Unions & Worker Organizations

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California Workers' Rights: A Manual of Job Rights, Protections and Remedies

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Coral del Mar Murphy-Marcos

New ways for organizers to lead

At the latest Labor Center Lead Organizer Training 19 organizers strengthened their organizing skills and learned to cultivate new leaders within their organizations. The frontline leaders from teacher, grocery, and flight attendant unions, and Black, Latino, and Filipino worker centers, among others, learned to adapt different leadership approaches to different circumstances.

Savannah Hunter, Annette Gailliot, Enrique Lopezliraand Ken Jacobs

California Union Membership and Coverage: 2023 Chartbook

Chartbook comparing California union membership and coverage from 2001-2002 and 2021-2022. Findings show that at least half of all of California’s 2.5 million union members are women and that the majority of all union workers are people of color. By contrast, 20 years ago the typical union member in California was a white man.

Lance Compa

Failure to Deliver: Assessing Amazon’s Freedom of Association Policy under International Labor Standards

Amazon recently announced a new policy on freedom of association under international standards, saying it would comply with International Labor Organization and United Nations principles on union organizing and collective bargaining. This assessment shows that Amazon’s freedom of association policy, on its face, is non-compliant with international labor standards, and Amazon management’s conduct before and after issuing the policy continues to violate international standards.

Ken Jacobs, Rebecca Smithand Justin McBride

State and Local Policies and Sectoral Labor Standards: From Individual Rights to Collective Power

IRLE Working Paper. We look at four cases of recent experiments at the local level with sectoral standards. Our cases show that sectoral standards have the potential to expand new forms of social bargaining at the state and local level through public policy in areas of the country where worker organizations are already strong.

Jane McAleveyand Abby Lawlor

Turning the Tables: Participation and Power in Negotiations

A report by Jane McAlevey and Abby Lawlor, illustrates best practices for building the power to win in today’s challenging union climate and features a series of case studies in collective bargaining during the four years under Trump. They cover four key employment sectors: teachers, nurses, hotel workers, and journalists. In each case, workers used high transparency and high participation approaches in contract campaigns to build worker power. Each victory points a path to raising workers’ expectations of what is possible to win at the negotiations table today.

David Rosenfeldand Jolene Kramer

“Hey, the Boss Just Called Me Into the Office!” The Weingarten Decision and the Right to Representation on the Job

What should workers do when they are threatened with or actually subjected to investigations, interrogations, and discipline and discharge? This book provides explicit guidance and advice for workers and those that represent them in dealing with these situations. Written and updated by labor lawyers, “Hey the Boss” reviews the law on the workers’ right to representation on the job and provides concrete details on how those rights can be implemented. A “must have” book for workers, shop stewards, labor lawyers, and anyone else concerned about workers’ rights.

Sara Hinkley

What comes next? Janus v. AFSCME

Berkeley Blog post. Although the short-term effect of today’s decision is to throw 17 million public sector workers into uncertainty, it is also possible that Janus v. AFSCME will serve as a turning point for both a reinvigorated politics of labor and a revitalized conversation about the importance of the public sector to our social compact. Both our economy and our democracy depend on what happens next.

Jenifer MacGillvaryand Ken Jacobs

The Union Effect in California #3: A Voice for Workers in Public Policy

Perhaps the most important effect of a strong labor movement is the countervailing force it poses to the corporate sector in the political and public policy arenas. This effect is clearly visible in California. With the support and backing of labor, California has passed ambitious laws promoting the rights of workers—union and nonunion alike—as well as policies advancing the common good broadly.