Frank Bardacke's spoke on October 22 about “Skilled Farm Work and the Immigrants Who Do It," describing, particularly, the intensity of lettuce harvesting. Bardacke is an educator and long-time community activist based in Watsonville, California and author of Trampling Out the Vintage: Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers.
For Bardacke's recent article, "The UFW and the Undocumented," part of the Symposium: Cesar Chávez and the United Farm Workers, see International Labor and Working-Class History / Volume 83 / Spring 2013, pp 162-169.
International Solidarity Reloaded
Trade Unions and other Social Movements: Between the Challenges and Opportunities of Globalisation.
Graduate Conference 2014
April 1-4, 2014 , Georg-August University of Göttingen, Conference Centre by the Historical Observatory. Organised by the Hans Böckler Foundation in cooperation with the Göttingen Graduate School of Social Sciences (GGG)
CALL FOR PAPERS
Call for Papers for the 9th Global Labour University Conference, “Inequality within and among Nations: Causes, Effects, and Responses." The event takes place in Berlin, 15-17 May 15-17, 2014. Deadline is September, 30, 2013.
For a paper by CGWR Graduate Student Assistant Joyce Sinakhone on the problems associated with J1 guestworkers in the United States, click here.
For a paper by CGWR Undergraduate Student Assistant Shelby Mastovich on the empowerment of Honduran workers through United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) action, click here.
For information on the CGWR symposium on precarious work. See: Symposium 2013
"Global Workers’ Rights: Patterns of Exclusion, Possibilities for Change"
PROFESSOR GUY STANDING gave a keynote address on March 20. For a video of this, see Guy Standing's address.
Watch an interview with Standing, Professor in Development Studies at the University of London and co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), describes the idea of a basic income on the show, The Big Picture.
About the Center
The Center for Global Workers’ Rights (CGWR) works to move the research agenda on sweatshops, labor standards, and labor rights forward by organizing academic exchanges and events, promoting research, and creating a network of scholars, practitioners, and activists working on these issues around the world.
Mark Anner, winner of the James G. Scoville Paper Award by Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA)
Mark Anner’s article “Corporate Social Responsibility and Freedom of Association Rights: The Precarious Quest for Legitimacy and Control in Global Supply Chains.” (2012, Politics & Society 40(4): 604 – 639) was awarded the James G. Scoville International/Comparative Best Paper Award at the Labor and Employment Relations Association meeting in June 2013 in St. Louis. For the paper abstract click here, Anner, Corporate Social Responsibility and Freedom of Association Rights.
Forthcoming book by Jenny Chan, Pun Ngai, and Mark Selden includes the voices of young Chinese students forced into internships at production facilities run by Foxconn.
To read a Guardian article outlining the story, see Forced student labour is central to the Chinese economic miracle.
Jenny Chana, a Ph.D. Candidate in the Faculty of History and Social Sciences, University of London, visited Penn State in March of 2013 for the symposium,"Global Workers’ Rights: Patterns of Exclusion, Possibilities for Change" and offered a presentation on “Student Interns in China: Foxconn Internship through Government and School Mobilization” (presentation outline) (abstract)
Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies
We urge our readers to note the important efforts being carried out through the Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS). The BILS is a joint center of major trade unions in Bangladesh with an aim to protect workers' rights through organizations that promote just and worker-friendly policies and offer workers a voice in both civil society and labor market issues. For more information, see Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies-BILS. We hope to welcome a scheduled speaker who was not able to make it to the Uinited States, Syed Sultan Ahmed, to Penn State in the future.
For an August 2012 interview with Mr. Syed Sultan Ahmed on the challenges of a form of unionization in Bangladesh that truly represents workers, see: http://threadsandborders.blogspot.com/2012/08/interview-with-mr-syed-sultan-uddin.html
Dan Hawkins, 2012-13 Post-Doctoral Scholar at the CGWR, offers this report: The Formalization and Unionization Campaign in the Buenaventura Port, Colombia
Fast food workers fight for workers' rights
Research into the campaigns of low wage workers in the United States
By Joyce Sinakhone
Joyce Sinakhone is conducting her master’s thesis research on the fast-food workers movement, and is assisting the Center in launching its new Master’s in Labor and Global Workers’ Rights program.
In recent months, low-wage workers across the nation have been standing up against exploitative practices and seeking improvements for all U.S. workers, including those often not afforded basic employee protections. The gains made prevent wage depression, the replacement of stable jobs with precarious positions, and eroding working conditions. On August 29, 2013, fast food workers staged a coordinated strike that involved 58 cities, despite being employed in a notoriously anti-union industry. In 2012, most of the 3.6 million workers who earned the federal minimum wage ($7.25) or below worked in service occupations such as food preparation. Recently, however, these low-wage workers have been demanding pay increases and the fair chance to organize with the help of union-backed community groups. Such workers are fighting for a living wage and the chance to form a union without retaliation, and their numbers are on the rise. Job growth during the recession
has been led by low-wage service occupations.
It is yet unclear whether retail and fast food workers around the nation will be able to achieve a living wage, but some companies have already proven that it is possible. Costco famously offers better wages compared to competitors, but fast food companies also profited while paying workers fair remuneration. Detroit-based burger eatery Moo Cluck Moo boasts a starting wage of $15 per hour and In-N-Out offers benefits for part-time and full-time employees along starting wages far above the federal minimum.
Click here for an extended article by Joyce Sinakhone.