I love this cartoon- for me, it calls to mind how deeply interwoven the rights of migrant workers are with the rights of all US workers. There can be no imporvement in US workers rights as long as immigrant workers remain vulnerable to exploitation, unsafe work conditions and abuses. What would Steinbeck’s voice have to say on the current condition of working class folks in America today?
At the Center for Community Change (of which FIRM is a project), we have an outstanding team working on low-wage worker rights across the country. As I’ve watched their work progress they have taught me that you can’t win better jobs for low-wage workers without an emphasis on immigrant worker protections as well. The Anti-Displacement Project has been doing amazing work on building a coalition of local carpenters and immgirant workers to push for worker rights for all in Western Massachusetts. The project has been successful in imporving the lives of thousands of low-wage workers and their model continues to be a leading example of multi-ethnic coalition building for effective worker rights campaigns.
With news of masses of car industry workers opting out of GM and Ford being down-sized out of their jobs, the continuing closures of family farms, an exodus of youth from our rural areas, and THE highest poverty rate during a non-recession era in decades-we must all stand up and face the changes of the working class. Rather than divide our workers, we must unite for the protections and job standards that bring strength and opportunity to working class families
The work of the Anti-Displacement Project along with countless other low-wage worker efforts are showing us all that our fates are deeply tied and when we work for the rights of others, we fight for the well-being of ourselves and our families. If you’re working on worker’s rights in your area, we’d love to hear about it- share your campaigns here!