Leading advocates for workers in a variety of formal and informal sectors – from care work and construction to digital platforms and the arts – compare the challenges they see to the future of work and organizing in their respective fields and global contexts.
- 0:00 Introduction
- 0:50 Panel begins
- 07:36 – 11:21 Katie Joaquin elaborates on her personal experience with Jobs to Move America. She argues that the labor movement is not dead, and that Jobs to Move America is an example of a strong effort to organize manufacturing workers. Katie sees multiracial organizing and coalition building as important strategies for inclusive worker mobilization.
- 11:31 – 16:48 Emily Timm describes her role as an organizer and advocate at the Workers Defense Project (WDP). The WDP is dedicated to building power for low-wage working immigrants, with a focus on the construction industry. She notes how the pandemic has highlighted existing deep systemic inequities and how WDP has furthered its call demands for safe working conditions, fair pay, and benefits, and the inclusion of the immigrant community in the assistance programs offered.
- 16:54 – 21:35 Lenny Sanchez shares his personal experience as a gig worker and as an organizer for gig workers. He discusses the importance of being represented by a labor organization that actually values the input of the community. Lenny also addresses the mislabeling of workers by Uber and Lyft, and recent efforts to replace workers with technology.
- 21:50 – 27:31 Lise Soskolne discusses Working Artists and the Greater Economy (WAGE), an activist organization that is working to regularize paying artists for their labor, including creating a model where artist fees would be paid by non-profit companies. She discusses the challenges of organizing artists as workers, including the absence of regulations, the lack of a clear employer in many cases, and the blanket characterization of artists as affluent.
- 27:47 – 33:32 Richard Dobson explains how Asiye eTafuleni interfaces with urban design as a way to dignify the working people who use public spaces as spaces of informal work.
- 41:53 – 47:51 Lenny Sanchez explains that the app-based gig economy is new, but that workers experience challenges similar to their counterparts in other industries, such as misclassification. He also describes how drivers differ in their desire to be classified as employees and how the nature of work itself limits the actual act of organizing.