The role labor unions and worker centers play in restaurant industry equality Public Deposited

This thesis focuses on both union and worker center labor organizing strategies in the restaurant industry in order to better understand how restaurant workers can seek justice. The restaurant industry has a reputation for being difficult to organize; therefore, the purpose of this research is to uncover the role unions and worker centers play in addressing gender, race, class inequality in the restaurant industry. Restaurant workers are plagued by low wages, low job mobility, lack of job security, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and gender and racial segregation. Business practices that encourage inequality is a social problem relevant to social justice and social change in the food system because they exploit workers. This thesis asks what role do unions and worker centers play in addressing inequality in the restaurant industry? This research is guided by frameworks of inequality and uses critical inquiry, content analysis, and labor organizing strategies as methodologies. The findings of this research show that unions and worker centers have the potential to enhance the labor movement in the restaurant industry due to their different strengths at addressing inequality. This research contributes to social justice in the food system by focusing on the ways unions and worker centers are addressing inequality as labor organizing strategies and by addressing how their efforts complement one another. Future research should look closer at the challenges unions and worker centers face in collaborating.

  • shervey.whitney.2019.pdf
Publication Date
  • 2019
Document type