Locker Associates specializes in strategic research, financial analysis and comprehensive planning to help unions and other progressive organizations win campaigns, navigate difficult businesses situations, and build power for their members.

Over the last 38 years, we have directed more than 250 strategic efforts in support of organizing, bargaining, plant closure aversions and other initiatives spanning the construction, transportation, distribution, manufacturing, service and public sectors. 

We bring to our clients a deep understanding of how businesses and industries work. We helped industrial unions deal with deindustrialization and preserve work by founding employee-owned firms.  We’ve served as the investment advisor to employees during the establishment of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).  And we’ve provided in-depth analyses of companies and markets for more than 100 strategic campaigns.

Our combination of strategic acumen and financial and business expertise makes us uniquely qualified to serve clients by:

  • conducting in-depth research of industries and businesses, identifying sources of leverage and helping unions design powerful organizing, bargaining and fight-back campaigns;
  • representing unions in strategic planning and workplace reorganization and bankruptcy;
  • facilitating ownership transitions to secure the long-term viability of a business;
  • leading joint labor/management business improvement initiatives;
  • preparing comprehensive campaign plans for community-based groups seeking to use leverage to organize for progressive change.

Michael Locker is founder and President of Locker Associates, Inc., a NYC-based business consulting firm that specializes in corporate restructuring, buyouts, feasibility studies, developing business plans and performing due diligence. As a recognized authority on reorganizing troubled companies, Mr. Locker often representing employees in such efforts. Major clients have included trade unions (United Steelworkers, Machinists, United Auto Workers and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters), financial institutions (Bank of Boston, Lazard Freres, Congress Financial, Santander Investment), law firms, bankruptcy trustees and government agencies.

Mr. Locker served as Chief Restructuring Officer and Trustee of J&L Structural, reorganizing that firm under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. As an investment advisor and consultant, Mr. Locker has authored and directed over 200 company/industry studies on steel, brass, copper, iron ore, mining, airlines, trucking, textiles, clothing, tires, energy, warehousing, banking and packaging equipment. Most of these projects involved an in-depth market and financial analysis conducted in conjunction with management. He has served as the investment advisor to the employees and investors in several transactions of small and medium size companies, many of which established employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

Mr. Locker is also a leading steel industry analyst, publishing and editing for the last thirty years a monthly newsletter, Steel Industry Update, which is widely circulated to union officials, management personnel and financial experts. He has also conducted over 150 joint labor-management seminars at steel plants throughout North America and served as an expert witness in legal cases as well as arbitration proceedings at Inland, Bethlehem, National, LTV, Wheeling-Pitt and Republic Engineered Steel. He is also a member of the Iron & Steel Society. Over the last twenty years, Mr. Locker has founded, directed and served as President of five New York research, consulting and investment banking firms, incluiding Corporate Data Exchange (1973), Locker/Abrecht Associates (1980), Locker Associates (1985), Locker/Livingston Associates (1989) and MediaTek Consulting (2005).

Mr. Locker is a founder, director and former chairman of the New York Industrial Retention Network (NYIRN). He has served on the board of directors of Pittsburgh Forgings, Meta Software and the Center for Labor & Community Research. He has been an advisor to Working Assets Money Fund and New York State Senator Franz Leichter. He has made major presentations to the United Steelworkers, the Canadian Steel & Employment Congress, United Auto Workers, the U.S. International Trade Commission, the American Association of University Professors, World Steel Dynamics Steel Survival Conference and financial analysts in the United States and Germany. He has also traveled to Latin America, the Peoples Republic of China and the former Soviet Union.

Mr. Locker attended Earlham College and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1964. In 1966, he received a Masters of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Michigan. He has taught economics and social science at Brooklyn College. 5/30/17

Meet Our Associates

Robert D. Howlett

Robert Howlett is an Associate with over twenty five years of labor-related experience.  Since joining Locker Associates in 1998, Mr. Howlett has worked on projects related to the competitive prospects of companies in many industries, including construction, warehousing and transportation.  Mr. Howlett has worked on projects involving trucking for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, as well as an organizing campaign in Atlantic City for the American Federation of Musicians.  His work on these projects has included extensive industry research, market analysis, labor and management interviews and development of reports and presentations.

