Worker Power

Organizing for good jobs and workplace democracy

However we make a living, nearly all of us want a fair return on our work, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to have time for rest and joy.

The Challenge

The corporations that dominate our economy keep finding new ways to divide us — so they can take an ever-greater share of the profits from our hard work. They exploit race, gender, and immigration status to hold down wages, demand longer hours, and silence our voices.

  • These corporations and their political allies have attacked our freedom to join together with our coworkers in a union — one of the best ways to make jobs better, especially for women and people of color doing service, care, logistics, and other underpaid work.
  • Under the guise of “innovation,” big businesses have shifted the risks and costs of work from the business to us, the people doing the work. Instead of hiring employees directly, many firms subcontract to the company that offers the lowest bid (which usually means the lowest pay and worst conditions). Gig corporations claim workers are “independent contractors” so they don’t have to pay a minimum wage, provide workers’ compensation, contribute to the unemployment insurance system, or respect the right to form a union.
  • Instead of using new technologies to make work safer and more meaningful, firms like Amazon use surveillance and software to dangerously speed up work, set inhumane and unpredictable schedules, and arbitrarily punish workers. Such management-by-algorithm is overwhelmingly used on the people with the least power to demand better: from Black and Brown warehouse workers, to new immigrants driving for Uber and Lyft, to young retail clerks trying to fit their education around unpredictable work hours.

Our Approach

We weave together strong coalitions — from workers and racial justice champions to faith leaders and environmentalists — to create good jobs where working people have power and a democratic voice in the workplace.

  • We bring the full strength of our communities to support people as they organize unions to negotiate for better wages and working conditions. We shine a spotlight on corporate abuses, call upon the moral authority of our faith traditions, and win laws that protect our freedom to organize on the job.
  • Through public policy and community organizing, we’re turning work that is often dangerous and underpaid into high-quality jobs. Our network has been a pioneer of ideas like living wage ordinances, community benefits agreements with job standards, and pre-apprenticeship programs that open the door to good green jobs for historically excluded people.
  • We’re winning protections against abusive practices, so people can have reasonable and predictable schedules, a safe pace of work with time to go to the bathroom, and a say in the introduction of new technologies in their job.

Everyone should have power and a voice at work.

Get the updates, policy tools, and research on our campaigns for good jobs and workplace democracy:

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