Clean Slate Convening on Establishing the Scope and Power of Collective Action

Date: 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 (All day)

Location: 

Harvard Law School

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

We must ensure that workers have the ability to engage in collective action that leverages power. The number of significant strikes in the U.S. has fallen dramatically. That’s because the law puts up so many hurdles and obstacles – it severely limits where, when, and how workers can act together. Instead of maximizing power, the law diminishes it. We need to rewrite the law to allow workers to analyze power relationships and exercise collective power strategically.

The goal for the convening is to assess and build from existing ideas for reform to empower collective action towards a broader array of ideas. The convening will be successful if we are to be able to collaborate on innovative solutions to the questions listed here (or a variation of these questions):

  1. How might we define the right to strike, picket and boycott to be effective mechanisms for the expression of worker power?
  2. How might we define lawful targets for collective action to reflect the way power is exercised within today’s economy, in light of fissuring, multinational corporations, and other changes in dominant business models?
  3. How might we facilitate collective action for workers who do not share a physical work space and what role can technology play?
  4. How might we learn from social justice movements in order to best achieve empowered collective action for workers that is at scale and sustainable?
  5. How might we expand the playing field for collective action to include allies and the concerns that are important to them?

Agenda