Don't Mourn - Reorganize: An Introduction to the Next Wave Organizing Symposium Issue

11 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2006

See all articles by Seth D. Harris

Seth D. Harris

Cornell Institute for Public Affairs


On January 27 and 28, 2005, New York Law School's Labor & Employment Law Program, in cooperation with the Justice Action Center and the Institute for Information Law & Policy, presented the Next Wave Organizing Symposium. The Symposium brought together worker organizers, trade union officials, technologists, students, and scholars in law, industrial relations, economics, public policy, and other fields to tell the story of how, despite all of the forces arrayed against them, workers are organizing.

This article is the introduction to the Next Wave Organizing Symposium issue of the New York Law School Law Review. The purpose of the Next Wave Organizing Symposium was to seek answers to three questions. First, are the same workers who have been the traditional targets of organizing efforts also the targets of new organizing efforts, or are worker organizers redefining who is a "worker" or an "employee"? Second, are worker organizers using the same tactics they have employed in the past, or are they using new technologies and other tools and tactics in new ways? Third, are the goals of organizing efforts the same or have they changed? Are worker organizations pursuing increased bargaining power against a particular employer or in a labor market, or have their efforts expanded to encompass other social and economic goals? This article summarizes how the seven articles and six organization profiles contained in the symposium issue answer those questions.

Keywords: labor law, Employment law, organizing, unions, centers, immigrant's rights, union denisty, AFL-CIO, National Labor Relations Act, NLRA, next wave organizing, collective bargaining, worker representation, non-traditional organizations, alternative worker organizations, contingent workers

Suggested Citation

Harris, Seth D., Don't Mourn - Reorganize: An Introduction to the Next Wave Organizing Symposium Issue. New York Law School Law Review, Vol. 50, 2006, NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06/07-3, Available at SSRN:

Seth D. Harris (Contact Author)

Cornell Institute for Public Affairs ( email )

294 Caldwell Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-2602

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