Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2019-04-26

Raising Retail: Organizing Retail Workers in Canada and the United States

Document type Article
Author Coulter, Kendra
Journal Labor Studies Journal
Volume 40
Date 2013-04-30
Pages 47-65


Retail workers are a significant but largely unorganized group in Canada and the United States. However, in recent years, there has been a marked increase in efforts to organize retail workers, including pursuit of innovative structures and strategies. The author focuses on the dominant threads of contemporary retail organizing work in Canada and the United States, outlining three current organizing vehicles: unionization, store-based networks, and occupation or sector-based associations. The author then reflects on the strengths, weaknesses, and possibilities of these approaches, independently and collectively, and emphasizes the need to confront the social and cultural as well as the economic devaluation of retail workers.