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.

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Jan. 20, 2018 -- 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.

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Apr. 13, 2017 -- Desperate days demand dogged determination. As Colson Whitehead’s prize-winning The Underground Railroad suggests, Americans committed to forging a just economy founded on equality, freedom, and inclusion should follow in the footsteps of our forebears and find our own North Star.

 

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Mar. 16, 2017 -- Over 150 years ago Abraham Lincoln warned northerners that southern slaveowners and their advocates hoped to do more than expand slavery westward -- they would settle for nothing less than making "the peculiar institution" no longer peculiar by legalizing it throughout the whole country. Thankfully, chattel slavery was vanquished in the Civil War, but today we find ourselves awakening again to the reality of our country being “southernized” to the detriment of the American ideals of freedom and equality.

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM
Feb. 26, 2017 -- The audience reception to the new Hollywood film Hidden Figures shows that significant numbers of us remain committed to realizing the American aspirations of equality, fairness, inclusion, and opportunity for all at the workplace. At the dawn of the Trump era, when those values are under attack, that makes this feelgood flick feel not only good but necessary.

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Postgraduate Service & Social Impact Fair
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm