In Conversation with Elliot Williams
In The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder: Labor’s Last Best Weapon, David Webber shines a light on labor’s most potent remaining weapon: its multitrillion-dollar pension funds. Outmaneuvered at the bargaining table and under constant assault in Washington and the courts, worker organizations are beginning to exercise muscle through markets. Shareholder activism has been used to divest from anti-labor companies, gun makers, and tobacco; diversify corporate boards; support Occupy Wall Street; force global warming onto the corporate agenda; create jobs; and challenge outlandish CEO pay. In this rare good-news story for American workers, Webber argues that workers have found in labor’s capital a potent strategy against their exploiters. He explains the tactics’ difficulties even as he cautions that corporate interests are already working to deny labor’s access to this powerful and underused tool, and shows how workers can wield their own capital to reclaim their strength.
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