The labor movement in New York is vibrant and strong, in part because of how it evolves. Young workers in recent years have been unafraid to challenge corporate giants, such as the baristas at a Buffalo Starbucks whose unionization campaign has spread like wildfire. New York nurses have gone on strike to secure better working conditions, with vocal support from allies in the labor movement. And as union stalwarts like Kyle Bragg, Andrew Pallotta and Gerry Hudson wrap up their remarkable careers, others are taking up the mantle to lead a new generation of workers.
The State Labor Power 100 – researched by City & State staff in partnership with writer Lon Cohen – identifies the top union leaders across New York who are fighting for better pay, demanding safer working conditions and standing up for members in a wide range of industries and sectors. This includes traditionally unionized professions like construction and education as well as those organizing for the first time, including immigrant farmworkers, warehouse stockers and legislative aides. (The New York City Labor Power 100, published in September, has minimal overlap with this list.) The list also features government officials, advocates, activists, academics and others who play a key role in New York’s labor movement.
With Maritza Silva-Farrell leaving for the Ford Foundation, Lucas Shapiro is continuing the Alliance for a Greater New York’s efforts to address inequality in the workforce, push for a sustainable energy economy and help communities stand up to big corporations. The labor-backed organization is aiming to raise the minimum wage and secure climate investments with strong labor standards in 2023. Shapiro has also worked with Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice and Mayday Space.
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