Overview

Unions, collective bargaining, and other forms of advocacy have resulted in better wages, benefits, and working conditions for workers. Organized labor, however, is at a crossroads, as union membership has declined. As unions evolve to meet the needs of a globalized, 21st-century workforce, nonunion forms of worker organizing, sectoral bargaining, and worker representation on corporate boards have emerged as new forms of worker voice and representation.

Working Knowledge

Couple looking at the damage done to their home and yard after a fire.
Economic context November 22, 2022

How Can the Forces of Change Be Harnessed to Create an Inclusive and Equitable Labor Market?

Greater public and private investment in job training, policies to support unionization, and efforts to close digital divides are core strategies for transforming risks from climate change and automation into opportunity, noted experts at the WorkRise October conference.

Joseph Peck

Worker voice, representation, and power November 11, 2022

New Federal Industrial Policy Creates Incentives for High-Quality Jobs

The recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), alongside the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and CHIPS and Science Act, could shape the labor market in ways that benefit both workers and employers in industries poised for growth.

Joseph Peck

Employer practices October 20, 2022

A Preview of WorkRise’s 2023 Funding Opportunities: Catalyzing Partnerships for Equity and Impact

In January, WorkRise will launch three new funding opportunities for research to inform solutions that advance economic mobility for workers earning low wages in the US labor market.

Caleb Quakenbush

Worker voice, representation, and power July 25, 2022

Defining Job Vulnerability Using an Equity Lens

A deeper understanding of work through a vulnerability framework can help shape policies and practices to mitigate harms and strengthen supports for workers, regardless of their employment status.

Ofronama Biu

Research

Worker voice, representation, and power July 28, 2022

Worker Power and Economic Mobility: A Landscape Report

This landscape report summarizes empirical evidence on two main pathways for workers to exercise their power in the labor market: the ability to exit their current job for  better outside options and organizations and institutions that build worker voice within firms.  

Ioana Marinescu, Jake Rosenfeld

Worker voice, representation, and power July 11, 2022

U.S. Workers’ Organizing Efforts and Collective Actions: A Review of the Current Landscape

The report summarizes research evidence on the size of the voice and representation gaps workers are attempting to fill, and provides examples of different strategies workers are using to address the gap.