Worker centers

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Kultur-Aufstand
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Joined: 6-11-17
Nov 6 2017 07:12
Worker centers

Anyone have tips for activists (from outside) coordinating with and helping worker centers?

In particular, a labor center that is attempting to organize mostly immigrant laborers. I think it might be a good idea to aim to help amplify the workers' organizing effect and range of connections by connecting them with wider community groups/organizers focused on broad struggles and social movements, as well as bringing radical theory and organizing co-ops, worker self management, and possibly resources on how to shield their communities against immigration authorities or bosses' attacks. I have only met the organizer a few times and they seem receptive to the idea of co-ops but we do not know each other well. We had a Wobbly chapter where I am locally but it seems to be inactive currently. I also would like to know the needs of the workers involved in the center themselves and let providing those needs take precedence in any effort we decide to do if there are enough people in the wider community who want to help.

Thoughts on this? Should my goals possibly be different?

blarg
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Joined: 10-03-09
Nov 6 2017 19:36

I'd suggest starting by helping with the basic task of organizing these workers and helping to fight for their most immediate grievances. In the process, you'll get to know them and get a sense of what makes sense and is feasible beyond that.

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Ed
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Joined: 1-10-03
Nov 8 2017 10:56

I think it would help posters here to know where your based (at least what country, if not city) and a bit more about the labour centre itself (who runs it? What do they do already? etc).

One thing I think ALL workers' groups can do effectively is solidarity network style organising. Even with small groups, you're still able to help working-class people take on grievances and win, which in turn can help you to grow and (hopefully) expand your scope.

Why You Should Start a Solidarity Network

Kultur-Aufstand
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Joined: 6-11-17
Nov 10 2017 23:30

Thanks Ed for the resource. FYI I'm based in the Southwest US, in a city with a large immigrant population.

The workers' center works with day laborers who do construction, landscaping, and moving, among other jobs.