The AFL-CIO is the umbrella federation for U.S. unions, with 56 unions representing more than 12 million working men and women. It is dedicated to improving the lives of working families, bringing fairness and dignity to the workplace, and securing social equity.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do. We represent 1.5 million women and men in a wide range of professions, including preK-12 teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; early childhood educators; federal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM) is a transnational migrant workers’ rights organization with offices on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border. CDM supports Mexico-based migrant workers to defend and protect their rights as they move between their home communities in Mexico and their workplaces in the United States. Through its programs — Outreach, Education and Leadership Development; Intake, Evaluation and Referral; Litigation Support and Direct Representation; and Policy Advocacy– CDM addresses the geographic and legal barriers that typically prevent migrant workers from exercising their rights.
The mission of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) is to assist persons trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and slavery-like practices and to work toward ending all instances of such human rights violations. CAST’s activities are interconnected by a client-centered approach that seeks to empower trafficked persons to fully realize their individual potential while advancing the human rights of all trafficked persons. CAST’s policy advocacy stems from its on the ground activities working directly with survivors of trafficking through its comprehensive legal and social service programs.
TheDepartment for Professional Employees (DPE) is a coalition of 21 national unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO which represent over four million highly skilled professional and technical workers. DPE unions include professionals in over three hundred separate and distinct occupations in many sectors including: health care and education; science, engineering and technology; journalism, entertainment and the arts; public administration and law enforcement.
The Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) mission is to inform and empower individuals to seek solutions that ensure broadly shared prosperity and opportunity. EPI researches, analyzes, and reports on the economic condition of low- and middle-income Americans and their families. We propose policy solutions aimed at lifting the living standards of the 99%. EPI’s researchers and economists work on issues relating to federal budgets, labor law and labor standards, race and ethnicity, education, international trade, immigration, retirement security, health insurance, unemployment insurance, and industrial policy.
The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) began in the mid-1960s, when a small group of migrant farmworkers in northwest Ohio came together for their common good. It took several years for FLOC to build a base among farmworkers in the area. Since then, FLOC has built a membership of tens of thousands of migrant farmworkers by lifting farmworker voices in the decisions that affect them and bringing all parties to the table to address industry wide problems.
Farmworker Justice is a national, non-profit advocacy and education organization that works to improve working and living conditions for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families. For thirty years, Farmworker Justice has monitored the H-2A program, litigated violations of the program’s statutory requirements and engaged in policy advocacy for improvements in the H-2A program.
Justice at Work (previously Friends of Farmworkers) improves the living and working conditions of vulnerable low wage farmworkers, mushroom workers, landscaping workers, and food processing workers in Pennsylvania. They do this through the provision of Legal Services, Education, and Advocacy. Over the years, FOF has provided direct legal assistance to thousands of individuals and improved the living and working conditions of a much larger number through advocacy and impact litigation, including representation of groups of workers and class action litigation.
Justice In Motion combats worker exploitation by promoting portable justice for transnational migrants through a cross-border network of advocates and resources. Our core work is to train and support a Defender Network, comprised of human rights advocates in migrant sending countries, to educate workers on their rights before they migrate, to work in partnership with advocates in the countries of employment on specific cases of labor exploitation, and to advocate for systemic changes. We currently operate programs in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America and regularly provide advice and referral for cases around the world.
Jobs With Justice is dedicated to expanding the ability for men and women to come together to improve their workplaces, their communities and their lives. By leading strategic campaigns, changing the conversation, and mobilizing labor, community, student, and faith voices at the national and local levels with our network of coalitions, we create innovative solutions to the challenges faced by working people today. We win real change by standing up to corporations and demanding an economy that works for all of us.
Founded in 2007, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the nation’s leading voice for the millions of domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women. NDWA is powered by 39 local, membership-based affiliate organizations of over 10,000 nannies, housekeepers and caregivers for the elderly located in 14 states, plus the District of Columbia.
The National Employment Law Project (NELP) is a non-profit research and advocacy organization with over 40 years of experience advocating for the employment and labor rights of low-wage and unemployed workers, including workers in nonstandard, contingent or subcontracted jobs. NELP seeks to promote access to and retention of good jobs for workers, to ensure that labor standards are enforced, and to bolster the economic security of working families who bear more risks than ever in the current economy. We promote policies that protect U.S. workers’ access to decent jobs and that defend labor and human rights of temporary workers, with a special concern about the use of subcontractors to recruit these vulnerable immigrant workers.
