The Worker Center Handbook: A Practical Guide to Starting and Building the New Labor Movement

The Worker Center Handbook: A Practical Guide to Starting and Building the New Labor Movement


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The Worker Center Handbook: A Practical Guide to Starting and Building the New Labor Movement by Kim Bobo, Marien Casillas Pabellon

Worker centers are becoming an important element in labor and community organizing and the struggle for fair pay and decent working conditions for low-wage workers, especially immigrants. There are currently more than two hundred worker centers in the country, and more start every month. Most of these centers struggle as they try to raise funds, maintain stable staff, and build a membership base. For this book, Kim Bobo and Marién Casillas Pabellón, two women with extensive experience supporting and leading worker centers, have interviewed staff at a broad range of worker centers with the goal of helping others understand how to start and build their organizations. This book is not theoretical, but rather is designed to be a practical workbook for staff, boards, and supporters of worker centers.Geared toward groups that want to build worker centers, this book discusses how to survey the community, take on an initial campaign, recruit leaders, and raise seed funds. Bobo and Casillas Pabellón also provide a wealth of advice to help existing centers become stronger and more effective. The Worker Center Handbook compiles best practices from around the country on partnering with labor, enlisting the assistance of faith communities and lawyers, raising funds, developing a serious membership program, integrating civic engagement work, and running major campaigns. The authors urge center leaders to both organize and build strong administrative systems. Full of concrete examples from worker centers around the country, the handbook is practical and honest about challenges and opportunities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501704475
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 08/03/2016
Pages: 328
Sales rank: 957,723
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Kim Bobo is Executive Director of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. She is the author of Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid and What We Can Do about It and Lives Matter: A Handbook for Christian Organizing and coauthor of Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Manual for Activists.

Marién Casillas Pabellón is theDirector of Organizingat Interfaith Worker Justice. Before joining IWJ, she was Executive Director of New Labor, a worker center in New Jersey.

Table of Contents

1 Worker Center Background and Vision
PART I Starting a Work Center
2 Surveying Your Community
3 Recruiting a Leadership Planning Team
4 Holding Initial Planning Meetings
5 Raising Start-up Funds and Donations
6 Hosting Workers' Rights Training Sessions
7 Creating Early Programs and Actions
8 Hiring Great Staff
9 Doing the Legal Stuff
PART II Building the Work
10 Reaching Workers, Building Leadership
11 Mastering Direct Action
12 Organizing a Wage Theft Campaign
13 Focusing on a Sector
14 Organizing around Health and Safety Issues
15 Working with Faith Communities
16 Partnering with Unions
17 Building Multiracial Organizations
PART III Building the Infrastructure
18 Being Mindful of Opposing Forces
19 Taking Fund-raising Seriously
20 Managing Money Well
21 Using Data for Growth
22 Nurturing an Awesome Board
23 Fostering a Strong Staff Team
24 Developing a Communications Program
25 Buying your Own Property
PART IV Taking the Work to Scale
26 Combining Services and Organizing: Functional Organizing
27 Building Membership Structures
28 Helping Workers Organize Work-site Committees or Unions
29 Partnering with Lawyers
30 Engaging and Honoring Ethical Employers
31 Integrating Civic Engagement
Appendix A Books and Articles
Appendix B Worker Center Networks
Appendix C Worker Centers
Appendix D How Worker Centers Can Keep 501c3 Tax Exempt Status,
by Brian Glick
Appendix E Popular Education Training Resources

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