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Clean Slate for Worker Power

Building a Just Economy and Democracy

The Clean Slate Agenda

Since the founding of the country, concentration of power in the hands of a small minority has been recognized as a threat to the viability of American democracy. Today, the struggle to preserve democracy in the face of extreme wealth concentration is acute because we live in a historical moment when vast disparities of economic power have been translated into equally shocking disparities in political power.

With this report, we offer an intervention that promises to help stop the self-reinforcing cycle of economic and political inequality. By proposing a fundamental redesign of labor law, our aspiration is to enable all working people – including those who have been excluded by systemic racism and sexism – to create the collective economic and political power necessary to build an equitable economy and politics.

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Labor law reform should expand protections of the law to address systemic racial and gender oppression.

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Universal Representation

Pathways to worker power should track corporate power and be universal, providing multiple forms of voice for all workers without employer interference.

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Sectoral Bargaining

We recommend creating a system of sectoral bargaining in which agreements are binding on all firms in the sector.

Worker Voices

The Clean Slate for Worker Power recommendations were inspired and informed by workers of diverse backgrounds doing different kinds of work. Everywhere, workers are fighting for themselves, each other, their families, and their communities to improve their lives and livelihoods. Here are some of their stories.

This Clean Slate framework to build worker power would give workers like me a fighting chance to come together in a new way to improve our lives, families and communities and make sure companies like McDonald’s don’t wield all the power in our economy.
– Terrence Wise