Organized Labor: New Models For A New Economy

Saturday, June 7th, 10:15 AM to 11:30 AM
Room 448

Recent decades have seen a marked decline in union density in the US and Canada due, in large part, to a combination of increased political attacks on unions and the increased mobility of global capital. This panel will highlight several innovative labor organizing models that offer exciting approaches to meeting the unique challenges of our time. The Freelancers Union is the nation's largest group representing the growing independent workforce. The union's 230,000 members are building collective solutions to economic challenges – from access to affordable health care to connecting for mutual aid. is a national organization advancing union co-ops, a model that elegantly combines the democratic and entrepreneurial spirit of worker cooperatives with the political muscle, legacy, and resources of traditional labor unions. This model has been pioneered in Cincinnati through the Cincinnati Union Co-operative Initiative, a project jointly launched by a historic agreement between Spain's Mondragon Corporation and the United Steelworkers. is an online platform for people to advocate for improvements in their workplace. Having been launched just over one year ago, it has already been used successfully by McDonald’s and Walmart employees, among others. After learning about the successes and challenges of these initiatives, we’ll have an opportunity to reflect on the future prospects of alternative models of worker organizing, as well as have a conversation about the role of these projects within the traditional labor movement and the emerging new economy movement.

Collaborative live notes: