The only organization where professionals interested in all aspects of industrial relations and
human resources come together to share ideas and learn about new developments, issues and practices in the field.


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The Industrial Relations Research Association was established in 1948. In December of that year, local members founded the Washington, D.C. Chapter.  Click here to read more history. 


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Note: No luncheon meeting in November!

The DC LERA Board of Governors invites
you to the monthly luncheon meeting...

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Future of Workers? It’s Not the “Future of Work,” It’s the Future of Workers That’s in Doubt

Joe McCartin
Professor & Executive Director,
 Kalmanovitz Institute for Labor and the Working Poor,
Georgetown University

Professor. McCartin and his co-authors, Sarita Gupta and Stephen Lerner, make the provocative argument in a recent American Prospect that we’ve had it backwards: it’s the future of workers that is central to our conversations about the “future of work.” As they assert, the architects of inequality are distracting us from their growing domination by defining and controlling the debate about what is inevitable and what is possible. The stakes are high for workers, unions, and others who believe in a “just” economy. 

Worker bargaining power has been relentlessly undercut, triggering a steep rise in inequality. That, along with Wall Street’s aim of “creative disruption and destruction,” undermine our democracy.

Joe McCartin is Professor of History and Executive Director of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University. He is author of more than 100 scholarly articles, chapters, and reviews. His most recent book is Labor in America: A History (ninth edition), co-authored with Melvyn Dubofsky.

Click here to print a flyer to post or use as an invitation.


Please pre-register for this event!

  • Time: Sign-in begins: 11:30; Lunch: 12:00; Presentation and Q&A: 12:45 - 1:30.
  • Prices: Members $25; Students $20; Non-members $30. 
  • Pre-register & pay online below:


Select luncheon cost:
List names of attendees.
Comments for DC LERA
  • Walk-ins OK:  But please register in advance by emailing your name and affiliation to Jackie Brown at so we can order enough food.
  • Venue: The historic Whittemore House,1526 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036, just one block from Dupont Circle and its Red Line Metro station.

The DC LERA is on the cusp of tidal changes in national labor policies. Battles between powerful political forces in Washington will determine the future of work for decades to come. We are a non-partisan forum in Washington where these conflicting ideas and ideologies coexist.
We sponsor a series of monthly luncheons on crucial economic, legal, and social issues in employer–employee relations. Thanks to our location, DC LERA draws support from the Washington policy community, with members and speakers from government, universities, unions, think tanks, and policy advocate organizations. Our luncheon programs offer great opportunities for labor rela­tions professionals, union leaders, policy special­ists, scholars, and students to express their views, enrich their knowledge and expand their networks.
A special dimension of DC LERA’s program is international labor relations. We are honored and privileged that representatives of Washington’s diplomatic delegations are active participants in our Chapter. They learn, but they also give back. Attachés and counselors give us inside views of labor relations in Asia and Europe.
We invite you to join us in this fascinating journey. You can join or renew by clicking here. Questions? Please send an email to Pat McHugh at  Thank you in advance for your support. We look forward to seeing you at our great events!  Your tax adviser should confirm that your payment is tax deductible as dues paid to a non-profit professional association.


Please click here for more information about sponsorships of DC LERA and how to sign up.



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If you missed a 2018 meeting...

No luncheon meeting
in November!

Pathways to Future Work: Lessons from German and American Apprenticeships with Laurie Rowe, Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of 
Labor and
Freya Lemcke, Vice President Representative of , German Industry & Trade, Washington, DC .
Apprenticeships serve as a pillar for Germany’s manufacturing strength (nearly a quarter of th economy), annually producing about half a million highly qualified industrial workers who maintain the German reputation for top-quality products. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Labor, lead by Secretary Acosta, is promoting apprentice and worker training opportunities to reap the economic and personal benefits of apprenticeship programs and solve the shortage of skilled workers in American industry. What lessons can be drawn from these apprenticeship models? How are German-style apprenticeships faring in the US where parents commonly view college as the only path to for their children’s careers? What lessons can Germany draw from American apprenticeships? DC LERA is pleased to invite you join us to hear two top experts discuss apprenticeships. Lau Rowe currently serves as a Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary R. Alexander Acosta at the U.S Department of Labor and leads the rollout of the DOL’s new Industry Recognized Apprentices Initiative. Freya Lemcke is Vice President at Representative of German Industry and Trade (RGIT) in DC, with time in Brussels and Berlin informing her insights into government and commercial affairs, trade policy and comparative international economics.
How the International Labour Organization (ILO) Is Responding to the Radically Changing World of Work Applying Fundamental Principles to New Circumstances...The International Labour Organization (ILO) was established in 1919 in the wake of WWI on the premise that social justice is required for lasting peace.  For the past 100 years, the premise has guided the ILO in dealing with a wide range of evolving threats to social justice such as: fragmentation of supply chains; fissuring of employment; women’s and migrants’ rights; workplace violence; and the changing roles of governments, unions, and employers in a globalizing economy. With guest speaker Kevin Cassidy, Director and Representative to the Bretton Woods and Multilateral Organizations for the ILO for the United States Click here for more information...

Trump’s “Unwavering Attack” on Federal Unions and Employees with guest speaker Joe Davidson, Washington Post Columnist on Federal Government Issues Click here to read more...

“As Long as it Takes” Educators Taking a Stand Across the Nation with guest speaker Mary Kusler, Senior Director for the Center for Advocacy National Education Association (NEA) Click here to read more...
Extreme Vetting: Political Theater in the Nation’s Capital with guest speaker Dana Milbank, Author and Columnist for The Washington Post
Click here to
The Janus Case Before the Supreme Court: Does It Threaten Public Sector Labor Relations? with Judy Rivlin, General Counsel, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)  Click here to read more...
Designing Reality: How to Survive & Thrive in the Third Digital Revolution with guest speaker Professor Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Heller School for Social Policy &  Management, Brandeis University 
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The Opioid Crisis: Health Effects on Unions and Health Funds with Jamie Becker, Director, Health Promotions, Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America  Click here to read more...

If you missed a
2017  meeting...
Click here.