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Spring 2014

Labor Cafe

Friday, April 25
Geddes Hall B034

TOPIC: Student-Athletes as Workers
LEADER: Billy McMahon (HIST '15)
For an overview of the Northwestern decision and what it means, there's this article:

For a less formal but more explicitly pro-athlete article explaining the issues, there's the following:

Regional Workers Memorial Day Service

Monday, April 28
Howard Park, South Bend

Please join us on April 28 as the North Central Indiana AFL-CIO and United Way host the annual Workers Memorial Service to honor those who lost their lives on the job this past year as well as the heroes who continue fighting to make workplaces safe and healthy. This is a regional event with local families and public, faith and government representatives invited to share their goals to keep our communities safe at work. The service will be held at Howard Park on the river walk at the Workers Memorial site, in South Bend and will begin at 4 p.m.

May Day Film: Inequality For All

Saturday, May 3
DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, Browning Cinema
Free but ticketed (click here for more information)
Open to the Public

In January 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty.” Fifty years later, we’re seeing a war on the poor—poverty is returning to levels seen a half-century ago, with no end in sight. This 2013 documentary premiered at Sundance Film Festival, exploring issues of critical importance for Working America.

Join us for this film showing as we celebrate International Workers' Day, a global tradition inspired by the memory of Chicago's Haymarket Martyrs and carried on by workers' movements for over a hundred years.

Past Events

April 3
Labor Café

TOPIC:  Teachers’ unions and labor in education
LEADER:  Terry Fitzgibbons, Rector, Duncan Hall

READINGS:  In advance of the gathering, please read the following, written by Diane Ravitch, posted on the American Federation of Teachers’ website:

New York Times article about the recent National Labor Relations Board ruling on the Northwestern University case:

March 24
Working for Justice: Student Panel on Internships and Opportunities


    Veronica Guerrero '15, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern (2013)
    Ashley Murray '14, Interfaith Worker Justice Interns (2013)
    Billy McMahon '15, North Central Indiana AFL-CIO Intern (2013-14), USAS Conference (2014)

Hear about students' experiences with workers' rights organizations and learn more about opportunities that you can pursue.

March 24
Annual McBride Lecture
Behind the Kitchen Door:  Restaurant Workers and their Struggle for Justice
Saru Jayaraman, University of California (Berkeley) and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

Saru Jayaraman is the Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley and the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC-United in New York, which has organized restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conducted research and policy work, partnered with responsible restaurants, and launched cooperatively-owned restaurants. ROC-United now has 10,000 members in 19 cities nationwide. 

Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was profiled in the New York Times "Public Lives" section in 2005, and was named one of Crain's "40 Under 40" in 2008, 1010 WINS's "Newsmaker of the Year," and one of New York Magazine's "Influentials" of New York City. Saru co-edited The New Urban Immigrant Workforce, (ME Sharpe, 2005) and authored Behind the Kitchen Door, (Cornell University Press, 2013).

March 21
Labor Café
TOPIC: Behind the Kitchen Door: A Discussion of Saru Jayaraman’s Expose of the Low Wages and Poor Working Conditions in the Restaurant Industry
LEADER: Dan Graff (History & Higgins Labor Studies Program)
READING: Saru Jayaraman, Behind the Kitchen Door

February 28
Labor Research Workshop
Women and the Ivory Tower:  Why Family Friendly Policies Are Not Enough

Professor Jessica Collett, Notre Dame (Sociology)

February 27
Labor Café
Gender at Work: Can Women (and Men) Have It All?
Leader: Lisa Taylor (senior Political Science & Peace Studies major)
Reading: Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” The Atlantic, Jul./Aug. 2012

February 26
Making a Living Making a Difference
LIFTing People out of Poverty
Ben Reuler, Executive Director of LIFT-Chicago

An annual event exploring opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors.

Ben Reuler will discuss his career path and offer advice to students interested in working in the nonprofit sector.

LIFT’s mission is to help community members achieve economic stability and well-being.  LIFT operates resource centers in six cities across the nation where members of the community can come for assistance.  Nearly 100,000 Members in six major cities have already committed to do the hard work needed to achieve their goals in collaboration with LIFT.  LIFT is working to establish a new standard for holistic and enduring solutions in our country’s fight against poverty.

February 14
Labor Cafe
Discussion on issues of work, opportunity, and politics in Egypt today
Leader:  Abdulla Ibrahim (MA'14, Kroc Institute for Peace Studies)

Readings for discussion:

Heba F. El-Shazli, "Where Were the Egyptian Workers in the June 2013 People’s Coup Revolution?," Jadaliyya, Jul 23 2013

Dahlia Kholaif, "Egypt's new minimum wage disappoints many," Aljazeera, Sep 23, 2013 17:00

Abdallah Erfan, "Reforming Education: Between Welfare and Free-­-Market Systems" available for download here: Reforming Education: Between Welfare and Free-Market Systems

January 31
Labor Research Workshop
The Political Economy of Human Happiness

Professor Benjamin Radcliff, Notre Dame (Political Science)

Does individual labor union membership contribute to personal happiness? What are the effects of greater aggregate union membership on the well-being of a society? In Radcliff's new book, "The Political Economy of Human Happiness," he argues that the organization of workers contributes to a more beneficial economy and society at large.  

Radcliff Chapter 6 on Labor Unions and Economic Regulation.pdf
For more information on Dr. Radcliff's book, click here.

Labor Cafe
Discussion of labor issues in the news

November 20
The March on Washington and the Forgotten Civil Rights Movement
Will Jones, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin
Jones is the author of The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights (2013) and The Tribe of Black Ulysses:  African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South (2005)
Sponsored by the Department of HIstory; co-sponsored by Higgins Labor Studies Program

November 1
A Conversation about Labor, Immigration, and Radicalism in American History
James Barrett, Labor Historian, University of Illinois
Co-sponsored with the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism

October 10 and 11
Chuck Craypo Memorial Lecture and Workshops:
"Combining Research and Activism for Social Justice"

Public Lecture
Wal-Mart and Beyond: Changing Labor Markets and Innovative Labor Organizing
Nelson Lichtenstein
, Professor of History, University of California at Santa Barbara, and author of The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business
Dan Schlademan, Campaign Director of Making Change at Walmart, United Food & Commercial Workers

September 13
New Directions in Labor Organizing
Dan Graff, labor historian & associate director of Higgins
Marty Wolfson, economist & director of Higgins
Tony Flora, president of the North Central Indiana AFL-CIO