Watching the Good Wife, the question is how do US workers unionise? How do any workers anywhere? February 18, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
I was watching an episode of the Good Wife recently, Season Four, the penultimate one of the season (and sheesh, don’t talk to me about Season Five and one massive plot point regarding a central character which I did not see coming). In it Alicia Florrick is brought into a labour dispute in a tech company where she is pivotal in unionising them. This goes all the way to the National Labor Relations Board. This by the way actually exists.
Meanwhile in Lockhart Gardener secretarial and administrative staff are radicalised by these events and demand better working conditions and so on. And then… other characters working in Lockhart Gardener start to compare and contrast.
I wouldn’t describe it as pro-labour, though it was striking how the tech workers unionisation is depicted as a victory. There’s more to it. And I liked a lot of of the sidebar stuff, partners in Lockhart Gardner discussing whether to fire those who are unionising – and then there’s one of the tech workers who when they are fired, or about to be, tries to recant, or that insidious little line about how workers in tech or wherever are ‘artists’ and ‘creatives’ and therefore not equivalent to unionised workers.
In sum – and I like the Good Wife as a series a lot, it was pretty damn good.
But as someone who has some experience with others of organising unions in a private sector context across a group of related companies it drove home just how hard it is to convince workers to join unions and how essential it is that this exercise is done.