When the grandparents of today's twenty-somethings were in their working prime half a century ago, nearly one in three Americans belonged to a union. Today, that number has dropped to one in ten. Are we witnessing the death of organized labor as we know it?
Not so fast. Movements like the Fight for $15 are sparking a national dialogue about the meaning of a fair wage—and inspiring action in places like Los Angeles. Startup companies are churning out apps targeting common problems found in the workplace. And millennials are emerging from the Great Recession with more support for organized labor than any other age group in the country.
Join us as we invite TCF's Richard Kahlenberg, Michelle Chen of The Nation, and Michelle Miller of Coworker.org to discuss the highs and lows of the modern labor movement and debate the future of unions in the years to come. Is the digital age poised to breathe new life into organized labor after all?
Michelle Chen is a contributing editor at In These Times and associate editor at CultureStrike. She is also a co-producer of "Asia Pacific Forum" on Pacifica's WBAI and Dissent Magazine's “Belabored” podcast. Her work has appeared in Alternet, The American Prospect, Colorlines.com, Dissent, Newsday, Ms. Magazine, The Nation, The Progressive and other outlets. Michelle studies history at the City University of New York Graduate Center.
Richard Kahlenberg is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation. He is the author of six books, including Why Labor Organizing Should Be a Civil Right: Rebuilding a Middle-Class Democracy by Enhancing Worker Voice (with Moshe Marvit). Rick's work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, and elsewhere. He has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, C-SPAN, MSNBC, and NPR.
Michelle Miller is the co-founder and co-director of Coworker.org, a digital platform that supports innovative, ground-up campaigns for workplace change. She is a former fellow at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. Before that she spent a decade at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) where she led the union’s member engagement programs. She is a 2014 Echoing Green Global Fellow.
A selection of wine and cheese will be served.
This is the second event in a three-part panel series aimed at bringing together millennials working in NYC to expand their networks and discuss some of the summer's most hot-button issues—all while noshing on wine and cheese. Whether you're new to the city, here for the summer, or just really enjoy meeting other incredibly smart people, you're invited to join us as we share a drink (or two) and debate issues that matter. Learn more about the program this summer, and RSVP to the next event in the series.
The Century Foundation (TCF), founded in 1919 by the progressive businessman Edward A. Filene, is a nonprofit public policy research institution committed to the belief that a mix of effective government, open democracy, and free markets is the most effective solution to the challenges facing the United States.
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