[URPE] [NYC] URPE at Brecht, May 2: ORGANIZING POTENTIAL OF THE RETAIL SECTOR
soapbox at comcast.net
Sun Apr 30 15:11:24 MDT 2006
NYC Union for Radical Political Economics and the Brecht Forum present:
ORGANIZING POTENTIAL OF THE RETAIL SECTOR
Tuesday, May 2, 7:30pm
Brecht Forum, 451 West St., 212-242-4201
(West Side Highway between Bank and Bethune)
See website for directions: www.brechtforum.org
$6/$10/$15 suggested donation
Please choose a flyer to download and post:
http://urpe.org/RetailBW.pdf (print with black ink) or
http://urpe.org/RetailColor.pdf (full color)
Speakers: DAVID BENSMAN, MATHIAS BOLTON, JEFFREY EICHLER, LIZA FEATHERSTONE
Moderator: EDAN DHANRAJ
U.S. manufacturing employment is declining, and jobs in many other
sectors are being outsourced to countries with cheaper labor costs and
eliminated through "lean and mean" technological change. In this
climate, union organizers are asking themselves where to organize next.
Our panelists feel there is great potential for organizing workers in
the retail sector, which includes massive distribution centers as well
as stores. Edan Dhanraj, our panel's organizer and chair, and RWDSU
research director Mathias Bolton have both worked in these distribution
centers, and Mathias has been involved in organizing drives in both
distribution centers and retail stores. RWDSU organizer Jeffrey Eichler
led a recently-successful drive to unionize immigrant workers in a chain
of Brooklyn sneaker stores. David Bensman has done extensive research on
the retail sector and will describe how it functions and how it has
changed over the years. Where Wal-Mart goes, others will follow -- it is
the largest employer (and retail employer) in the U.S. Liza Featherstone
will talk about the experiences of people who have been organizing
workers at Wal-Mart.
About the Speakers:
David Bensman is a professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations
at Rutgers University, and author of several books about labor,
education, and social policy.
Mathias Bolton is the Director of Research for the RWDSU (Retail,
Wholesale and Department Store Union). For 10 years he worked at a
unionized retail distribution center where he was a rank and file
activist and elected union representative.
Jeffrey Eichler is the coordinator of Retail Organizing in NY for the RWDSU.
Liza Featherstone is a journalist who writes frequently on labor and
student activism for The Nation, as well as many other publications. She
is the co-author of Students Against Sweatshops: The Making of a
Movement (2002). In 2004, she published Selling Women Short: The
Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights at Wal-Mart, a history of Dukes vs.
Wal-Mart, the largest civil rights class-action suit in history.
More information about the URPE-Announcements