Poverty Wages, Not Lovin' It: The Rise of a New Global Labor Movement
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 4:00pm
Poverty Wages, Not Lovin' It: The Rise of a New Global Labor Movement


WED April 18th | 4pm
Smith Memorial Student Union
RM 296/8


This talk will trace a new global labor movement, an uprising against poverty wages, created and sustained by low-wage workers in the U.S. and every continent on earth: farm workers and small farmers, fast food and retail workers, garment workers, home health care aides, hotel housekeepers and adjunct professors. Theirs is largely a women’s movement, sparked by demands for wage equity, maternity leave and against sexual violence in the workplace, sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. 

It is also a young people’s movement, waged in large part by people in their 20s and 30s who are seeking not just a living wage and and an end to deadly working conditions, but dignity and respect, and a return to the public services that have disappeared in the last thirty years: subsidized energy and health care, education and drinkable water. This is a narrative of the damages wrought by neoliberalism (as seen through workers’ eyes) but also a story of resistance, rebellion and resilience.


Annelise Orleck is Professor of History, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. She is the author of five books: Common Sense and a Little Fire: Women and Working Class Politics in the U.S. (Originally published in 1995, a new edition was published in 2017); Soviet Jewish Americans (1999); Storming Caesars’ Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty (2005); and Rethinking American Women’s Activism (2014). Her most recent book is ‘We Are All Fast Food Workers Now:’ The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages (2018) She lives in Thetford Center, Vermont with her partner Alexis. She has two grown children and an ever-changing cast of cats.