26 August 2020

An interesting article in The Nation: “In the basement bedroom of his parents’ small brick house along a hilly Christiansburg back road, Adam Ryan, a 31-year-old part-time sales associate at Target, has amassed a tool kit for revolution: a megaphone, research reports and fliers, and hundreds of books—biographies of Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx, histories of Jim Crow and capitalism, and guides about organizing workers and the benefits and limits of unions. This room has become an unlikely organizing center. Ryan wants to help build a workers’ movement that does not rely on unions or nonprofits to educate or organize and instead trains the workers to do it themselves. The result is Target Workers Unite, a group that Ryan created in 2018 and has had involvement from Target employees across 44 states. There are currently about 500 TWU members, and that number is rapidly growing…” It’s a great story about promising grassroots organising, but the article has this weird frame: “It’s not that he is anti-union. He’s not against joining one in the future…” Here’s the thing — TWU is a union. Any group of workers organising collectively to advance their interests is a union. It’s not complicated!