Where unions fail, alt labor can advocate for workers : The Indicator from Planet Money The labor union playbook just doesn't work like it used to. While unions enjoy the spotlight right now, they've faced years of declines. So advocates are deploying what one might call a grungier tactic: alt labor.

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Unions but make them grunge

Unions but make them grunge

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Stephan Bisaha/Gulf States Newsroom
Dollar stores continue to expand in the South, with a Dollar General in Birmingham, Alabama located two blocks from a Family Dollar. (Stephan Bisaha/Gulf States Newsroom)
Stephan Bisaha/Gulf States Newsroom

Union membership in the U.S. has declined by half over the past four decades, especially in the Deep South, where some people consider the term a dirty four-letter word. But a slightly different labor playbook is gaining traction – and results for workers.

Today on the show, we dig into alt labor: What is this burgeoning movement, and why is it finding success where traditional unions have not?

For more on alt labor, listen to Stephan Bisaha's report for Weekend Edition.

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For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.