a literature review on the topic of labor unions and unionized workers. The title of my literature review is The Intersection of Labor Law and Unionized Workers in the United States.

The main focus of this lit review was the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and how the Board and the law intersect with unionized workers across the United States. This lit review had an in-depth review of the history of the NLRB and the NLRA. Next was the history of unions and workers. This piece of the paper spoke about key timelines of union membership and how certain presidential candidates had an influence on the NLRB. The next part of the paper went over worker strikes in the U.S. and also past case law. The case law and workers strikes were from the 1900s right around the time of the enactment of the National Labor Relations Act. The final part of the paper went over current case law and what present trends we are seeing. Companies like Starbucks, Trader Joe's, REI, and Amazon are seeing an uptick in employees demanding collective bargaining in the workplace.

While researching this topic, I came across the current unionizing efforts among employees in the U.S. Currently, more than 200 Starbucks stores have voted to join a union. Amazon also is one of the major publicly traded companies that is seeing more support for unions among employees. While reading through articles, I found that Amazon and Starbucks are slow to come to the negotiation table; The U.S. Senate has even alleged that the former Starbucks CEO has been running anti-union campaigns within the company. The other companies mentioned, Trader Joe's and REI have shown more support for unions and have been more willing, compared to Starbucks and Amazon, to negotiate a contract for the employees.

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