UW News

April 14, 2014

When job security becomes insecurity: Inequality the topic of April 25 conference

UW News

Logo for Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies conference "Working Democracy: Labot and Politics in an era of inequality.Economic inequality will be the topic when activists, academics and policymakers meet the public at the University of Washington on April 25 for a conference presented by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies titled “Working Democracy: Labor and Politics in an Era of Inequality.”

Participants will explore the political roots and consequences of the crisis of inequality and discuss possible solutions to empower workers and make government more responsive.

The conference will feature several UW faculty: Michael Honey of history and UW Tacoma, Stephen Bezruchka of global health, Mark Smith of political science, Daniel Jacoby of UW Bothell and Carolyn Pinedo-Turnovsky of American ethnic studies. Faculty also will attend from the City University of New York, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Toronto.

Also attending will be union leaders and representatives of campaigns for fast food workers, day laborers, hotel workers, port truckers, taxi drivers, adjunct university faculty and advocates for a higher minimum wage.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and investigative journalist David Cay Johnston also will participate. Johnston’s most recent book is “The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use ‘Plain English’ to Rob You Blind” in 2013.

Harry Bridges Center organizers say the program is designed to promote discussions among experts, activists, organizers and an audience composed of students, faculty and the public.

Advance notes say the conference will “document the problems and pose the tough questions” — such as how inequality and political deadlock are connected, what happens when job security drops, and “what is being done to stem the tide.” The event, notes say, will provide “a framework for understanding the cluster of policy and economic failures that now threaten American democracy.”

The conference will be held from 1 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 25, in Room 250 of the HUB. The event is free and open to the public. Learn more at the conference website.