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.

JOHN HOUK

October 15, 2020 -- For guest blogger John Houk, a retired civil engineer and active parishioner at St. Augustine's Catholic Church in South Bend, Indiana, an unexpected home repair project during the pandemic prompted a reflection on the dignity of labor -- both paid and unpaid.

EMILY MEROLA (ND ‘20)

September 20, 2020 -- Guest blogger and recent Notre Dame alum Emily Merola, a Research Associate at Notre Dame's Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), is an active member of the Higgins Labor Program's Just Wage Initiative. In the second of two posts on policymaking during the pandemic, she argues, "We have a responsibility to remain uncomfortable with the intertwined impacts of the health crisis, the related economic downturn, and the ongoing racial injustice confronting our nation moving forward." Why? Because remaining uncomfortable will forestall the typical complacency that settles in once a crisis endures over time.

EMILY MEROLA (ND '20)

September 4, 2020 -- Guest blogger and recent Notre Dame alum Emily Merola, a Research Associate at Notre Dame's Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), is an active member of the Higgins Labor Program's Just Wage Working Group. In the first of two posts on policymaking during the pandemic, she raises important questions about stakeholder participation in the important decisions that affect all of our lives.

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.

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