Economic Restructuring and its impact on Organized Labor

This new report by SLU Distinguished Professor Ruth Milkman analyzes in detail the impact on New York City supermarket workers and their unions of economic restructuring and corporate concentration in the retail grocery industry. As of 2020, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union represented over 35,000 workers in the New York area, the vast majority of them employed in supermarkets. But with the entry into New York City of nonunion grocers like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (now owned by Amazon), and the growth of grocery sales among nonunion discount stores like Target and (mostly nonunion) drug stores like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens, the market share of unionized supermarkets has declined.  Mergers and acquisitions, and the entry of multinational firms and private equity into the New York market, have further changed the landscape.