Closing the Gap co-sponsored a public talk with Dr. Chris Tilly, Professor of Urban Planning and Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (ILRE), University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Tilly has conducted extensive research on labor markets, with interests in inequality, urban and regional development, public policy, and organizing strategies directed towards better jobs in US, Canada and internationally.
At the seminar, Professor Tilly presented on his cross-national comparative study looking at subcontracted textile and apparel workers. In spite of the common assumption that the growth of informal and precarious work has severely undermined workers’ collective power, workers in many countries, especially in the global South, have achieved varying degrees of success in self-organizing.
The study examines the global distribution of these movements and their varied and uneven outcomes across countries such as Brazil, China, India and South Africa. Professor Tilly explores how social and institutional contexts shape the possibilities for informal worker organizing strategies, and outcomes.
Professor Tilly concluded with a discussion of the implications of the case studies and evolving plans for a global study examining informal and precarious worker organizing in 8 countries: Canada, China, India, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, and the U.S.