Worker Power Project: Centering worker power and equity in the implementation of industrial policy 

EARN’s Worker Power Project, launched in 2021, focuses on expanding the ability of working people to achieve racial, gender, and economic justice through organizing, collective bargaining, and state and local policies that protect workers’ rights to form or join unions. The project draws directly on EPI and EARN groups’ longstanding commitment to economic policies that work for working people while building new capacity to support worker organizing, create the collective, democratic power necessary to bring dignity to all work, achieve racial and gender equity across occupations and industries, and shape a new worker-centered economy for the future.    

Key project strategies for 2023-2025 include:  

  • Winning state and local policy changes that build worker power and advance racial and gender justice: Advancing state or local policies that expand rights of workers—including those historically excluded from state or federal legal protections—to freely exercise the right to join together in a union, gain a voice on the job, and collectively bargain with employers;   
  • Leveraging federal industrial policy investments to build worker power: Shaping state and local implementation of federal BIL, CHIPS in Science, and IRA investments through policies, practices, and organizing campaigns that increase access to good union jobs, open new pathways to unionization for Black, brown, and women workers, and/or strengthen durable long-term labor, racial, and climate justice coalitions. 
  • Building worker power research capacity and policy partnerships: Expanding the capacity of EARN groups to co-lead research and advocacy on state and local worker power policies, while developing or deepening on-the-ground partnerships among EARN groups, labor unions, worker centers, and other grassroots organizations.    
  • Developing robust, research-based worker justice narratives: Generating and widely disseminating research reports, case studies, and other published products that tell coherent state, regional, and national stories about worker power and its importance, explain and assess the impact of state and local worker power policies, and shape public discourse on the economic and equity impacts of unions and the importance of expanding workers’ rights to form or join unions.  




Coming Together for Loudoun County: Collective Bargaining Strengthens Communities and Families

Loudoun County is a growing, increasingly diverse community that is a place of aspirations and contrasts: one of the highest-income counties in the United States, and a place where many who do the essential work of our communities can’t afford to live. Loudoun has top-notch public services, and Loudoun’s public employees play a significant role in creating and maintaining those services, and it’s important that we make sure that those public servants are fairly paid and have a voice in their workplace. Allowing collective bargaining will provide county employees a formal voice to lift up ways to improve public services and build a more equitable workplace. In the end, that benefits every one of us.


Four ways the American Rescue Plan can support working people

Government works best when it works for all people, not just the wealthy few and corporations. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) approaches economic recovery from the ground up by helping people pay the rent, feed their families, fix the car and resume their lives after an unprecedented pandemic and recession.


Confronting the Labor Shortage Narrative and Protecting UI

  • June 3, 2021

Blogs, reports, and data to help describe current labor market conditions, address the labor shortage narrative, and discuss the need for continued UI:

Statements and blog posts responding to states pulling out of federal UI supplements:

Other potentially useful reports and data:

News Articles Mentioned: