Labor Power Reads

September 4, 2020

Rebuild worker voice. Raise wages.

The Roosevelt Rundown is an email series featuring the Roosevelt Institute’s top stories of the week.

2020 has been a trying year for workers—for those deemed essential and exposed to the worst of a pandemic; for those whose work has doubled with full-time childcare; and for those who’ve lost their jobs, health care, and unemployment benefits. The events of this year have reinforced the labor market’s deepest faults and underscored what we’ve long known: Workers need power, voice, and dignity. And only government can raise the bar for all. 

In honor of workers and unions everywhere, we’re spotlighting some of Roosevelt’s landmark labor research this week. We wish you and yours a happy and well-deserved Labor Day weekend!

The Fair Wage Guarantee: A Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity to Raise Wages and Accelerate Our Economic Recovery – Bharat Ramamurti and Lindsay Owens

Understanding the COVID-19 Workplace: Evidence From a Survey of Essential Workers – Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Suresh Naidu, Adam Reich, and Patrick Youngblood

American Workers’ Experiences with Power, Information, and Rights on the Job: A Roadmap for Reform – Alexander Hertel-Fernandez

How and Why to Empower Workers in the COVID-19 Response – Sharon Block, Suzanne Kahn, Brishen Rogers, and Benjamin I. Sachs

The “Double Gap” and the Bottom Line: African American Women’s Wage Gap and Corporate Profits – Michelle Holder

Seven Strategies to Rebuild Worker Power for the 21st Century Global Economy: A Comparative and Historical Framework for Policy Action – Todd Tucker

Rebuilding Worker Voice in Today’s Economy – Kate Andrias and Brishen Rogers


What We’re Reading and Listening to

Doesn’t Feel Like a Recession? You Should Be Paying More in Taxes [by Roosevelt’s Joseph Stiglitz and Kitty Richards]New York Times

Resisting COVID Capitalism with Ursula Price and LaToya Johnson [podcast] – Insight Center

What Liberals Get Wrong about WorkThe Atlantic

Coercion in the Workplace (with Elizabeth Anderson) [podcast] – Pitchfork Economics 

Empty Corporate Statements Don’t Help Fix Racial Inequality, but Workers Unionizing Can – Business Insider

To Rebuild the Economy, America Needs a New Social Contract – MarketWatch