Future of Work

The Challenge

Over the last forty years, companies have increasingly shifted costs and risk onto working families. To maximize their profits, they increasingly outsource work through subcontracting, sending work overseas, hiring temporary staff, expanding the use of independent contractors and misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

These tactics, along with wage stagnation, the decline in union membership and the erosion of the social safety net, have created untenable wealth and income inequality. Many working people, especially people of color, find it increasingly difficult to pay the bills and find access to good jobs. Families and communities face devastating instability that touches every part of our lives. Even as companies have abdicated responsibility for workers, they have used advances in technology to maintain significant control over these workforces and the quality of work performed. This has allowed companies to benefit from significant growth in worker productivity, even as they erode wages, stability and quality of life for working people.

Technological advancement and gains in productivity have the potential to facilitate better work lives and more democratic and equitable communities for us all. Whether or not they will depends on what we do now to address the crisis of nonstandard work, to shape a new social safety net and to build the tech our communities need.

Our Approach

Organizing to Challenge Key Actors Driving Precarity & Win the Policies We Need
We are organizing communities and working people in key sectors to hold lead companies responsible for providing good jobs. We leverage the power we build to win innovative policy solutions that address how work is changing, while protecting important standards the movement already won.

Expanding & Democratizing the Social Safety Net
Gains in productivity should benefit all of us. We work to ensure that the people most in need of a strong social safety net have a say in how we update and strengthen it in the light of the changing structure of work. We envision a new safety net that addresses persistent racial and gender inequities.

Making Tech Work for Our Communities
The impacts of new technologies on our society will depend on how tech is used and developed. We seek to identify the ways technology can help build the cities, workplaces and democracy our communities want. We can shape the use of technology to benefit all people and push back on uses of tech that would further divide our cities, harm working people or circumvent the democratic process.

Read more about where we are working and our victories so far.

Publications