Bargaining for the Common Good Image: Two fists of different colors uniting with the American flag, stairs and people standing on coins in the background.


Bargaining for the Common Good is a strategy within the labor movement where organized workers use union contract negotiations to push for structural changes with and for their community.

The goal is to build engaged coalitions of union members and community groups making joint demands in order to take the bargaining process beyond wages and benefits and towards social justice.

The historic 2012 strike of the Chicago Teachers Union is understood as putting this strategy into practice. Tens of thousands of rank-and-file teachers formed deep relationships with students, parents, and others in their community to combat school closures, advocate for student resources, and fight against austerity in Chicago. Since then, organized teachers, journalists, autoworkers, and healthcare workers nationwide have used this method to lead bold, intersectional campaigns.