Apr 25, 2022
Mark Gaston Pearce wants all workers to know their rights and understand how to assert them through collective action. He advances this mission as executive director of the Workers’ Rights Institute at Georgetown University’s Law School. It draws on his deep experience as a labor lawyer and his service, during the Obama Administration, as chairman of the National Labor Relations Board. At WRI, he brings together diverse stakeholders, from law students to litigators, nonprofit and worker center leaders to develop strategies for reaching and educating workers and identifying gaps in law and policy that need to be modernized. At the top of that list, according to Mark, is an updating of the National Labor Relations Act, which has not changed since its inception 86 years ago. The need for worker protections and unionization is painfully clear in a global pandemic. The workers we depend on for food, transportation and deliveries sacrifice their health for our comfort and suffer from income inequality. Recent labor victories at Amazon and Starbucks are inspiring but the lengths employers will go to stop them is chilling. Mark tells us how to do more than sit on the sidelines.