Steven Greenhouse

Steven Greenhouse was a New York Times reporter for 31 years, including 19 as its labor and workplace reporter. He is author of Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor, to be published by Knopf in August. 

Recent Articles

New York Labor Didn't Shrink from Confronting Amazon

But unions were sharply divided about how to deal with the tech giant. 

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, second from left, speaks during a press conference in Gordon Triangle Park in the Queens borough of New York, following Amazon's announcement it would abandon its proposed headquarters for the area. E ver since Amazon’s plans to open a second headquarters in New York were announced last November, two things have become clear about organized labor and Amazon. First, labor is eager to unionize Amazon, or at least parts of Amazon, a fiercely anti-union company that doesn’t have a single unionized facility in the United States—none of its “fulfillment center” workers, Whole Foods workers, or drivers are unionized. Second, labor is seriously divided about how to achieve its ambitious goal of unionizing Amazon. Days after Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio trumpeted the deal in which Amazon promised to create 25,000 jobs in Queens and would receive $3 billion in subsidies, New York’s building trades unions...

How the Public Employee Unions Refused to Die

Confronted with a Supreme Court ruling designed to hobble them, the nation’s public-sector unions have increased in size and grown more militant.

Teachers from across Kentucky gather inside the State Capitol during a rally for increased education funding in Frankfort. W hen the Supreme Court ruled last June in the Janus case that government employees can’t be required to pay any fees to the unions that bargain for them, the common wisdom was the nation’s public-sector unions would be thrown hugely on the defensive. Evidently, the leaders of those unions didn’t get the message. To the contrary, they have gone on the offensive. As leaders from the nation’s four largest public-sector unions made clear at a forum last weekend in Washington, not only are their unions seeking to staunch the loss of fee-payers, they’re pushing mightily to add members. Saying that Janus was just one step in a 40-year assault on unions, Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said, “One of the most important things, if not the most important thing we should be working toward, is organizing workers. ... That has to...

SeaWorld's and Kavanaugh’s Missing Empathy Gene

The Supreme Court nominee showed more concern for overregulation than worker safety in a U.S. Court of Appeals case involving the death of a whale trainer.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, listens to a question on the third day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill W hile the nation focuses on Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, let’s not forget his judicial record. Kavanugh’s opinion in a case involving a SeaWorld employee whom an orca whale pulled into the water and killed is a remarkable document. It’s remarkable because Kavanaugh shows far less sympathy to the whale trainer who was dismembered and killed than he shows to SeaWorld for being the victim of what he sees as government overregulation and overreach. While we’ve heard much about Kavanaugh being a nice guy who coaches a girls’ basketball team, he, at least in his SeaWorld opinion, seemed to lack an empathy gene. Kavanaugh was so fixated on a subject that preoccupies him—government regulation (or should we say overregulation)—that he hardly focused on the...

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