New Frontiers of Worker Power: Challenges and Opportunities in the Modern Economy

Miller, Michelle; Bernstein, Eric Harris

American workers are facing a lack of power that has reached crisis levels. In addition to the decades-long decline of unions, the expanded use of technology and outsourcing pose challenges from which contemporary labor law offers no shelter. This situation is poised to worsen in the near future, as Trump administration appointments to the Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board, and Supreme Court stand ideologically opposed to even the most basic enforcement of worker protections and regulation. As all these factors combine to undermine workers, it’s important for progressives to remember that the modern economy is not inherently inhospitable to worker interests. Rather, the silencing of the American worker is a choice; forward-thinking reforms can bring about an era of renewed worker voice, both in the context of traditional unions and throughout the rest of the labor market.