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Worker Justice Resources

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AFL-CIO 2017 Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice Report

This toolkit is a collection of activities, suggested readings and videos to spur a discussion about workers' lived experiences, how to identify and discuss the way racial bias operates in everyday life, and ways to disrupt these patterns to build a more inclusive, equitable society. These resources are meant to help people better understand racial bias and prejudice on a personal level and to understand how organizational practices, institutions and policies reinforce racial discrimination and restrict opportunities.

Book Reviews

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"“They’re Bankrupting Us!” And 20 Other Myths about Unions" by Bill Fletcher Jr.

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“They’re Bankrupting Us” is a great resource for people unfamiliar with unions to understand their inner workings. Turns out, once you stomp out the myths and replace them with the facts, unions aren’t that scary after all.  

As a unionist for more than two decades, I was pleased to see a new take on an old problem: how do you convey the benefits of unions to people who may have very little exposure to them? The mainstream has all but dismissed our very active presence and participation in the country, unless it’s Labor Day. 

Fletcher’s book also helps advance the understanding of collective bargaining, solidarity and workplace rights to union members who are new or unclear of our history. And, it gives us tools to defend the value of unions during conversations with that brother-in-law at Christmas dinner, you know the one. He blames unions for every problem we have but can’t explain why. 

An interesting myth in the book for me personally was Myth 6. “Unions were good once, but we don’t need them any longer.”  I’ve had many conversations busting this myth myself. Sure, we have weekends and time off, “for what we will” as unions demanded so long ago. But we also have 12-hour swing shifts and comp-time policies inching their way into normalcy to undermine our quality of life and our time off the job. Workers will always encounter struggles achieving dignity at work. But without unions, without a seat at the table, workers will certainly be on the menu. 

Reviewed by Rachel Bennett Steury, UUJEC Administrator

Webinars

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December 6th, 2017 @ 8pm

"Worker Centers & Worker Organizing in the Current Political Climate"

Thank you for joining Magaly Licolli – Executive Director, Northwest Arkansas Worker Justice Center and Ahmed Ali – Executive Director, Greater Minnesota Worker Center for our discussion on worker organizing and economic justice. Resources provided by our speakers are valuable for UU activists across the country to organize within their communities. 

  • "Striving for a Just and Safer Workplace" Report by (GMWC)
  • "Wages and Working Conditions in Arkansas Poultry Plants" - Report by NW Arkansas Worker Justice Center
  • Presentation slides from Ahmed Ali, Greater Minnesota Worker Center (GMWC)
  • Economic Policy Institute (EPI) Perkins Project on Worker's Rights and Wages Policy Watch
  • EPI Interactive Map of anti-worker laws by state
  • "A Practical Guide to Combating Wage Theft" - Report from the Center for Popular Democracy 


Faith communities can work in solidarity with workers centers to advance our common struggle for dignity and equality. Take the lessons from Magaly and Ahmed and apply them with organizations that are close to home. To identify a Workers Center near you, please visit Interfaith Worker Justice for a list of affiliates.


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