The 5th Annual LRAN National Conference will be held on June 15 & 16th at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C. Save the date! We look forward to seeing you all there.
The Labor Research and Action Network (LRAN) is a dynamic collaborative effort to connect workers' rights organizations, academics and students to build workplace and economic power for working people in this country.
The LRAN online community includes a website, listserv+, and an experts database to facilitate connections between scholars and practitioners working on worker campaigns. The listserv+ is a private, members-only, web-based forum that combines the functions of a listserve, online forum/newsgroup, and a wiki. You must be a current LRAN member and must register for access to the private network areas of this website. There is a $25 annual registration fee in order to access the LRAN listserve and database.
To join LRAN, simply complete our online member registration form. For those who make a minimum $25 tax-deductible donation to LRAN on our online membership donation page, website registration is free.
The 2015 Labor Research and Action Network national conference will be held June 15th and 16th at Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C. The Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor will host the conference. We are inviting proposals for the conference that fit into one of the conference tracks: Developing New Membership Models and Sustainability; Innovating Campaign Strategies That Build Power; Advancing Worker Rights in a Changing Economy, and Holding Corporations Accountable. Submissions are due by March 6th.
The 2015 Labor Research and Action Network national conference will be held June 15 and 16 at Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C. The Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor will host the conference, which will explore how labor unions and other worker-based organizations can effectively collaborate. The conference will examine methods of building worker power and advancing a new social movement in an economy where collective bargaining is imperiled, and where employer-employee relationships are increasingly fragmented. Scholars and labor practitioners from across the country will convene to reflect on this core theme, share news ideas and lessons learned, and connect around research and campaign work.
Over 250 labor scholars and practitioners from unions, universities and nonprofits across the country attended the fourth annual LRAN conference, hosted by the Kalmanovitz Initiative at Georgetown University. The conference started with a conversation between AFT President Randi Weingarten, Harvard University scholar Theda Skocpol and journalist and author of Nixonland, Rick Perlstein, who discussed some of the obstacles workers and modest income families are facing – both in the economy and in politics – as well as the root causes. Weingarten and Skocpol both emphasized the need for greater and more consistent engagement in community issues, increasing membership-based organizing and new organizing models. The second day opened with President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Keith Kelleher, Katie Quan of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, and Saket Soni, executive director of the National Guestworker Alliance, who reflected on their lessons learned from organizing workers and researching strategies to build worker power in a global economy. Noted labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy, presented a lecture on the trend away from the vertical integration of companies and strategies for holding the ultimate employer accountable for labor standards.
LRAN Trains Scholars and Facilitates Research on Government Contracting Out
One of the key goals of LRAN is to connect scholars with practitioners in order for their research to be relevant to the lives of workers. Last fall, the LRAN Initiatives Work Group decided to put this goal to practice through a project to fight privatization. Over the past year, LRAN has partnered with In the Public Interest (ITPI) to surface ongoing research needs related to privatization and responsible contracting, and to identify and cultivate scholars who could produce this research and serve as credible experts on the issues. On October 17-19, LRAN & ITPI held a training at the AFL-CIO in Washington, DC for faculty, union and nonprofit staff. Experts led workshops on analyzing costs, contract language, operations, public services, government oversight, and other key elements of government contracting out.
For those interested in accessing videos and materials from the training when they are made available, please contact Erin Johansson of Jobs with Justice, and provide your name, affiliation and title. To learn more about privatization research projects, contact Shar Habibi of ITPI. To get involved in the 2014 project of the LRAN Initiative Work Group, which will tackle another research topic of importance to worker campaigns, contact co-chairs Christian Sweeney of the AFL-CIO or Gordon Lafer of the University of Oregon.
Boston Regional LRAN Forum on Labor Law Reform
On November 13, organizers, labor researchers and academics attended a forum to discuss "Labor Law Reform: Which Way Forward?" on Nov. 13. The forum was held at SEIU Local 888 and was organized by a Boston Regional committee of LRAN. Participants heard four presentations on new legislative and organizing approaches to address the serious obstacles to recruiting new union members and help rebirth the labor movement. The panelists discussed ideas including Just Cause, pre-majority bargaining, holding primary employers accountable, and extending rights to excluded workers. MIT Professor Thomas Kochan wrapped up the panel presentations: "These are good ideas that don't require waiting for action at the federal level. Now we've got to get our message out to a wider audience and begin organizing for real change at the local level." The LRAN forum was co-sponsored by Mass AFL-CIO, Mass Jobs with Justice, Justice at Work, Immigrant Worker Center Collaborative, Labor Resource Center at UMass Boston and The Labor Guild. For more info contact: Elvis Mendez