The Labor Question Today

"Occasional Musings on Work, the Politics of Work, and the Work of Social Justice," By Dan Graff, Director of the Higgins Labor Program.

TOM KELLENBERG (ND ‘80)

June 22, 2020 -- Guest blogger Tom Kellenberg, director of Notre Dame's Washington Program and a labor and human rights attorney, applauds the US Supreme Court's surprising recent decision affirming that the Civil Rights Act does protect LGBTQ workers from discrimination on the basis of sex. Next up, he argues, is for Congress to expand non-discrimination to include housing, credit, education, jury service, public accommodations, and federal programs.

ANASTASIA REISINGER (ND ‘21)

June 8, 2020 -- Guest blogger Anastasia Resinger argues that the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the unjust conditions under which farmworkers toil in the US agricultural economy. The time is thus urgent, she concludes, for all Americans -- from producers to purchasers to policymakers -- to rectify this situation and promote dignity for those who perform such essential labor.

 

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

May 12, 2020 -- In the midst of this awful global pandemic, we're also witnessing and experiencing a rebirth of Solidarity Politics -- where more consumers, news reporters, elected officials, and workers themselves are recognizing the value, indispensability, and interconnectedness of everyone's labor. Whether this new Solidarity Politics can gain traction in a country and culture so suspicious of the common good is an open question -- one this blog will be documenting, analyzing, and promoting over the next several months.

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Jan. 20, 2019 -- Alejandro Escovedo is a criminally underappreciated American rocker who’s been toiling in relative obscurity for over thirty years. His latest album, The Crossing, teems with stunning stompers and beautiful ballads mostly penned by him (and his bandmates). But his cover of Joe Ely's "Silver City" is the perfect musical accompaniment for President's Trump's federal government shutdown. So beautiful, so haunting, and so perfectly-timed, "Silver City" is a bittersweet riposte to the fusillade of family separations, tear-gassing, and racism-by-tweet unleashed upon migrants and asylum seekers at the US-Mexican border by our current commander-in-chief.

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Nov. 5, 2018 -- "Envisioning a Just Wage Economy" is the third of my three columns on the topic of "just wages" published in fall 2018 by The Observer, the student-run daily newspaper of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College.

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Oct. 1, 2018 -- "How to Wage War on Low Pay" is the second of my three columns on the topic of "just wages" published in fall 2018 by The Observer, the student-run daily newspaper of the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary's College.

 

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Sep. 17, 2018 -- "What's Up with Wages?" is the first of my three columns on the topic of "just wages" published in fall 2018 by The Observer, the student-run daily newspaper of the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary's College.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM
Mar. 16, 2018 -- Dollar General is everywhere, opening new stores and attracting lots of attention from investors, but a union drive from a handful of its employees threatens to upend the corporation’s business model, built as much on low wages as low prices. The resolution of this labor dispute -- Dollar General's executives are resisting the union -- will be a sign of where our growing, but uncertain economy, is headed.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Oct. 2, 2017 -- "Crossover appeal" was a term the music industry coined a generation ago to refer to black artists who broke through to white audiences. It's now time for white Americans to cross over to black churches, neighborhoods, and schools in order to appreciate the persistence of structural racism -- and better understand black protest in the 21st century.

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Sep. 1, 2017 -- This Labor Day weekend, let's finally agree to retire the term "union boss" from public discourse. A worker has only one boss -- her/his employer. Let's quit stigmatizing labor leaders and start calling them what they really are -- brave women and men fighting for workers' rights, protections, and opportunities.

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