Next week, the 10th annual Labor Research Action Network's virtual conference will be held, June 16th & 17th. The theme is "What did Workers Teach Us in 2020." Every spring, LRAN convenes a national conference open to all scholars and campaigners involved in promoting workers' collective power.
ROC's workshop will explore three Nashville restaurants where workers organized in 2020. Two currently have pending wage theft lawsuits and the third now has recurring meetings between the employees and the executive management. These examples illustrate the power workers wield even in unconventional circumstances and the support the community has for them. Speakers will include ROC leaders Paige McCay, Cameron Walls, Nora Cooper, and Hayden Smith.
If 2020 has shown us anything, it is that workers’ fight for dignity and respect on and off the job is as important, and resilient, as ever. In so many ways, the last year brought to the fore the widespread and deep inequality, systemic racism, and anti-worker policies that have plagued the U.S. for decades. Meanwhile, the movement has long been preparing for this moment of opportunity for meaningful change in the wake of 2020’s upheaval. There will be no going “back to normal” in 2021 and this year’s LRAN conference will encourage discussion, sharing, and strategizing that embraces a more just future by honoring what workers have taught us in this past tumultuous and often tragic year.