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Worker Rights

  • Al Shanker Remembered on the 20th Anniversary of His Death: Special Blog Series

    Twenty years ago, the legendary president of the American Federation of Teachers, Al Shanker, died.

  • Democracy's Champion

    This report chronicles Al Shanker’s contributions in the international arena. It documents Shanker's many international endeavors to support democracy and workers’ rights and records the living memories of those who worked with him.

  • Cooperation between the AFL-CIO and NSZZ Solidarnosc, 1980-89

    The Institute has supported research for a forthcoming book about the American labor movement's support for the Solidarność underground by Polish historian Pawel Zyzak, the author of an award-winning biography of former Polish President Lech Walesa.

  • The Global State of Workers Rights: Free Labor in a Hostile World

    The Shanker Institute conceived of and supported the creation of a first-of-its-kind map of labor freedom in the world, by Freedom House and a report entitled: “The Global State of Workers’ Rights: Free Labor in a Hostile World” which examined the conditions in 165 countries.

  • American Labor in U.S. History Textbooks

    The study conducted by the Institute in cooperation with the American Labor Studies Center (ALSC) makes the argument that labor history is central to an accurate depiction of U.S. history and argues that a fuller, more balanced depiction of U.S.

  • Lane Kirkland: Champion of American Labor

    The Institute provided support for this biography by Arch Puddington, which tells the story of Lane Kirkland, a major force in America’s labor movement, but also the era and and political context in which he lived.

  • Why We Need New Workplace Partnerships for Skills Development

    This report, signed by a diverse group of labor, business and policy experts, calls for far-reaching changes in the way our country manages its work-force skills and training efforts.

  • Finding Their Voices/Professionals and Workforce Representation

    A significant percentage of unorganized professionals would like to be represented in their workplaces by a union or some other type of “employee organization.” This conclusion, drawn from two Shanker Institute-sponsored studies, comes in spite of the fact that many professionals hold a stereotypical view of unions as overly confrontational.

  • Professional Workers, Unions, and Associations: Affinities and Antipathies

    This paper, by Richard Hurd, director of labor studies at Cornell University, explores the changing nature of professional work, examines the attitudes of professionals toward work and unionization, and analyzes the possibility of convergence between the roles and operations of unions and profess

  • Keeping Public Education Together

    In the essay, Al talks about his lifelong dedication to "gaining collective bargaining rights for teachers and using the collective bargaining process to improve teachers’ salaries and working conditions." He also makes it clear that the teacher union movement always had an equally important aim: making schools work better for kids. His tireless efforts, during the past 15 years or so, on behalf of high standards of conduct and achievement and against the fads and follies that threaten to destroy public education were not an "about face" but a logical extension of his trade unionism.
     
    The essay closes with Al’s reflections on the reasons for his long fight to preserve and strengthen public education.
  • Adding Rooms to the 'House of Labor '

    The AFL-CIO is often called the House of Labor. As with all houses, it was built by the skilled handiwork of plasterers, carpenters, bricklayers, cement masons—and one very great teacher.
  • Building a Broader Union

    Albert Shanker could see common threads among professional workers of every stripe.