Prior to joining our firm, Mr. Howlett worked for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters as the Assistant to the Strategic Campaigns Director and as a Union Organizer. While working with the IBT’s Strategic Campaign Department, Mr. Howlett worked on various social-justice projects, and acted as Director of The Long Island Food Distribution Center, managing a staff of volunteers to coordinated the donation, storage, packing and distribution of grocery items to the recently unemployed.  Mr. Howlett’s diverse work experience with the Teamsters included conducting workshops on sexual harassment in the workplace held at Columbia University. He also volunteered his time to mentor college students in conjunction with Teamster Summer.

Prior to his work with the Teamsters, Mr. Howlett worked at a major regional grocery warehouse from 1981-1996. While there, he served as Shop Steward for many years, (elected by fellow employees) and worked on union negotiating committees.  Mr. Howlett has also completed many labor-related and human resources courses.




Locker Associates is a New York City based business-consulting firm that specializes in enhancing the competitiveness of businesses and industries on behalf of union, government and corporate clients. By combining expert business and financial analysis with a sensitivity to labor issues, our firm is uniquely qualified to help clients manage change.

Over the last 30 years, our firm has directed over 300 projects spanning manufacturing, transportation, distribution and mining industries. Typical projects involve in-depth analysis of a firm’s market, financial and operating performance on behalf of a cooperative labor-management effort.

Leading joint labor-management business improvement initiatives
Conducting strategic industry studies to identify future challenges and opportunities
Representing unions in strategic planning for campaigns
Formulating business plans for turnaround situations
Facilitating ownership transitions to secure the long-term viability of a business


Recent projects include:

  • Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers (2010-present): strategic industry research and ongoing advisement on major industry trends and companies to help enhance the competitive position of the unionized NYC construction industry
  • Painters & Allied Trades District Council 9 (2018): research and analysis of major New York City contractors to support union organizing efforts
  • New York Professional Nurses (2018): strategic research and analysis of a New York City-based hospital (and its parent company) in support of NYPNU’s contract negotiations
  • Building Trades Council of Westchester and Putnam Counties (2017-2018): providing in-depth research and analysis of current and future residential construction projects in Westchester and Putnam Counties to support the BCTC’s efforts in securing work for their members   
  • Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund-Research (2016-2017): research to determine if elevator and escalator injuries and deaths declined after states implemented legislation that strengthens safety specs for construction and/or maintenance of elevators and escalators
  • New Jersey Advisory Council on Safety and Health (NJCOSH) (2016-present): restructure membership database from a traditional computer-based tracking method to a well-organized web-based system to efficiently track dues, collection of PAC donations and retain members
  • MyChange-Business Plan (2017): negotiated a deal to purchase a web-based start-up company that was developed to help donors support their favorite charities by rounding-up electronic purchases which creates “virtual spare change” that can be easily donated
  • DanceCloud-Business Plan (2015): develop a detailed business plan to raise capital for an online venue where professional and novice dancers can share and showcase their abilities, via short video clips, in the art of dance and culture
  • Build Up NYC (BUNYC)-Strategic Research (2012-2016): directing research efforts for an NYC multi industry union coalition, composed of Building Trades, Hotel Trades and SEIU 32BJ which promotes responsible real estate development
  • Communication Workers of America (CWA)-Franchise (2015 to 2017): research on cable franchise agreements to determine the feasibility of including labor standards
  • Communication Workers of America (CWA)-Cablevision (2012-2015): develop campaign material, including Wall Street analyst presentation to support contract negotiations
  • Tile, Marble & Terrazzo Local 7-Strategic Research (2013): analysis of major developers and contractors to support union organizing efforts
  • United Auto Workers-Steel Industry Presentation (2013): presented status report to the UAW Steel Council composed of local union representatives from steel-related firms
  • Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater NY (BCTC)-Research (2012): analysis and advisement regarding major trends in the New York City construction industry, including capital market developments which affect BCTC members
  • Jockeys’ Guild (2013): profile of a national casino and racetrack operator

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In The News

Locker Associates

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Steel CEO Faces Tough Choice Between Costs, Investment

U.S. Steel CEO Faces Tough Choice Between Costs, Investment
See article here

Locker Associates' Presentation at the UAW Steel Council, 2017

Wall Street Journal Article: Construction Unions Grip on NY Starting to Show Cracks