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American Labor Movement At A Crossroads: New Thinking, New Organizing, New Strategies

Co Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute, the Sidney Hillman Foundation and the American Prospect

The American labor movement is at a critical juncture. After three decades of declining union density in the private sector and years of all-out political assaults on public sector unions, America’s unions now face what can only be described as existential threats. Strategies and tactics that may have worked in a different era are no onger adequate to today’s challenges. The need for different approaches to the fundamentals of union work in areas such as organizing, collective bargaining and political action is clear. The purpose of this conference is to examine new thinking and new initiatives, viewing them critically in the light of ongoing union imperatives of cultivating member activism and involvement, fostering democratic self-governance and building the collective power of working people.

Welcome:: Leo Casey, executive director, Albert Shanker Institute
Alexandra Lescaze, executive director, Sidney Hillman Foundation The Honorable Thomas Perez, U.S. Secretary of LaborKeynote: AMERICAN LABOR MOVEMENT AT A CROSSROADS
Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers & Albert Shanker Institute

NEW FORMS OF LABOR ORGANIZING/ORGANIZATION I

Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO;

Harold Meyerson, Editor-at-Large, American Prospect; columnist, The Washington Post; board member, The Albert Shanker Institute;
Karen Nussbaum, Executive Director, Working America;
David Rolf, President, Workers Lab, Service Employees International Union (SEUI) 775;
Moderator: Alexandra Lescaze, executive director, Sidney Hillman Foundation

NEW FORMS OF LABOR ORGANIZING/ORGANIZATION II

Paul Booth, Assistant to the President, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME);
Sara Horowitz, Founder and Executive Director, Freelancers Union;

Jessica Smith, Chief of Staff, American Federation of Teachers (AFT); .
Cristina Tzintzun, Executive Director, Texas Workers Defense Project;
Moderator: Phil Kugler, special assistant to the president for organization and field services, American Federation of Teachers

BUILDING COMMUNITY-LABOR ALLIANCES

Conversation with:
Sarita Gupta, Executive Director, Jobs With Justice;
Gerry Hudson, Executive Vice President, Service Employess International Union (SEIU);
Joseph McCartin, Director, Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, Georgetown University;
Sejal Parikh, Fast Food Workers Campaign Director, Working Washington;
Leo Casey, executive director, Albert Shanker Institute

RETHINKING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND UNION REPRESENTATION

Catherine Fisk, Chancellor’s Professor of Law; Co-Director, Center in Law, Society and Culture, University of California at Irvine Law School;
Mary Cathryn Ricker, Executive Vice President, American Federation of Teachers; board member, Albert Shanker Institute;
Dan Schlademan, Director, Our Walmart, UFCW;
Saket Soni, Executive Director, National Guestworker Alliance;
Moderator: Cheryl Teare, director; Union Leadership Institute, American Federation of Teachers

WORKERS RIGHTS AND COLLECTIVE POWER

Mark Brenner, Director, Labor Notes;
Richard Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation; board member, Albert Shanker Institute; Rich Yeselson, labor strategist;
Moderator: Rachel Cohen, The American Prospect

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