ICYMI: Groundwork’s Michael Mitchell on “Striketober”

October 20, 2021 Groundwork Collaborative

Labor strikes are sweeping the country, fueled by pandemic worker shortages as well as decades of low pay, unsafe working conditions, and unchecked corporate power. 

Director of Policy and Research Michael Mitchell told Business Insider that the strikes reflect a “huge, significant shift in power from workers to corporations and businesses.”

“You can see similar moments in the early 1900s, where there was a strong concentration of corporate power, really no real rules around the ability for workers to come together and speak up and have their voices be heard.” 

Learn more about the economic benefits of building worker power below and email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak to Mike Mitchell about how we can leverage this moment in service of a more inclusive and resilient economy. 



  • Unions help ensure all workers have access to fundamental labor rights and protections. From higher pay to key health and safety protections, paid leave, and job security, strengthening unions and collective bargaining rights is critical to improving working conditions and countering outsized private power. 
  • Restoring worker power helps reduce economic inequality. Decades of conservative attacks on collective bargaining rights and political and economic exclusions have weakened workers’ decision-making power on the job and contributed directly to income inequality. 
  • Unions help narrow gender and racial disparities. Workers in unions have significantly more wealth than those who aren’t in unions, and the difference is even more pronounced for people of color. Median wealth held by Black and Hispanic/Latinx unionized workers is about 10 times the median wealth held by non-unionized workers from these groups. In addition, women in unions are paid 94 cents on the dollar compared to men, a smaller gap than the 75 cents on a dollar that non-union women earn. 
  • These benefits and protections reverberate throughout the entire economy. Because unions help set standards for benefits across entire industries, better working conditions and benefits as a result of unionization can help all workers, whether they’re in a union or not. 

About Groundwork Collaborative

The Groundwork Collaborative’s mission is to advance an economic vision for strong, broadly shared prosperity and true opportunity for all. Learn more at https://groundworkcollaborative.org/ and follow us on Twitter @Groundwork