Broader Union Mandate

Policy or Initiative Description

Unions should broaden their mandate in recognition of the ways that employers and labor markets influence workers' lives outside of the workplace. Unions should apply techniques such as collective action and collective bargaining to the problems that workers encounter as "taxpayers, renters, mortgage-holders, consumers, students, student-loan debtors, and citizens of an endangered biosphere." This will help unions to achieve better outcomes for workers that go beyond the simple employee-employer relationship.


Some public-sector unions have sought to "Bargain for the Common Good" by joining with community allies to create bargaining demands that advocate changes to how public money is allocated. In Arizona, teachers advocated that the state not only stop tax cuts, but raise taxes to bring the state's per-pupil spending up to the national average.


Sarita Gupta, Stephen Lerner, and Joseph A. McCartin. “It’s Not the 'Future of Work,' It’s the Future of Workers That’s in Doubt.” The American Prospect. August 2017



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