A consistent theme for the past, what, ten years has been the labor movement’s inability to capture the public’s attention, or the public’s imagination, or the public’s support. The words “labor” and “union” likely bring to mind various images of decline. But the fast food strikes, ramping up now and predicted for about fifty cities across the country today, provides decent evidence that the dynamic may be shifting. There is much to debate about the demands the strikers are making, including the effects that a major increase in the minimum wage would have. But that these strikes, and the broader organizing efforts among fast food workers, are resonating with the public seems beyond debate. Stay tuned.
Benjamin Sachs is the Kestnbaum Professor of Labor and Industry at Harvard Law School and a leading expert in the field of labor law and labor relations. Professor Sachs teaches courses in labor law, employment law, and law and social change, and his writing focuses on union organizing and unions in American politics. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 2008, Professor Sachs was the Joseph Goldstein Fellow at Yale Law School. From 2002-2006, he served as Assistant General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Washington, D.C. Professor Sachs graduated from Yale Law School in 1998, and served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. His writing has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the New York Times and elsewhere. Professor Sachs received the Yale Law School teaching award in 2007 and in 2013 received the Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence at Harvard Law School. He can be reached at [email protected]More by this Author »