The Lewinson Center for the Study of Labor Inequality and Social Justice is pleased to welcome Annelise Orleck next Thursday, April 21 at 5 p.m. She will give a virtual talk entitled, "Revolutionary Brew: Starbucks, Amazon, McDonalds and the Rising of a 21st Century Young People's Labor Movement."
Orleck is a renowned labor historian and a Professor of History at Dartmouth University. She is the author of We Are All Fast Food Workers Now: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages. She describes her talk this way:
"Ten years ago, in 2012, workers from McDonalds in New York City and Walmart in the Los Angeles area began an uprising against poverty wages and mistreatment of workers that - over the next few years - spread to hundreds of U.S. cities, 40 countries and six continents. With remarkable precision they began to coordinate global "flash strikes" of fast food, retail and hotel workers. In just four years, these workers won themselves increases in wages that amounted to twelve times what Congress awarded workers when it last raised the minimum wage in 2007.
In 2018-19, the country saw a wave of teacher strikes involving hundreds of thousands of teachers, paraprofessionals and school support staff. The COVID pandemic intensified labor activism as essential workers-- who daily put their lives on the line in warehouses, coffee shops, grocery stores, meat packing plants and even legal cannabis labs--began to organize for better, safer conditions. In the aftermath of last year's Great Resignation, which saw millions of American workers leave their jobs in protest of low wages and dangerous conditions, a new uprising has begun - at Starbucks and Amazon, transnational corporations as powerful as the fast food and retail chains where the uprising began. This movement is made up largely of young people and it is changing the face of the labor movement.
If you hold a job, or plan to, this talk is for you!"
The talk will be virtual, and those interested can join the meeting with this link.