A new book by Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor Fran Quigley examines the rise of service-sector workers in the U.S. labor movement. “If We Can Win Here: The New Front Lines of the Labor Movement” tells the stories of janitors, fry cooks and health care aides in Indianapolis and their struggle for better pay.
Quigley will discuss “If We Can Win Here,” published by Cornell University Press, at a book launch at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8, at Bookmamas, 9 S. Johnson Ave., Indianapolis.
“From fast-food worker ‘Fight for 15′ strikes to campaigns to increase the minimum wage to unionization of food service workers and janitors, there is a great deal of high-profile activity across the country in this area,” Quigley said. “This book is a close-up, grassroots view of those workers and those campaigns in one community — Indianapolis — where traditional union organizing has been a challenge in recent decades.”
Indianapolis service-sector workers have experienced some success, the professor said.
“Food service workers at universities across Indianapolis, as well as at the airport, have organized into unions and won better pay and more job security in their first contracts,” Quigley said. “Janitors and security guards are still fighting for better pay, but their struggles and the broader Fight for 15 efforts all contribute to an increasing awareness of the need to pay living wages, which is boosting the campaign to raise the minimum wage.”
The book launch will include a discussion of workers’ rights. Some of the workers Quigley wrote about in his book will attend the event and be available for media questions.
Quigley is a clinical professor of law and teaches in the Health and Human Rights Clinic at IU McKinney on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. Clinic students advocate for rights on behalf of the poor and have a special focus on representing low-wage workers.