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

Worker voice, representation, and power December 12, 2023
Research Summary

How Workplace Institutions Improve Employee Harmony

White workers have lower racial resentment toward Black coworkers when they are in a labor union. White workers in unions are more likely to support policies that benefit Black Americans, even after they lose union membership.

Madeline Baxter

December 12, 2023
Worker voice, representation, and power November 28, 2023
Research Summary

Unions Raise Pay for Nonunion Workers

Research shows that the presence of unions improves wages for nonunion workers. The pay increase varies for workers of different genders and in different regions.

Madeline Baxter

November 28, 2023
Worker voice, representation, and power October 17, 2023
Research Summary

Reducing Household and Economy-Wide Income Inequality through Labor Market Institutions

By analyzing previously unavailable union membership data throughout the 20th century, this study finds that high union participation reduces income inequality at both the household and economy-wide level, with the biggest benefits being felt by nonwhite and less-educated households.

Annabel Stattelman Scanlan

October 17, 2023
Worker voice, representation, and power September 12, 2023
Research Summary

Understanding Diverse Economic Outcomes in the Transgender Community

This research study highlights the economic disparities faced by transgender workers in the US, underscoring the importance of inclusive data collection and antidiscrimination policies to promote equity and inclusivity in the labor market.

Oluwasekemi Odumosu

September 12, 2023


Worker voice, representation, and power Brief August 09, 2023

Worker Voice, Representation, and Power

In this brief, we provide a summary of the research framework that informs WorkRise’s thinking about the importance of worker voice and power for low-wage workers’ labor market mobility. We then offer a series of specific priority areas for future…

Joe Peck , Elisabeth Jacobs

WorkRise Research

August 09, 2023
Employer practices Executive Summary June 26, 2023

A Workplace Divided: Survey Research and Stakeholder Engagement to Advance Equitable Workplaces

A national survey by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University explores workers' perceptions of discrimination and unfair treatment based on race and ethnicity. The survey reveals significant percentages of Asian-American, Black, and Latino workers experience discrimination in private-sector and government workplaces. Black workers are more likely to view workplace discrimination as a significant problem than white workers, with Black female workers reporting the highest levels of discrimination. The study highlights the impact of discrimination on career advancement and the need for government and employer interventions to promote workplace equity.

Carl E. Van Horn, Ronald Quincy, Jessica Starace, Anton House

Grantee Research

June 26, 2023
Worker voice, representation, and power Executive Summary March 13, 2023

Nailing New Labor Models: Exploring Sectoral Bargaining and High-Road Training Partnerships in the Nail Salon Sector

This report from the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and the UCLA Labor Center explores how partnerships and sectoral boards can build a sustainable and equitable nail salon industry, focusing on two approaches from other sectors. High-road training partnerships and sectoral bargaining approaches can be adapted for nail salons but require distinct interventions and capacities for member participation.

UCLA Labor Center, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, California State University, Long Beach

Grantee Research

March 13, 2023
Worker voice, representation, and power Report 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

WorkRise Research

July 28, 2022
Worker voice, representation, and power Report 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.

Grantee Research

July 11, 2022

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