Renowned NFL coach Vince Lombardi, famously said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Well, some tough unions and their tough members got going and confronted and won against their billionaire employers.
The victory of the UAW in its fight for a share of the rewards enjoyed by their employers, Ford, GM and Stellantis, is resonating through the American workplace. Workers at non-union auto industry plants are asking how they can do better. The answer is simple: join the union.
SAG-AFTRA’s months-long strike against billion dollar entertainment giants illuminated issues like the impact of Artificial Intelligence on creative workers. The Writers Guild strike which settled earlier also had AI concerns. Getting a fair share of profits for the work they do were also at the heart of these action. 
The Culinary Workers in Las Vegas reached an agreement with one casino without striking. The deal they reached might be a model for other casino resorts.
In all of these instances the solidarity shown by other unions, their leaders and members, aided striking and protesting workers. At a recent meeting of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, UAW President Shawn Fain thankfully acknowledged the widespread support that his union’s members had enjoyed.
Graduate students, who do much of the basic work,at large universities have and are trying to organize their workplaces. They are underpaid or unpaid, suffer high rates of harassment and are threatened with the loss of their fellowships when they attempt to form a union. But they have been successful at Cornell, the California university system and elsewhere. Emory University in Atlanta may be nearing union representation.
Workers, both union members and those who are unorganized, have been inspired by the struggle for justice at such companies as Starbucks, Amazon and REI. Successes won by union members will encourage more action and more organizing. The fights for fairness require toughness and union workers and those who aspire to belong to unions have shown their resolve.