“Workplace Democracy Doesn’t Happen by Accident: Collective Bargaining as a Powerful Tool”


Online March 24, 2022 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm

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Sarita Gupta
Erica Smiley

In the wake of the pandemic, workers across the economy have the most bargaining power they’ve had in decades and are demonstrating a demand for better quality jobs. But how are workers harnessing their power in this context, and what can this and other recent worker struggles tell us about how we must evolve our ideas about collective bargaining and direct action?

In this session, Sarita Gupta, vice president of US programs at the Ford Foundation, and Erica Smiley, executive director of Jobs With Justice, will explore case studies and theories around collective bargaining in the workforce, focusing heavily on dismantling white supremacy and gender discrimination culture in the labor force and in approaches to building worker power. They’ll discuss the critical role of economic power for workers in building a healthy democracy, while exploring new ways to change the collective bargaining process, including diving deeper into the movement that will evolve the legal, policy, organizing, and cultural frameworks of the last century.