Unions & Worker Organizations

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The Labor Center conducts research on unions and worker organizations and how they affect the lives of working people. This research has included the effects of unions on workers’ wages and benefits, how that differs by race, ethnicity and gender, and the role of unions in shaping public policy. The Center analyzes state and local policies that support worker voice on the job and the ability of workers to organize. We also study the effectiveness of organizing and bargaining strategies and methods.

See also our Labor-Managements Partnerships program

Research & Publications
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.

Press Coverage

Philadelphia Inquirer

UAW strike is exposing the fraud that GOP is the party of the working class – Philadelphia Inquirer

“When looking at these strikes that have been happening recently, it becomes very clear where their loyalties lie and their priorities lie,” Ken Jacobs told me about the modern GOP. “Some Republican commentators have argued that Republicans should find a way to be more a party of the working class, but when you dig down into their proposals, they are still anti-union or anti-working people.”

New York Times

Tech Fears Are Showing Up on Picket Lines

“If technologies are not developed with the user in mind, they often fail,” said Lisa Kresge, a research and policy associate at the University of California Berkeley Labor Center, who has written about union responses to technology.

The Brian Lehrer Show

Labor Unions Latest

Jane McAlevey talks about labor news, including the latest on the WGA and SAG AFTRA strikes and the UAW negotiations, and the overall state of organized labor today.