Democracy. You know this word, right? As Americans, we all do. Democracy is the backbone of our country. And it’s founded on the principle that all voices should be heard. What about workplace democracy? Have you heard this phrase before? If not, we’re here to change that. Workplace democracy is the idea that employees should have a voice in determining their working conditions and wages. What that means is that employees have the ability to band together to ask for things like paid sick leave, better training, higher wages and anything that they feel could improve their working lives. That’s why my co-founder Michelle Miller and I created Coworker.org: A digital platform dedicated to workplace advocacy. Every day, regular employees use the site to start a conversation with their coworkers about issues on the job and they work together to make their workplaces better. This is workplace democracy in action. As part of the White House Summit on Worker Voice, Michelle will be co-moderating a conversation with President Obama. He’ll be taking questions and hearing stories from folks in the room — and from around the country. And you can add your voice to that conversation right here, or by using the hashtag #StartTheConvo on social media.
Most people will spend about one third of their adult lives at work. Everybody should have the right — and the ability — to ask that their time is spent in safe and just working conditions. That’s why working people organize and join unions. By uniting together in the labor movement, U.S. workers demanded (and won) things like the weekend and the eight hour workday. As our country has changed and evolved, so has the modern American workplace and its problems. So the labor movement and worker advocates are changing too. Technology has given us incredible new ways to connect with one another to give all working people a clear way to step up and have a voice in their workplace. Having a voice at work is central to the future of our country and economy. That’s why we’re joining the conversation about these issues with President Obama tomorrow. We hope you will join that conversation, too. Share your story or idea about using your voice in the workplace or ask President Obama a question about these issues here. And don’t forget to join the conversation using hashtag #StartTheConvo. Throughout the day on October 7th, participants at the Summit will be answering your questions live, so don’t miss the livestream at: WH.gov/Worker-Voice. We hope you’re as excited as we are.