Clean Slate Convening on Levels, Actors and Scope of Bargaining


Tuesday, January 15, 2019 (All day) to Wednesday, January 16, 2019 (All day)


Harvard Law School

Working group meeting of the Rebalancing Economic and Political Power:  A Clean Slate for the Future of Labor Law  Project

Agenda - Spanish

Reimagining Collective Bargaining:
The economy is fissuring and disaggregating, but since 1935 collective bargaining has largely taken place at the level of a single “firm,” has excluded millions of workers who don’t fit a particular definition of employee, and is limited to a narrow set of topics.  This convening will explore how to adapt the scope of collective bargaining to meet these challenges.

Key Convening Questions:

  • Should we move all or some collective bargaining to the sectoral level?
  • How should we expand collective bargaining rights so that more workers can bargain collectively?
  • How should we expand the scope of bargaining subjects to allow for more robust and productive worker voice?

Day 1 – Tuesday January 15, 2019


Registration with Coffee and Snacks


Opening Remarks

  • Sharon Block, Executive Director, Labor & Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
  • Larry Cohen, Chairman, Our Revolution
  • Rajesh Nayak, Deputy Executive Director, NELP


Economic Table Setting Remarks: Who Has Been Excluded from Collective Bargaining and What Are the Consequences

  • Darrick Hamilton, Executive Director, Kirwan Institute of the Study of Race and Ethnicity; Professor, Glenn College of Public Affairs; Professor, Departments of Economics and Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences, The Ohio State University
  • Rakeen Mabud, Fellow, Roosevelt Institute, Author of Left Behind: Snapshots from the 21st Century Labor Market


Sectoral Bargaining: What Can We Learn from the International Experience


Overview of what we need to learn from the international experience:


Deep Dive into International Examples – What is Working:

  • Fredrik Söderqvist, Senior Economist, Unionen, Sweden
  • Cecilia Nahón, Executive Director of the Model G20 Initiative, American University & Former Ambassador to the U.S., Argentina
  • Halton Cheadle, Emeritus Professor, Department of Public Law, University of the Cape Town, South Africa
  • Olaf Deinert, Professor, Institute for Labour Law, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany



Deep Dive into International Examples – What is Changing

  • Nicole Maggi-Germain, Lecturer and Director of the Institut des Sciences Sociales du Travail, University Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
  • Anthony Forsyth, Professor, Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University, Australia
  • Keith Ewing, Professor of Law, Kings College, London, United Kingdom
  • Sandra Polaski, Independent Expert, Former Deputy Director-General for Policy of the International Labor Organization (ILO) from 2012-2016

Open Discussion with International Experts




Government Involvement in Bargaining: What Are the Pros and Cons

Day 2 – Wednesday January 16, 2019


Registration & Breakfast


Sectoral Bargaining: What Can We Learn from the U.S. Experience

  • Nelson Lichtenstein, Distinguished Professor, Department of History, University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Bob King, Former President, United Auto Workers
  • Ray Rodriguez, Chief Contracts Officer, SAG-AFTRA
  • Don Siegel, General Counsel, MA Building Trades


Expanding What We Bargain Over and Who Bargains

  • Isabelle Ferreras, Professor of Sociology, University of Louvain, Senior Tenured Fellow, Belgium National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS), Belgium
  • Kris Rondeau, Former President, Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers
  •  Sarita Gupta, Co-Executive Director, Jobs With Justice
  •  Brishen Rogers, Associate Professor, Temple University Beasley School of Law


Small Group Discussions (Two Rounds):

  1. How might we combine sectoral and enterprise based bargaining?  How might we decide which subjects are appropriate at which level? Facilitators: Kate Andrias, Mark Schneider
  2. If we move some bargaining to the sectoral level, how might we define the role, if any, the government should have in bargaining? Facilitators: Larry Cohen, Sarita Gupta
  3. If we adopt a sectoral bargaining regime, how might we design a transition Facilitator: Brishen Rogers
  4. How might we define the scope of subjects appropriate for collective bargaining? For meet and confer rights? For informational rights?  Any limits? Facilitators: Nicole Berner, Cathy Ruckelshaus
  5. How might we define who has the right to collective bargaining?  If we move to a sectoral system, is it everyone in the sector? Are there limits? Facilitators: Raj Nayak, Rakeen Mabud


Small Group Readouts & Open Discussion with Working Group Members


Closing Remarks

  • Benjamin Sachs, Kestnbaum Professor of Labor & Industry, Faculty Co-Director, Labor & Worklife Program, Harvard Law School



Closed Working Groups I.A. and I.B. sessions                 

Convening Materials: