Friday, May 9, 2008

New Labor Organizing and Immigrants

Here is an upcoming meeting at UC Davis on important issues related to labor organizing and immigrants:

A Symposium on Innovative Labor Organizing in the New Economy

Thursday, May 22nd
1:00 pm-5:00 pm
1008 King Hall
University of California, Davis

**Session 1 (1:00-3:00 pm): Regional Labor-Community Coalitions and the Partnership for Working Families* *

* Leslie Moody, Executive Director, Partnership for Working Families**
* Patricia Castellanos, Co-Director of Ports Campaign, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
* Amaha Kassa, Executive Director, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy
* Martin Bennett, Sonoma Living Wage Coalition and UNITE-HERE Researcher
* Ben Boyce, New Economy Working Solutions, Santa Rosa (Invited)

*Session 2 (3:15-5:00 pm): Workers Centers and Immigrant Labor Organizing*

* Saybah Katrina Russ, Young Workers United **
* Andrea Cristina Mercado, Lead Organizer, Mujeres Unidas y Activas
* Renee Salcedo, Day Labor Program, La Raza Centro Legal
* Davin Cardenas, Graton Day Laborers Canter
* Claudia Soria-Delgado, Latino Issues Forum (invited)

*Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Regional Change, with multiple co-sponsors.

*Over the past 30 years, the U.S. has experienced dramatic processes of economic restructuring, driven by processes of globalization, �informationalization�, and growing workforce diversity. During this time, the percentage of workers represented by unions has declined dramatically, leading some commentators to suggest that unions are out-dated institutions that are inappropriate for contemporary workplaces. At the same time that unionization has declined, however, a range of new innovative labor organizing efforts have emerged. These efforts are more rooted in community organizing (particularly in low-income and immigrant communities), labor-community partnerships, and in targeting organizing efforts at leveraging a wide-range of public policies and regulations to improve workers conditions, rather than focusing exclusively on attempting to gain collective bargaining status and a formal union contract. Many of these strategies have moved beyond the experimental stages, and are now providing exciting models for effective organizational forms and organizing strategies. The purpose of this symposium is to have a strategic discussion between researchers, organizers, and advocates about these organizing efforts, discussing lessons learned to date, next steps for organizing and policy, and broader implications for the future of the labor movement.


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