COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY
- Flour milling, Rochester’s first industry, was followed by nursery
and seed companies and the manufacture of shoes, carriages, cigarettes and
clothing. These vanished, along with the jobs and skills they required, and
were replaced by optics, electronics and imaging technology. These, too, may
disappear. What do you think will happen to work and jobs in Rochester? What
would you like to happen? What might you and others do to make that happen?
- A worker paid the minimum wage earns $10,712 a year ($5.15 x 40 hours/week
x 52 weeks).This is below the official poverty line of $15,000 a year for a
U.S. family of four. If a “living wage” brings earnings up to the
poverty level, what would the hourly rate be? [Ans: $7.21] Should “living
wage” laws replace minimum wage laws?
- Research antiglobalization demonstrations (e.g., Seattle protest against the World Trade Organization in 2000). Write an essay summarizing the issues.
- Attend one of the following events and write about how it builds labor solidarity, class consciousness, and/or perspectives on cultural diversity. You may want to interview participants: (a) the Labor Day Parade, (b) Workers Memorial Day, (c) the Labor Film Series, (d) the Labor Lyceum program
privatization: replacement of public sector workers (on agency payrolls with union-negotiated salaries and benefits) with privately contracted workers (usually at low wages and no benefits).
Stephanie Guilloud and Dan Leahy (eds.), Voices From the WTO: An Anthology. (2000)
Alliance for Global Justice, www.afgj.org
Public Citizen, www.citizen.org