The Latest Frontier in Worker Activism: Zoom Union Campaigns

Labor News

Reprinted from The Washington Post by Eli Rosenberg on September 11, 2020.

Carolina Rodriguez said she had never thought much about joining a union until a co-worker lost his job.

The colleague, a fellow teacher at a charter school system in San Jose, told Rodriguez that his contract had not been renewed, and he feared it was in retaliation for speaking out about a pay issue.

Although Rodriguez had never been a big fan of unions, she soon found herself on a Zoom chat with other teachers and an organizer, who began to tell them about the process of forming a union. Talking from the privacy of her own home made her feel more comfortable about organizing.

By May, teachers at all four of the Downtown College Prep system schools, including Alum Rock, the middle school where Rodriguez works, had voted to join a union. The efforts were all organized virtually; the campaigns took place almost entirely over Zoom. …

Washington Post 9/11

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at