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Organizing Workers in the Freelance Economy | Q&A |

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The New York City-based Freelancers Union estimates that nearly a third of American workers are freelancers — about 42 million people. One of the common drawbacks of freelance work is the inability to organize for benefits like health insurance, retirement funds, overtime and sick days. In 2005, the Freelancers Union began offering health insurance to independent workers such as nannies, graphic designers, journalists and artists. They now have over 165,000 members across all 50 states. We asked Sara Horowitz, who founded the Freelancers Union in 1995, to talk about this new model for organizing workers and what it means for organized labor in general.

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