Perspectives: Whose Movement? Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Four Years Later

By Terri Nilliasca Terri Nilliasca is a daughter of a Filipina domestic worker and decade long volunteer and ally of Damayan. She is currently working at the United Auto Workers in the Global Organizing Institute assisting in curriculum, research, and leading popular education workshops for members and organizers. This past weekend, April 26-27, I travelled with Damayan, a Filipino migrant workers center, to Washington, DC for the 4th National Domestic Workers…

April 30, 2014

Perspectives: No Access to Justice When Employers Use Police Force to Control Farmworkers

By  Lori Johnson, an attorney with the Farmworker Unit of Legal Aid of North Carolina As a farmworker attorney in North Carolina, simply meeting with my clients poses an ongoing challenge.  This reality became clear to me several years ago while meeting with a client outside his home. A squad car pulled into the yard, and fear washed over my client’s face. My client’s employer sought trespass charges against me,…

January 29, 2014

Perspectives: Mobilizing for Justice in the Tea Gardens in Assam

By Francesca Feruglio Background on Assam’s Tea Gardens and Nazdeek The State of Assam, in North-East India, is home to more than half of India’s tea production and one sixth of the world’s production. However, thousands of tea garden workers living and working on the gardens have yet to benefit from such large-scale profit. Over 150 years ago Adivasi (indigenous) communities, were forcibly brought to Assam from India’s Central States…

November 6, 2013

Perspectives: “Children’s Place” as Orphans in Rana Plaza Tragedy

By Shahinur Begum, Researcher, Sramabikesh Kendra of UBINIG (Center for Labor Education)  Introduction Women wage earners are the cheapest in Bangladesh due to the socio-economic condition of the country, which is why so many girls are employed in the garment industry.  About 3.2 million workers are engaged in these factories and 95% of them are women.  Now there are about 5,000 garment factories since its inception in late 1970s.  Women…

October 20, 2013

Perspectives: What’s There to Celebrate on Labor Day

Jonathan Harris is a Brooklyn based labor lawyer and former organizer “Most holidays we celebrate ain’t nothing but scams and lies and tricks and all the real meaning be lost/For me it’s time-and-a-half or just another day off ”  from “Holiday Pay” by rapper Tahir, 2001 (Raptivism) Many workers today think that unions are not for them.  They may tell you that an older relative was in a union at…

September 1, 2013

Labor’s Renaissance: Bold Organizing and Partnerships Needed in the New Economy

From Dissent Magazine In 2011, Wisconsin public sector workers demonstrated to fight changes to their state collective bargaining laws, and upwards of 100,000 workers assembled on the state capitol.  Rightly, the workers saw this change by Governor Walker as an effort to bust unions, given that union density in the private sector had decreased to 7%, but in the public sector it is at 35%.  Pitting public sector unions against the…

August 28, 2013

Perspectives: Worker Centers and the AFL-CIO National Convention

Victor Narro is the Project Director for the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, and a lecturer at UCLA Law School and UCLA School of Urban Planning. On September 8, the AFL-CIO will kick off its national convention in Los Angeles.  The last time it was held in L.A. was in 1999, when the AFL-CIO announced its historic declaration for a legalization program for all undocumented immigrants, increased workplace…

August 21, 2013

Perspectives: The First Immigration Public Defender System: New York City 2013

Professor Mark Noferi teaches a Civil Rights and Immigration Seminar at Brooklyn Law School, as well as legal writing. On Friday, July 19, the New York City Council allocated $500,000 towards the “nation’s first public defender system for immigrants facing deportation,” as the New York Times described it.  $500,000 may seem small.  But New York’s pilot project shows that immigration appointed counsel is achievable, politically, financially, and logistically.  More importantly, the New…

August 1, 2013

Perspectives: Pass Immigration Reform or Forfeit the Immigrant Vote

On this Fourth of July, 11 million undocumented immigrants –Americans –wait with eagerness as the Senate bill S. 744, also known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 passed by a vote of 68-32 on June 27, 2013.  Over 300 amendments had been introduced since May 7, 2013. Fourteen Republicans voted to support immigration reform including John McCain, Mark Rubio and Lindsey Graham.  The stakes…

July 1, 2013

Aftermath of the Rana Plaza Tragedy: Social and Health Issues Emerge Amid Struggle for Workers’ Rights

Two months after the Rana Plaza building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh on April 24, where over a thousand workers died and countless others were injured, families who lost a loved one or workers who were seriously injured face obstacles in obtaining compensation for lost wages, adequate health care for issues related to their injuries, and counseling for severe post-traumatic stress from the tragedy.  It is hard to imagine the full…

June 24, 2013