After decades of decline, the U.S. labor movement is once again on the rise, as workers turn to collective action to push back against stagnant wages and unsafe working conditions. What will this 21st century labor movement look like? How are workers challenging corporate greed and divide-and-conquer tactics?
A panel of prominent labor leaders met in Dineen Hall on Monday, October 24 to discuss these topics and the ongoing struggle for dignity and democracy at work in the 2022 Lender Center Conversation: Labor’s Revival: Unions and the Struggle for Racial and Economic Justice.
Professor Jenny Breen moderated discussion, speaking with panelists including Jan Brisack, Organizer, Starbucks Workers United; Johnnie Kallas, Director, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations Labor Action Tracker; and Chris Smalls, President, Amazon Labor Union.
According to coverage by Spectrum News and panelist’s expertise, unsafe working conditions, long hours and few breaks are just some of the reasons why workers choose to unionize.
“I’ve seen workers get carried out on stretchers,” said Smalls. “When I see workers get inspired by the efforts that we’re doing, that continues to resonate with myself. I know that there’s a bigger purpose, and that’s what motivates me to continue going.”