There is a popular saying among liberals that change only happens when people protest in the streets. It’s never really been all that accurate – with public protest just being one component of how things change for the better. One issue I’ve always taken with this statement is that it leaves out a big part of how to take action beyond simply showing up at a protest with a cleverly worded sign.
In order for that protest to make any difference, you need to have leadership that is receptive to your cause in the first place. The last four years have shown that it’s clearly not the Republicans – who have even gone extra lengths to criminalize protest when necessary.
On the other hand, unions have found themselves with more collective bargaining power than ever before, under what has been one of the most pro-union administrations in history. We’ve already seen historic agreements made with the railroad workers, UPS workers, auto workers, writers and actors on President Biden’s watch and now Las Vegas’ Culinary Union which just voted on a new contract in tandem with the Bartenders Union, a move the White House celebrated with a statement.
It’s no coincidence that these have been resolved in ways that overwhelmingly benefit the workers – it’s the result of a Democratic administration that is receptive to the needs of the everyday worker.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making