Outside of traditional labor structures, a new labor activism is surging, often supported by traditional unions. This new activism ranges from the “Fight for $15” movement to the statewide teacher strikes that broke out last spring.
Since Fight for 15 launched in 2012, the idea of a $15 minimum wage has become a popular cause for progressive activists, and an increasingly popular talking point for Democrats occupying or seeking elected office.
Just over 10 percent of workers are unionized, down from 35 percent in the mid-1950s. Potentially, though, a wave of Democratic victories in 2018 and 2020 could give labor groups a chance to turn things around. With an eye toward that moment, labor’s leading strategists are coming together to build a program that avoids the mistakes of the past.