In June 2010 (at the US Social Forum in Detroit, MI), against the backdrop of the global recession, nine sectors of excluded workers came together to found the Excluded Workers Congress. We converged around a common dream: to vastly expand the human right to organize in the United States, to win a new era of rights and policies for workers, and to transform the labor movement in this country. The Excluded Workers Congress was formed to bring “the human right to organize” to life.
The Excluded Worker Congress brings together nine sectors of workers who are excluded from labor rights for various reasons - domestic workers, agricultural workers, guestworkers, day laborers, restaurant workers, taxi workers, formerly incarcerated workers, welfare workers and southern workers in "right to work" states.
On Human Rights Day 2010, the congress released Unity for Dignity: Expanding the Right to Organize to Win Human Rights, its report on the sectors and their joint vision for an expanded labor movement, which delivers on the promise of the human right to organize guaranteed to all workers, everywhere and all the time. The report includes stories of workers in each of the nine sectors, an analysis of working conditions and the legal framework in each sector, and a review of their tremendous campaign successes to date - including passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in New York and leading the movement for an ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic workers, introducing the POWER Act to protect guestworkers and other immigrants from illegal retaliation, securing wage increases for farmworkers across the tomato industry in Florida, and many others.
Now the sectors are working together to share what they have learned with broader social justice and labor movements, both within and outside the United States. The report outlines the members' vision of a new framework for organizing which
* Challenges the legacy of discrimination in current labor laws;
* Builds solidarity with and support for ongoing campaigns; and
* Builds a stronger labor movement that supports the organizing models of each and works together with traditional trade unions.
The Excluded Workers Congress was launched in the summer of 2010 and is led by the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON) and Jobs with Justice (JwJ) as a part of the Inter-Alliance Dialogue (IAD). Groups contributing to the report include NDLON, JwJ, NDWA, Restaurant Opportunities Center-United, the Alliance of Guestworkers for Dignity, All of us or None, Community Voices Heard, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, CATA, the Los Angeles Taxi Workers Alliance, the Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights, and United Campus Workers - CWA.