The Century Foundation Releases New Report: Finding Workers Where They Are
It is surprising that one of the most successful and powerful social movements in the nation’s history—the labor movement—has not launched a coherent, large-scale digital organizing strategy to recruit a new generation of workers.1 This is true even though the nation’s commercial and political campaigns have used digital marketing for years with remarkable success. And this is true even though the labor movement has a significant brag—union members earn significantly higher wages, have more job stability, and better access to critical health and leave benefits.
While some direct-organizing efforts, such as Fight for $15, have had success in using digital issue campaigns to achieve better wages,2 hard-fought initiatives seeking to unionize the workplace more broadly in the private sector, such as OUR Walmart, did not succeed in adding a significant number of new union members.3
This inability to increase the ranks of unionized workers is part of a long-term trend. For decades, the labor movement has been in decline, stymied by labor laws too weak to restrain employer abuses and undermined by the fracturing of the workplace by employers who seek to shed any obligations to their workers (think Uber drivers)...