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.
Unions & Worker Organizations
California Workers' Rights: A Manual of Job Rights, Protections and Remedies
Teachers’ willingness to strike represents not just a resurgence of union power, but also their determination to call attention to the dire consequences of decades of California’s underinvestment in K-12 education.
The Labor Center sat down with Seema Patel to ask more about the work she is passionate about, what she’s been working on during her residence, and what “movement lawyering” really means.
A study by the UC Berkeley Labor Center finds that union members are more likely to be women and people of color than 20 years ago.
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.
Union membership today is different than a generation ago. It’s not your grandfather’s union anymore.
Young workers on college campuses around the country are supporting unionization at levels not seen in decades. Labor organizers speculate several factors are leading to this historic cascade of strikes and drives for union recognition.
FAST Recovery Act will raise labor standards and open new opportunities for fast-food worker organizing in California
The California Legislature has passed AB257 and it now heads to the Governor’s desk. The FAST Recovery Act provides a way for the state’s fast-food workers to have a voice in the development and implementation of labor standards in their industry.
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.
RELEASE: Failure to Deliver: Assessing Amazon’s Freedom of Association Policy under International Labor Standards
Amazon’s just-announced “freedom of association policy” fails to comply with international human rights standards for workers involved in union organizing, finds a report published today by the UC Berkeley Labor Center and Berkeley Law’s Center for Law and Work.
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.
High transparency and high participation are key elements to winning contract negotiations in today’s challenging union climate, according to a new report released today by the UC Berkeley Labor Center.
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.
“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.
With workers more and more confronting common legal issues worldwide, often involving multiple jurisdictions, it is increasingly critical to the effective representation of workers and unions to unite legal practitioners and scholars to exchange information and ideas from around the world.
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.
Berkeley Blog post. The same organizations that brought Janus vs. AFSCME to the Supreme Court have worked for years to weaken private and public sector unions alike. Maintaining strong unions isn’t just an issue for union members — it affects all of us.
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.
A new study from UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education shows that California’s unions have had a strong impact on working families, regardless of union status, through their engagement in public policy. The third brief in a series, the findings were released as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to issue a ruling in Janus v. AFSCME that threatens to weaken public sector unions.
In this report, we present data for the state of California on the union advantage in wages and employer-sponsored health and retirement benefits for women, workers of color, and immigrants.