For the past 25 years, Jonathan has been a union leader and organizer, a social activist, and a commentator and writer on work, labor and the economy. From 1990 to April 2003, he served as president of the National Writers Union (United Auto Workers Local 1981).He was the lead plaintiff in Tasini vs. The New York Times, the landmark electronic rights case that took on the corporate media's assault on the rights of thousands of freelance authors.
For the last 25 years, he has written about labor and economics for a variety of newspapers and magazines including The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Business Week, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of four books: It's Not Raining, We're Getting Peed On: The Scam of the Deficit Crisis (2010--e-book available on Kindle, Nook and other formats); The Audacity of Greed: Free Markets, Corporate Thieves and The Looting of America; The Edifice Complex: Rebuilding the American Labor Movement to Face the Global Economy, a critique and prescriptive analysis of the labor movement (1995); and They Get Cake, We Eat Crumbs: The Real Story Behind Today's Unfair Economy, an average reader's guide to the economy (1997). He also runs a regular blog called Working Life, which explores the economy and the labor movement.
In 2010, he ran for the Democratic nomination for New York's 15th Congressional District.