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Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement

November 15, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join us for a conversation with author Jonathan Rosenblum to discuss his book, Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement.

With captivating narrative and insightful commentary, labor organizer Jonathan Rosenblum reveals the inside story of the first successful fight for $15 that has renewed a national labor movement through bold strategy and broad inclusiveness.

“The fascinating inside story of how a few labor unions, faith leaders, immigrants and community groups united to build a grass roots citizens movement that won the nation’s first $15 minimum wage…”

—Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor; author, “Who Stole the American Dream”

In 2013, the call for a $15/hour minimum wage became a popular rally cry against growing income inequality in the US. But it seemed an impractical dream, an aspirational demand – until an unlikely coalition of faith leaders, immigrant workers, and union and community activists won $15 at Sea-Tac Airport, outside of Seattle, WA.

Immigrant airport workers from Somalia, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Mexico, the Philippines, Iran, Iraq, India, and other countries banded together with Christian and Muslim leaders in a new kind of labor movement to take on corporate and political elites and achieve a historic win.

But the fight was about more than $15. “For workers, the presence of faith leadership shifted the fight from workplace issues and demands,” writes labor organizer Jonathan Rosenblum, “to a struggle based on values: a morally based call for human dignity at the airport.”

Driven by captivating narrative and insightful analysis, “Beyond $15” reveals the inside story of SeaTac: airport workers and clergy staging face-to-face confrontations with corporate leaders; the challenges of uniting a diverse, largely immigrant workforce; and the internal tensions that nearly destroyed the coalition.

Beyond $15 is a blunt assessment of the daunting problems within today’s unions; a blueprint for a powerful, all-inclusive labor movement; and a call for workers to reclaim their power and voice in the new economy.

About the Author

Jonathan Rosenblum has been a labor, community, and faith organizer for more than thirty years, playing key roles including SeaTac Airport campaign director. His writing has been featured in TikkunIn These Times, and Yes! Magazine. He lives in Seattle, WA.


November 15, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Cornell ILR Conference Center
16 East 34th Street, 6th Floor
New York City, NY United States
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