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BCLB Leadership Lunch Talk: David Webber; Boston University School of Law — The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
A conversation with David Webber from School of Law – Boston University.
When Steven Burd, CEO of the supermarket chain Safeway, cut wages and benefits, starting a five-month strike by 59,000 unionized workers, he was confident he would win. But where traditional labor action failed, a novel approach was more successful. With the aid of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a $300 billion pension fund, workers led a shareholder revolt that unseated three of Burd’s boardroom allies.
In The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder: Labor’s Last Best Weapon, David Webber uses cases such as Safeway’s to shine 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, state houses, 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. Webber argues that workers have found in labor’s capital a potent strategy against their exploiters. He explains the tactic’s surmountable difficulties even as he cautions that corporate interests are already working to deny labor’s access to this powerful and underused tool.
Lunch provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cosponsored by the Institute for Research on Labor & Employment
Register here: https://conta.cc/2EdTUbM
Events are wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, contact the organizer of the event. Advance notice is kindly requested.
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