Senior Fellow; Senior Adviser, American Worker Project


David Madland

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David Madland is a senior fellow and the senior adviser to the American Worker Project at American Progress. He has been called “one of the nation’s wisest” labor scholars by Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. The president of the Service Employees International Union, Mary Kay Henry, says Madland’s work “is creating a North Star for how we increase workers’ power in the economy and democracy.”

Madland is the author of Re-Union: How Bold Labor Reforms Can Repair, Revitalize, and Reunite the United States (Cornell University Press, 2021), which helped put sectoral bargaining on the political agenda, and Hollowed Out: Why the Economy Doesn’t Work Without a Strong Middle Class (University of California Press, 2015), a pioneering critique of trickle-down economics that has helped policymakers understand that the economy grows from the middle out and bottom up—not the top down.

He appears frequently on television programs, including on PBS, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, and he is a regular guest on radio talk shows across the United States. His work has been cited in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker. He has testified before Congress as well as several state legislatures.

Madland received his doctorate in government from Georgetown University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley. His research about the decline of the U.S. pension system received the “Best Dissertation Award” from the Labor and Employment Relations Association. Madland previously worked on economic policy for Rep. George Miller (D-CA).

To view the work of the American Worker Project, click here.


For Unionized Amazon Workers, Lessons From Italy May Hold Key to Success In the News

For Unionized Amazon Workers, Lessons From Italy May Hold Key to Success

David Madland outlines several lessons learned from the historic nationwide contracts that Amazon workers in Italy signed in 2021 and suggests a path forward for unionized workers at Amazon's Staten Island warehouse, who must now try to sign a collective bargaining agreement.

David Madland

Lessons From Italian Unions’ Historic Agreement With Amazon Report

Lessons From Italian Unions’ Historic Agreement With Amazon

Facilitated by worker activism, supportive policy, and a sectoral bargaining system, unions in Italy signed a collective bargaining agreement with Amazon, offering optimism for U.S. workers seeking to negotiate with the company.

David Madland

City poised to set labor standards by sector In the News

City poised to set labor standards by sector

David Madland praises a new Detroit city ordinance that would create a process for bringing together representatives of workers, employers, and the public to make recommendations around minimum compensation and standards for certain industries.

David Madland

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