2022 HTUP Workshop


Unfortunately, the Covid crisis is not over. We regret that a variety of obstacles blocked us from carrying out the residential Trade Union Program at Harvard this year. We had hoped and began to plan for the program, but it has turned out not to be feasible. Nevertheless, in our effort to continue to support and educate the labor community, we will hold a new set of online workshops providing potent ideas and compelling visions for revitalizing unions and democracy.

The theme for this year’s online workshop is “Democracy Under Attack: What should unions do?” The workshop will look into the current crisis of democracy and the ways that the labor movement can improve prospects for its members and the broader working class. The topics will be different from last year's workshop, so if you attended last year, you can attend again this year without fear of repeating information or being bored.

Significant segments of the public at home and abroad are growing disenchanted with democracy. In certain circles, the insurrection of January 6 could be a foreshadowing of actions to come. A majority of Republicans still do not believe the results of the 2020 election. State legislatures have passed restrictive voting laws while districts are being gerrymandered to create more favorable outcomes for right-wing candidates, many of whom will be determined to vote for union-hostile legislation.

Yet, worker mobilizations give hope that another world is possible. A record-breaking 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August 2021. There have been 169 strikes so far in 2021 including one on our own campus. Workers are indeed not happy, and some are taking bold action. What innovations are labor organizations pursuing in defense of workers during the pandemic-era strike wave? We will explore union organizing and worker mobilizations that are having success and could make a difference in turning the tide.

Bill Fletcher, a favorite from last year’s program, will return this year to lead several sessions that will focus on understanding the nature of right-wing populism as a global threat to democracy and to the traditionally disenfranchised (including but not limited to workers). His sessions will also focus on the role that organized labor can play in advancing democracy and defeating all forms of right-wing authoritarianism.

Elaine Bernard, Professor Benjamin Sachs, Professor David Webber, and Christopher Mackin will return to present new information regarding this timely topic. We also will have several new instructors to give their take on these important issues.

Similar to last year, the workshop will not be a passive webinar where participants only listen to the experts, but instead this will be an interactive learning experience with small group breakouts, case studies, and readings. The best way to learn is to be actively involved in developing ideas and solutions. Through this process, we will emerge with a better understanding of the issues and the directions to advance the labor movement.  We very much affirm our continuing commitment to the in-person Harvard Trade Union Program.  But until we can return to this happy situation, we look forward to a workshop experience that keeps the HTUP’s educational mission for the labor movement alive and well.

Dates and Times

The workshops consist of 15 90-minute sessions over five days, on two consecutive Wednesdays, Thursdays and a Friday. The workshop will be given on March 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 2022. The workshops will be held between 3-8 pm EST. We have chosen late afternoon to facilitate the fullest participation possible for our friends in different time zones.


Tuition for the workshops is $1000 (which includes all five days). We offer an early registration discount -- register by January 31, 2022, tuition is reduced to $800. We also offer a group discount -- any organization that registers five participants can include a sixth participant for free. Only one discount can be used at a time. The final registration deadline is March 1, 2022.


To participate registration online, Your registration is not complete until payment is received.


You can pay online by either electronic check or credit card.


You can mail in a check. Make check payable to the Harvard Trade Union Program and mail it to:

Attn: Labor and Worklife Program,
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave. Room B086
Cambridge MA, 02138

For questions, contact Alida Castillo at 617-495-7678 or htup@law.harvard.edu

Download workshop flyer


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