Contemporary Unionism and Power: Organizing as Occupational Culture

Lillian DeVane (University of Oregon)

The traditions and rituals of loggers, fishermen, and miners have been well-documented, but the occupational lore of contemporary workers remains largely ignored. There are approximately one million people in the United States who work for Amazon. Tasked with supplying an unprecedented amount of goods to a newly homebound population, Amazon workers uniquely experienced the physical crush of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through fieldwork with Amazon workers in the Pacific Northwest and an examination of emergent trends within the culture of union organizing, I argue that contemporary workers find deeper meaning in their work through labor organizing.

Part of 07-09 Folklore, Advocacy, and Community Protest, Saturday, November 04, 8:30 am–10:00 am