What Is CIWO?

The Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO) is a “think and do tank” whose mission is the promotion of strong workers’ organizations. We seek to shift the balance of power towards greater economic and social equality. CIWO leverages the resources of a highly respected research university to create a centralized go-to institute for strategic and organizational development. Our primary objectives are to facilitate the generation and dissemination of ideas, strategies, and programs for newly emergent as well as established worker centers, community organizations, labor unions and their local, state and national networks.

Our Programs

BCG Group
Bargaining for the Common Good

Reinventing collective bargaining for the 21st century.

Build Bench Group
Build the Bench

Deepening ties between networks to build organizational strength and leadership

WILL Empower Group
WILL Empower

(Women Innovating Labor Leadership) A bold initiative to identify, train and convene a new generation of women labor leaders.

Happening at CIWO:

Image of WILL Empower Logo 

WILL Empower is now recruiting Apprentices and Host Sites for the Fall 2021 Class!
Click here for more information & to apply.


Black Womxn DemandsCalling Black womxn activists, trade unionists, feminists, leaders, and scholars into dialogue with one another to discuss current demands for economic, racial, gender, and LGBTQ+ justice for Black people and others. These dialogues invite everyone to listen closely to Black womxn demands and to learn much more about us, our scholarship, and our movement work.

Bargaining for the Common Good has welcomed three new members to the Advisory Committee:  Cecily Myart-Cruz (UTLA), Rob Baril (1199 SEIU), and Rev. Francisco Garcia (Wendland-Cook Program on Religion and Justice at Vanderbilt University).  See the full BCG Advisory Committee here.

Build the Bench has welcomed two CIWO Fellows for 2021:  Felicia Griffin (Partnership for Working Families) and Kathleen Gaspard (Institute for Policy Studies), who will also serve on the program's new Advisory Committee with Mackenzie Baris (Jobs with Justice), Aisha Satterwhite (Coworker.org), Chevalier Lovett (Florida Rising), Renata Pumarol (ACRE), Vivian Huang (APEN), and Beth Shipp (Caring Across Generations).

Strategic Labor Standards Enforcement is launching a new Strategic Enforcement Community of Learning and Practice (SECLAP)  with state and local agencies from across the country. CIWO is hosting the first SECLAP session on January 27, 2021.