When unionist rhymes with fashionista in the United States

Driver at UPS, near San Francisco, John Elward collects union items, says The Wall Street Journal, thus possessing twelve flocked jackets bearing the name of the Teamsters, the great truckers’ union in the United States. So he was delighted to see that some of the activists behind the very first union created in an Amazon warehouse in New York had style – “which is not always associated with trade unionism”.

Chris Smalls, the young president of the Amazon Labor Union, is a perfect example. The day the pro-union workers won him in April, he wore “a red baseball cap, jogging and a red hoodie with, underneath, a red t-shirt stamped ‘Amazon Labor Union’, all complemented by a pair of XXL sunglasses”.

Her style has gone viral. And he still caused a stir on other occasions, such as at the gala of the 100 most influential people of the year Time.

John Elward “had already noticed that fashion was inviting itself into the world of trade unionism, continues The Wall Street Journal. He launched the ‘Fashion Syndicalists’ Twitter account […] to chronicle clothing trends” of all kinds of employees, in trade, industry, etc. “He now has some 30,000 followers,” who interact with him regularly.

The times are changing

A good number of trade unionists still prefer to dress simply. For Matt Lelou, 46, a leader in a union of communications workers:

“If you campaign wearing $400 shoes, you risk shooting yourself in the foot.”

However, times are changing, notes the business daily, in particular because “young people, who are generally concerned about their style of dress, have often been at the head of trade union movements for two years”.

And clothes in union colors can also find a place in a trendy wardrobe, unrelated to the world of work. “In May, Elward tweeted a photo of actress Susan Sarandon wearing a Teamsters bomber jacket. ‘I love my @Teamsters jacket’, she replied.

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