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May Day Spring Forum: Democracy and An Economy for All
May 1, 2012 @ 2:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The Forum will connect worker rights advocates from around the world and across the U.S. to share their stories of struggle and innovative strategies for helping marginalized workers claim their rights. Trade unions are critical partners in the fight to end child labor, forced labor and discrimination at work. Their space is increasingly limited, and yet hope lies in collaboration on innovative organizing models and strategies.
This Forum is an opportunity to meet directly with international and local labor rights activists. It’s the space where we build the face-to-face connections necessary to our work. Participants will come away energized and ready for strategic action in the fight for jobs with justice and an economy that works for all.
Hear from and meet with worker advocates who are fighting hard for workers abroad and in the U.S. Advocates present come from the Philippines, Honduras, Bangladesh, Liberia, Tunisia, Ohio, Louisiana, and Washington State.
1:30 pm: Registration
2:00 pm: Opening Plenary
How trade unions and social movements help democracy work for the 99%:
- Judy Gearhart, Executive Director, International Labor Rights Forum
- Sarita Gupta, Executive Director, Jobs with Justice
- Bill Fletcher, Jr., Director of Field Services, American Federation of Government Employees
- Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America
2:30 pm: Broken Democracy: the Global Attack on Collective Bargaining Rights:
An examination of workers’ struggles; collective bargaining rights and extreme employer tactics.
- Tunisian Spring: How Labor Translated Protest into Change: Lisa McGowan, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program, Solidarity Center
- US Public Sector and Collective Bargaining Rights: American Federation of Teachers
- Illegal Bargaining: Gerry Rivera, President, Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA)
Moderator: Ken Grossinger, Principal, Democracy Partners
4:00 pm: Just Jobs: Innovative Strategies for Protecting Vulnerable Workers:
Innovative initiatives to empower and support workers in precarious work situations.
- Women Farm Workers in the Honduran Melons Industry: Iris Munguia, Secretary General, Coordinating Body of Latin-American Banana and Agro-Industrial Workers (COLSIBA)
- Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports: Independent Contractors Strike for Power in Seattle: Nick Weiner, National Coordinator of the Ports Campaign, Change to Win & Teamsters
- Chinese Migrant Workers: How Labor Law Clinics Are Helping Workers: Jeff Becker, China Program Director, International Labor Rights Forum
- The Guest Workers Alliance and New Strategies for Supporting Mobile Workers: Saket Soni, Executive Director, National Guest Workers Alliance
- Moderator and Conclusion, John Cavanagh, Executive Director, Institute for Policy Studies
5:30 – 7:30: Cocktail and Reception
With all the panelists and also with two longtime ILRF allies: Kalpona Akter, Executive Director, BCWS, Bangladesh; and Edwin B. Cisco, Secretary General, Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL), Liberia
The forum is supported by AFSCME, Allied Pilots Association, Amalgamated Transit Union, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Teachers, American Rights at Work, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Communications Workers of America, Divine Chocolate, Equal Exchange, Food Chain Workers Alliance, Institute for Policy Studies, International Association of Machinists, James & Hoffman, Jobs with Justice, National Consumers League, Oxfam, Solidarity Center (AFL-CIO), UNITE HERE, United Auto Workers, and United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society.
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