With legal reforms for an improved organizing climate at a standstill, workers, activists, unions, and lawyers are turning to new strategies to build worker power within existing workplace labor laws. Creative and pioneering strategies crafted at Workers Centers have resulted in new ways for workers to demand their legal protections, often winning large back-pay awards. Advocates argue that in the long run, direct experience with the power of collective action develops savvy workplace leaders and lays the groundwork for a new wave of unionization.
Listen in as organizers explain these new approaches and assess their potential. Our panal includes: Kim Bobo, Executive Director of Interfaith Workers Justice and author of Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid – And What We Can Do About It; Jose Oliva, National Policy Director of Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC); and Dr. Robert Bruno, Director, Labor Education, University of Illinois.
The mission of the Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies (CCWCS) is to bring together individuals from multiple institutions to promote economic justice and to address class relationships. CCWCS is guided by our commitment to strengthen the political, economic, and moral power of working women and men, and to expand understanding of how other identities intersect with class, including race, gender, and sexuality. For more information, email Jack Metzgar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recorded Friday, December 10, 2010 at the Gage Gallery, Roosevelt University.