The National Guestworker Alliance (NGA) is a membership organization representing thousands of workers, across sector and industry, who enter the United States through the U.S. guestworker programs. NGA is a project of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, and was formed as the Alliance of Guestworkers for Dignity in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when thousands of guestworkers were brought to the United States to work in the Gulf Coast and subjected to forced labor. Organizing in labor camps across the Gulf Coast, these guestworkers formed an organization to help expose the impact of guestworker programs on workers, their families, and the industries in which they work. Today, NGA is a rapidly expanding national organization of guestworkers across many industries including metal work, construction, landscaping, factory work, food processing, janitorial services, and hospitality. NGA members are committed to working in partnership with U.S. workers in the same sectors to transform their workplaces from exploitative to dignified, change the terms of migration, and expand the right to organize for all excluded workers—thereby reversing a long legacy of retaliation against workers who organize to win dignity and freedom.
Polaris Project is one of the leading organizations in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Named after the North Star “Polaris” that guided slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project is transforming the way that individuals and communities respond to human trafficking, in the U.S. and globally. By successfully pushing for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (1-888-373-7888), conducting trainings, and providing vital services to victims of trafficking, Polaris Project creates long-term solutions that move our society closer to a world without slavery.
Oxfam America is an organization working to end the injustice of poverty. Oxfam America helps people build better futures for themselves, hold the powerful accountable, and save lives in disasters.
For 34 years, Safe Horizon has been at the forefront of helping victims of crime and abuse in New York City (NYC). Established in 2001, Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Program (ATP) is one of the largest service providers for survivors of human trafficking in the United States. The ATP’s services are open to women and men, including transgender individuals as well as children who have been compelled to work against their will.
Seafood Workers’ Alliance/ Alianza de Trabajadorxs de Marisco y Pezcado is made up of seafood processing workers organizing to improve conditions in their industry and communities. SWA members are guestworkers, immigrant workers and local workers uniting in rural areas across the region to address forced labor, community and workplace health and safety issues, wages and more.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is the fastest-growing union in the Americas that has come to represent 2.2 million workers in Canada, the United States, and Puerto Rico, over 25 percent of whom identify as immigrants—a constant tribute to the union’s roots. From the start, SEIU has embraced its heritage as a union of immigrants and has stood on the frontline of immigrant justice and workers’ rights. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are driven by their belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide and dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.
The Solidarity Center is a non-profit organization that works with unions, NGOs and community groups worldwide to advance worker rights and achieve equitable and sustainable economic development. In nearly 60 countries, the organization supports programs that help workers build independent trade unions, exercise their rights and improve their working and living conditions. The Solidarity Center uses its expertise to combat some of the worst forms of labor exploitation, including forced labor, human trafficking, and migrant worker exploitation.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a civil rights organization promoting racial and social justice through litigation, education, and advocacy. The Immigrant Justice Project of the SPLC focuses on the employment and civil rights of migrant farmworkers and other low-wage immigrants. The project represents workers and other immigrants in high-impact cases in nine states in the South.
UNITE HERE International Union represents over 300,000 workers in the hospitality, food service, gaming and laundry industries in the United States and Canada. UNITE HERE is an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). It has been a leading agent in the advocacy for comprehensive immigration reform in the United States and for the protection of all workers.
Verité aims to ensure that globalization is made to work for poor and vulnerable people around the world. We ensure that powerful institutions, and particularly the private sector, take responsibility for solving human rights problems where goods are made and crops are grown. The impact of our work is tangible: more income for workers and harvesters; increased opportunities for women, minorities and migrants; protection for children and those in forced labor; safer working conditions in factories, farms, fisheries and mines; and empowerment for workers and harvesters.
Catherine (Cate) Bowman earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado-Boulder and a Master’s Degree in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh. As a public sociologist, Cate’s work is focused at the nexus of immigration policy and labor studies, with a specific focus on how and why U.S. immigration policy is evolving from a family reunification and humanitarian-based model to one that increasingly privileges short-term immigration for labor purposes. She is carrying out a visiting research position at the Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Global Workers’ rights (2019-2020) and will join the faculty of Austin College as an assistant professor of sociology in the fall of 2020.
Jennifer Gordon from Fordham University School of Law
Jennifer Hill from the University of Miami, School of Law
Patricia Pittman from George Washington University
Sarah Paoletti from the University of Pennsylvania Law School