The Worker Institute Sponsors NYU Conference on Precarious & Low-Wage Worker Organizing

NYU Review of Law & Social Change
Monday, February 29, 2016

The Worker Institute at Cornell is co-sponsoring the NYU Review of Law and Social Change's 2016 symposium, "Dishwashers, Domestic Workers, and Day Laborers: Can Alternative Labor Organizing Revive the Labor Movement?" on March 24 and 25 at NYU School of Law.

2016 Symposium Poster JPG

On the evening of Thursday, 3/24 for our opening reception and the screening of The Hand That Feeds, a documentary about the worker organizers of the Hot & Crusty bakery and their fight to create their own independent union. A Q&A with the filmmakers and leaders portrayed in the film will follow. On Friday, 3/25, the N.Y.U. Review of Law and Social Change will host a series of three panels on organizing workers, the relationship between labor and non-union workers, and the future of alternative labor organizing. The symposium will culminate in a keynote speech by Cristina TzintzĂșn, Immigrant Justice Director of SEIU and iAmerica, and former executive director of the Workers Defense Project in Texas.

According to a recent estimate by Professor Janice Fine (Rutgers University), nonunion groups organizing workers have ballooned from five in the early 1990s to around 214 in 2014. Sometimes called "workers centers" but also organized as community groups and nonprofits, these organizations have been innovating in labor organizing and making demands for groups of workers traditionally unaffiliated with labor unions. This symposium brings organizers, practitioners and scholars to look closer at them and consider the opportunities for collaboration with government and labor unions but also tensions they represent, both politically and legally, particularly under the National Labor Relations Act. The panelists will also consider the future of organizing as we move further into the gig economy.

To learn more about the conference and to register, visit the NYU Review of Law and Social Change website.