Journal Article
Organizing for Good Jobs: Recent Developments and New Challenges

Over the past several decades, there has been a remarkable surge of economic justice organizing across the country. The goal of this article is to examine these efforts and provide a framework for understanding their potential, their limitations, and their future. In what follows, the authors first describe five distinct organizing movements focused on low-wage work that have flourished in recent years. The authors then develop a framework for thinking about these movements. They distinguish among these efforts along the two dimensions of goals and strategies, assessing relative strengths and weaknesses. With these distinctions in hand, they then take up the question of the scalability of the movements and analyze the challenges they face in terms of growth strategy, sustainability, constituencies, and cohesion. This overall framework yields a picture of significant promise in America’s economic justice organizing—but one that will take equally significant resources and political power to realize.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBernhardt A, Osterman P
JournalWork and Occupations
Volume44
Issue1
Pagination89-112
Date Published01/2016
Abstract

Over the past several decades, there has been a remarkable surge of economic justice organizing across the country. The goal of this article is to examine these efforts and provide a framework for understanding their potential, their limitations, and their future. In what follows, the authors first describe five distinct organizing movements focused on low-wage work that have flourished in recent years. The authors then develop a framework for thinking about these movements. They distinguish among these efforts along the two dimensions of goals and strategies, assessing relative strengths and weaknesses. With these distinctions in hand, they then take up the question of the scalability of the movements and analyze the challenges they face in terms of growth strategy, sustainability, constituencies, and cohesion. This overall framework yields a picture of significant promise in America’s economic justice organizing—but one that will take equally significant resources and political power to realize.

URLhttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0730888415625096
DOI10.1177/0730888415625096