To Unite the Working Class – Decriminalize the Underclass

Presentations by: Michael Yates and Josephine Lee
Thursday, January 12, 2023
6 – 7:30pm EST

This is an online event open to all. Register in advance:

The Peter Kwong Immigrant Workers Learning Center invites you to join us for a discussion featuring presenters Michael Yates, author of the recently published Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle and Josephine Lee, a member of El Pueblo Primero workers center in Houston, TX., and the Break the Chains Alliance.

Michael Yates and Josephine Lee will give brief presentations outlining their work and perspectives to begin the conversation. Both speakers will expand upon worsening workplace conditions across trades, such as those facing restaurant workers, cruise ship employees, farm laborers, poultry packers, hotel desk clerks, adjunct professors, etc, and the criminalization of a subordinate group of workers. Additionally, Lee will focus on the role the government plays in creating and maintaining this under-class as a tactic used to divide and control workers.

The goal of this event is to emphasize the importance of uniting the working class to fight for equal rights for all in order to raise working and living conditions beyond mere survival. Participants are encouraged to join the discussion and contribute their own experiences in how the declining conditions for workers of all trades have impacted their lives, what they see as the limits of reformism, and how the underclass and super-exploited can play an important role in leading the fight to end exploitation. The discussion will be moderated by Scott Carter, Professor of Economics, University of Tulsa.

Michael Yates is Editorial Director of Monthly Review Press. He was a labor educator for 35 years and a college teacher for many years. During a sabbatical, he served as Research Director for the United Farm Workers. He is the author of several books, including Why Unions Matter, Can the Working Class Change the World?, and Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle.

Josephine Lee is one of the founders of El Pueblo Primero, a Houston, TX-based workers center and member organization of the Break the Chains Alliance, a national effort to realize equal rights for all workers, with the repeal of the employer sanctions provision to end the criminalization of immigrants.

Author: peterkwonglc

The Peter Kwong Immigrant Worker Learning Center strives to advance justice and meaningful change to immigrant workers, youth and veterans of justice struggles.

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