Bargaining for the Common Good


CIWO’s Bargaining for the Common Good (BCG) program seeks to reinvent collective bargaining for the 21st century and ensure that it starts including a range of issues from affordable housing to racial and immigrant justice in order to it benefit both workers and the broader communities they live and work in. The program works through concrete initiatives that build innovative dynamic partnerships between labor organizations, worker centers and a wide array of community, religious and racial justice organizations to advance demands that represent a comprehensive “Common Good” agenda. It also promotes this emerging alternative agenda through conferences, regional meetings, a "Common Good” Toolkit and other resources.

View concrete examples of Bargaining for the Common Good 

Latest Updates

Bargaining for the Common Good Advisory Committee

The Bargaining for the Common Good Advisory Committee, a new national advisory group composed of key union, community and racial justice leaders to help guide and support the BCG network, was recently announced. Read more

Bargaining for the Common Good: UTLA Webinar

Almost 200 union and community activists  from across the country joined a webinar on February 22, 2019, to learn from the successes of the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) and their community partners with their multi-year campaign and 6-stay strike. Read more


BCG demands

Bargaining for the Common Good – Housing Justice 

More than 100 activists, unions, community leaders, and housing groups from across the country joined the Bargaining for the Common Good (BCG) Housing Justice webinar on December 12, 2018, to discuss concerns and issues around affordable housing. The BCG webinar helped groups to learn and strategize about bargaining and fighting for affordable housing. Read more


Bargaining for the Common Good – Housing Justice

Over 200 organizers and activists from labor unions, housing justice organizations, worker centers and community organizing groups from across the country gathered in Chicago on July 28-30, 2019 to learn from the latest research and discuss important solutions to the nationwide housing crisis. The Bargaining for the Common Good (BCG) Housing Justice convening was a joint effort of CIWO, the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE) and the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor (KI) at Georgetown University.  BCG activities were held at the Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas. Learn more about this event.

Bargaining for the Common Good – Higher Education 

In late February 2018, the ‘Bargaining for the Common Good in Higher Education Convening” brought together over 200 labor, community and racial justice leaders representing 50 campuses across the country to strategize about common good bargaining and organizing. The convening included sessions about the theory and strategy of how to build the power to win and transform our campaigns into broader community fights, and how to wage inspiring common good campaigns that connect workers more deeply to their union and increase membership in preparation for the Janus Decision. Cohorts of union, community, and student leaders discussed a shared vision for building long-term community-labor partnerships that can fight for common good demands. Learn more about this event.  


Bargaining for the Common Good – Racial Justice 

More than 120 participants from national and local labor unions as well as racial and social justice community organizations gathered during March 29-31, 2017 at the Tommy Douglas Center in Silver Spring, MD. The convening was hosted by a steering committee of representatives from labor and community organizations, including Rutgers School of Management Labor Relations’ Center for Innovation in Worker Organization, the Action Center on Race and the Economy, and Georgetown’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. Learn more about this event



Going on Offense During Challenging Times

CIWO Executive Director Marilyn Sneiderman, together with Secky Fascione, Organizing Director of the National Education Association, co-wrote Going on Offense During Challenging Times, published by New Labor Forum (January 2018) explaining that, "Bargaining for Common Good aims to avoid transactional relationships between community and labor by building lasting alignments between unions and community groups, not merely temporary alliances of convenience. When unions and their community allies develop strategy, demands, and actions together from the beginning of a campaign, the results can be impressive." Read more here

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