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Date & Time

Wednesday, September 22, 2021
7:00 PM






Seminary Co-op Bookstore
(773) 752-4381


Join us for a conversation with Celeste Monforton and Jane M. Von Bergen on their book, "On the Job: The Untold Story of America's Work Centers and the New Fight for Wages, Dignity, and Health". They will be joined in discussion by Margarita Klein.

Presented in partnership with the The New Press and Arise Chicago

Virtual Event

About the book: For over 60 million people, work in America has been a story of declining wages, insecurity, and unsafe conditions, especially amid the coronavirus epidemic. This new and troubling reality has galvanized media and policymakers, but all the while a different and little-known story of rebirth and struggle has percolated just below the surface.

"On the Job" is the first account of a new kind of labor movement, one that is happening locally, quietly, and among our country's most vulnerable--but essential--workers. Noted public health expert Celeste Monforton and award-winning journalist Jane M. Von Bergen crisscrossed the country, speaking with workers of all backgrounds and uncovering the stories of hundreds of new, worker-led organizations (often simply called worker centers) that have successfully achieved higher wages, safer working conditions and on-the-job dignity for their members.

"On the Job" describes ordinary people finding their voice and challenging power: from housekeepers in Chicago and Houston; to poultry workers in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and Springdale, Arkansas; and construction workers across the state of Texas. An inspiring book for dark times, "On the Job" reveals that labor activism is actually alive and growing--and holds the key to a different future for all working people.

About the authors: Celeste Monforton is director of the Beyond OSHA Project and lecturer at Texas State University. A sought-after national media commentator, she is the co-author (with Jane M. Von Bergen) of On the Job (The New Press) and lives in San Marcos, Texas.

Jane M. Von Bergen is an award-winning reporter who covered labor for more than half of her thirty-five years at the Philadelphia Inquirer. The co-author (with Celeste Monforton) of On the Job (The New Press), she lives in Philadelphia.

About the interlocutor: Margarita Klein is the daughter of political refugees from Chile and has been dedicated to workers’ rights and social justice for over two decades. Margarita brings a culmination of 20 years experience in the workers rights and labor movement to Arise Chicago. She has experience training teams of workers to create workplace demands, win union representation, and make concrete workplace improvements. Having won awards for Labor Woman of the Year for the Chicago Federation of Labor, 100 of Chicago’s most influential women, as well as featured and profiled with the Chicago Tribune, Margarita brings her experience and passion for workers’ rights and organizing to Arise. Margarita is bilingual in Spanish and English.