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How would the looming recession impact recent strides in the labor market?

Not everyone sees it this way, though. According to Ted Pappageorge, the secretary treasurer of Culinary Union 226, one of the U.S.’s largest and most rapidly growing labor unions, other more sinister forces are currently at play. 

“What’s really going on right now is massive price gouging by these incredibly wealthy corporations that have done extremely well, like some oil companies have had record high profit [this year],” Pappageorge said.

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Similar to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic recession is likely to bring tough times for families and workers, and union support may be key to staying afloat. 

“During the pandemic, it was my union [Culinary Union 226] that fought for things like SB 4, which pushed companies to make sure they have daily cleaning practices and PPE for all employees,” said Carlos Padilla, a 29-year union member and Las Vegas hospitality worker.

Unions can also ensure that employers don’t dock pay during economically turbulent or low-profit periods. 

“As far as the recession goes, we have a contract [for our wages]. Our union fights for this kind of stuff,” Padilla said.

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However, folks like Pappageorge and workers who are members of unions remain hopeful that the upcoming recession will not gravely cost the labor movement and working class individuals  as it did with the Great Recession. The most important thing for newly unionized workers to do, he said, is to remember to work together and advocate for themselves.

“We’ve got opportunities here, and it’s up to us to take advantage of that,” Pappageorge said. 

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