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Symposium For Low-Wage Worker Organizing

Hundreds of policy makers, community and labor groups, elected officials, clergy and low-wage workers joined United NY at the Murphy Institute on February 13th for our Symposium For Low-Wage Worker Organizing. In conjunction with the Center of Popular Democracy, United NY released a report on improving conditions in low-wage industries and touching on the city’s increased unemployment rate since the recession. Along with allies New York Communities For Change, Make the Road NY, 32BJ, RWDSU, The Retail Action Project, ALIGN-NY, The Strong Economy for All Coalition, 1199 SEIU UHWE, the Fiscal Policy Institute, the Working Families Party, La Fuente, the National Employment Law Project (NELP), and The Black Institute, the message of the forum was working towards raising the minimum wage and standard of living for working families, and establishing methods of regulation to cease labor violations.

Read Part 1 of Workers Rising: Organizing Service Jobs for Shared Prosperity

Read Part 2 of Workers Rising: Organizing Service Jobs for Shared Prosperity

The day included sessions on various topics including improving life for immigrants in low-wage industries, and the role of clergy and community groups in the fight for social justice. Later, the plenary panel, moderated by Steven Greenhouse of the New York Times, touched on changing policies on a national level. A press conference followed, joined by mayoral candidates including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “The Great Recession may have ended by conventional standards, but for millions of low-wage, underemployed, and unemployed New Yorkers, the struggle seems never-ending,” stated former Comptroller Bill Thompson. With the upcoming mayoral election, community groups are putting pressure on elected officials to prioritize working families to lessen the massive economic gaps and exact real change.

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