The Labor Research & Action Network (LRAN) has continued to move forward over the past year. LRAN has partnered with In the Public Interest (ITPI) to surface ongoing research needs related to privatization and responsible contracting, and to identify and cultivate scholars who could produce this research and serve as credible experts on the issues. Last November, organizers, labor researchers and academics in Boston attended a forum on “Labor Law Reform: Which Way Forward” to discuss new legislative and organizing approaches to address the serious obstacles to recruiting new union members. In Chicago, LRAN has held a series of meetings and community-building social gatherings of local activists and scholars to highlight collaboration between labor and academics, and discuss topics such as “Fortress Unionism.” About 50 people gathered in Washington, DC, for a fundraiser happy hour. And LRAN has retooled its website. The LRAN online community includes a website, listserv+, and an experts database to facilitate connections between scholars, community activists, and labor practitioners supporting worker campaigns.
We invite you to attend the 2014 LRAN annual conference at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, DC, on June 16–17. To review the detailed agenda of the conference and register, see the LRAN website .
The conference will explore the intersection of cutting-edge labor research and innovative worker organizing campaigns. At the opening session, participants will hear from the AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, Harvard University scholar Theda Skocpol, and journalist Rick Perlstein. CLICK HERE FOR THE PROGRAM .
More than a dozen workshops will cover community-labor coalitions, immigration, new organizing models, the role of research in collective bargaining, leadership development in unions, new developments in labor law, and the use of social media and digital technology to reach out to a broader cross section of supporters, among other topics. One panel on unionizing strategies, for example, will include UAW Organizing Director for Transnational Auto Campaigns Richard Bensinger and University of Mississippi Professor Joseph Atkins discussing recent developments in organizing campaigns in the South. University of Santa Barbara historian Nelson Lichtenstein will speak on “Two Cheers for Vertical Integration: Why and How Labor Needs to Identify the Real Bosses and Make them Responsible and Accountable.”
The LRAN conference is an opportunity for academics, labor leaders, activists, and supporters to think creatively and daringly about the future of the labor movement. It’s a space to question fundamental assumptions, reflect critically on victories and challenges, and propose new pathways that can reposition the labor movement. Please consider joining us for this event.
AFL-CIO Policy Department and
George Washington University
 LRAN: https://lranetwork.org/
 2014 Conference Program: https://lranetwork.org/images/content/conferences/2014-lran-conference-agenda-1.pdf