Daniel Gross co-founded the Industrial Workers of the World union organizing campaign at Starbucks which has expanded across the United States and inspired like-minded efforts around the world. Starbucks' chief labor attorney argued: "This is a campaign that has tried to do everything possible to disrupt the operations of Starbucks to harm the company."
Gross is co-founder and executive director of Brandworkers International, a non-profit organization protecting and advancing the rights of retail and food employees. On the issue of workers' rights, the New York Times has called him, "earnest, articulate, and dogmatic to a flaw...". A graduate of Fordham Law School, he serves on the executive committee of the National Lawyers Guild Labor and Employment Committee.
He writes frequently on retail and food worker issues for Counterpunch.org and is frequently quoted in national media outlets including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Solidarity Unionism at Starbucks
Authors: Staughton Lynd and Daniel Gross with illustrations by Tom Keough
Publisher: PM Press
Published: January 2011
Page Count: 36
Dimensions: 8.5 by 5.5
Subjects: Labor, Politics
Combining history and theory with the groundbreaking practice of the model by Starbucks workers, Lynd and Gross make a compelling case for solidarity unionism as an effective, resilient, and deeply democratic approach to winning a voice on the job and in society.
Labor Law For the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law
By Staughton Lynd and Daniel Gross
Published: Sept. 2008
Page Count: 110
Dimensions: 8 by 5
Subjects: Labor, Politics
Have you ever felt your blood boil at work but lacked the tools to fight back and win? Or have you acted together with your co-workers, made progress, but wondered what to do next? If you are in a union, do you find that the union operates top-down just like the boss and ignores the will of its members?
Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law is a guerrilla legal handbook for workers in a precarious global economy. Blending cutting-edge legal strategies for winning justice at work with a theory of dramatic social change from below, Staughton Lynd and Daniel Gross deliver a practical guide for making work better while re-invigorating the labor movement.
Labor Law for the Rank and Filer demonstrates how a powerful model of organizing called “Solidarity Unionism” can help workers avoid the pitfalls of the legal system and utilize direct action to win. This new revised and expanded edition includes new cases governing fundamental labor rights as well as an added section on Practicing Solidarity Unionism. This new section includes chapters discussing the hard-hitting tactic of working to rule; organizing under the principle that no one is illegal, and building grassroots solidarity across borders to challenge neoliberalism, among several other new topics. Illustrative stories of workers’ struggles make the legal principles come alive.
"Workers' rights are under attack on every front. Bosses break the law every day. For 30 years Labor Law for the Rank and Filer has been arming workers with an introduction to their legal rights (and the limited means to enforce them) while reminding everyone that real power comes from workers' solidarity."
--Alexis Buss, former General Secretary-Treasurer of the IWW
"As valuable to working persons as any hammer, drill, stapler, or copy machine, Labor Law for the Rank and Filer is a damn fine tool empowering workers who struggle to realize their basic dignity in the workplace while living through an era of unchecked corporate greed. Smart, tough, and optimistic, Staughton Lynd and Daniel Gross provide nuts and bolts information to realize on-the-job rights while showing us that another world is not only possible but inevitable."
--John Philo, Legal Director, Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice
"Some things are too important to leave to so called “experts”: our livelihoods, our dignity and our rights. In this book, Staughton Lynd and Daniel Gross have provided us with a very necessary, empowering, and accessible tool for protecting our own rights as workers."
--Nicole Schulman, co-editor “Wobblies! A Graphic History” and World War 3 Illustrated
For a calendar of speaking events, please click here
- The Employee Free Choice Act Debate
The labor movement is dedicating much of its energy to passing the law known as the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). EFCA has three provisions: 1) increased liability for illegal union-busting during certain critical organizing periods; 2) adding majority sign-up as another mechanism to certify a union alongside the election method; 3) implementing a binding arbitration option if a first contract cannot be agreed upon by a union and an employer.
- The Spark We Need: Chicago Sit Down Strike
The corporations got sloppy. From the hedge-fund parasites to the housing market fraudsters, the corporate criminals have shown their hand. Their filthy fingerprints are all over the economic pain blanketing the country and the world.
- Maimed by Cops, Charged With Felonies: Working Class Hero Alexandra Svoboda
A peaceful union march is brutally attacked by police. A union activist’s leg is horribly disfigured and nearly amputated. Maimed possibly for life, she is charged with multiple felony offenses.
- Solidarity Unionism at Starbucks: The IWW uses Section 7, with co-author Staughton Lynd
Many proposals to solve the labor movement's problems are on the table. There is the idea of operating completely outside the framework of any labor law, state or federal, as the Farmworkers did initially.
- Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: FreakOutNation
- Re-Forging the Working Class: The Indypendent
- Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Ernesto Aguilar, Political Media Review
- Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: UE Local 170
- What We Can Do, A Review of Labor Law: Z Magazine
Interviews and Mentions
by Jamie Sanderson
November 18th, 2012
Blending cutting-edge legal strategies for winning justice at work with a theory of dramatic social change from below, Staughton Lynd and Daniel Gross deliver a practical guide for making work better while re-invigorating the labor movement. Labor Law for the Rank and Filer demonstrates how a powerful model of organizing called “Solidarity Unionism” can help workers avoid the pitfalls of the legal system and utilize direct action to win. This new revised and expanded edition includes new cases governing fundamental labor rights as well as an added section on Practicing Solidarity Unionism.
By Andy Piascek
June 5, 2009
The popular wisdom on the Left and in the labor movement is that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), passed in 1935, was a great boon for workers. The passage of the NLRA, or Wagner Act, with its provisions that made it legal to organize, join unions, bargain collectively and strike, is commonly portrayed as a huge victory that workers and unions unanimously supported. The true story of this law, however, is more complex...
Labor Law for the Rank and Filer
By Ernesto Aguilar
Political Media Review
Romantic though it seems, the life of labor organizers and unions is messy. Most everyone is familiar with the firings for union organizing from which many a motion picture has borrowed from as grist. But such high drama can easily be avoided by bosses who understand the law and manipulate missteps to their advantage. No doubt corporate attorneys are able to advise their clients to thwart organizing while staying within guidelines. And then there are confused organizers who do not grasp the subtleties of labor issues, let alone their own rights, which can further damage the process. With such forces at play, it is a wonder labor organizing happens at all. Enter Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law by Staughton Lynd and Daniel Gross, an essential book for anyone interested in worker activism and doing so in a way that stays unruly while protecting employees...
UE Local 170
This small but powerful volume serves two purposes, as the subtitle suggests. The most pressing and obvious need this book fulfills is as an admirably concise primer of labor law — which the publisher ensured was updated literally to the moment it went to press.
Originally published in 1978, and later revised in 1982, the new edition is easily worth the modest price, even to the most experienced shop steward, for its summary of current labor law, including the most recent interpretative rulings...
What Can We Do
By Michael McGehee
Staughton Lynd was a professor at Spelman College where he helped organize activities with SNCC's "Freedom Schools" and later went on to become a labor lawyer and peace activist. Daniel Gross, an organizer with the Industrial Workers of the World, is the founding director of Brandworkers, a non-profit organization that works to protect and advance the rights of workers in the retail and food chain industries. Labor Law for the Rank and Filer was first published by Lynd in the late 1970s but was republished in late 2008 with some updates and a new chapter by Lynd and Gross.
The republication of Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law just two days later the then US Secretary of Treasury, Henry Paulson, and some congressional leaders announced that a deal was made to "bail out" some big banks in the U.S. by Staughton Lynd and Daniel Gross on September 26, 2008 couldn't have come at a better time.