Friday, December 11, 3:00 - 5:00PM
Taking it to the Courts: Legal Services, the United Farmworkers, and the battle for the worst jobs in the world
Cindy Hahamovitch, College of William and Mary
Commentators: Nancy MacLean, Northwestern University, and Will Jones, University of Wisconsin—Madison
In the 1970s farmworker lawyers fought to transform every aspect of farmworkers’ lives. They successfully sued to gain access to labor camps, to get workers transported in buses rather than flatbed trucks, to get farmworkers paid what they were owed. They sued to expose the conditions under which Caribbean cane cutters worked and sued to win those same miserable jobs for domestic workers. “We don’t lose,” Legal Services attorney Greg Schell said matter-of-factly. Yet farmworker lawyers didn’t exactly win either. While they battled over who would get the worst jobs in the world, the nation’s fields were filling up with Mexican men who lacked the legal right to work in the U.S. Who did one sue about that?
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Heather Radke at firstname.lastname@example.org,or call (312) 255-3524.
The Newberry Library Seminar in Labor History is co-sponsored by the History Departments of Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Labor and Working Class History Association
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