Bloomington’s Fairl Labor Initiative has been working to get local restaurant to agree to provide fair treatment to employees. More places continue to sign on, the initiative has an updated list on their website. A few months ago the Indiana Daily Student published an article “City launches restaurant labor initiative“. Below are images of some of the more recent additions to the Fair Labor Initiative, Buffalouie’s and Nick’s.
Also check out Bloom Magazine’s article “Ten Local Restaurants Vow to Uphold Fair Labor Practices“
Students in Dr. Stepanka Korytova’s I300 course Global Human Trafficking engage with a range of sources of trafficking prevention and advocacy. They are learning to critique the approaches taken by authors and guest speakers, asking questions such as: Are trafficked persons “victims” or “survivors”? Is sex work a legitimate profession or a form of exploitation? How can we distinguish between migration, smuggling, trafficking, and unfair labor practices?
During the Fall 2014 semester, guest lecturers have included Detective Jon Daggy, head of anti-trafficking operations with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police and Ms. Abigail Lawlis Kuzma, Chief Policy Advisor with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General. Both are leading members of IPATH, Indiana’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force. Below, students respond to these speakers and to required course reading Sex at the Margins (Zed Books, 2007) by anthropologist Dr. Laura Agustín.
Sophomore WHO says:
When thinking of issues of human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking, one certainly does not assume that the matter is happening right in their backyard of Indiana… Jon Daggy, who works as an undercover cop throughout the state of Indiana, seems to have a more personal and hands on experience with this growing problem. Stating stories of confronting and working to help young prostitutes get off the streets, he illustrates himself as a harsh yet caring character that can be comparable to Mr. T on the hit television show Law and Order: SVU. Straight forward and at times profane, Daggy shows how one solves the issue of sex trafficking in Indiana personally on the front lines rather than behind a desk.
Sophomore WHO says:
Laura Augustin’s main argument… is the fact that the word “trafficked” does not correctly define the lives of migrants and that the rescue business that is looking to save these “victims” is potentially disempowering them. This is an interesting contrast to the speakers, such as Ms. Kuzman… they have worked firsthand with victims of human trafficking, and to me it seems like they are in fact empowering the people that they help get out of the corrupt business.
And Khun Naung notes:
…Abigail Kuzma, Chief Counsel of Consumer Protection, said human smuggling and trafficking are hard to distinguish; however, victims’ labor was exploited and some became the victims of sex traffickers. Mr. Jon Daggy, an undercover detective, said economics is a key factor… school drop-outs could [also] end up in the sex industries and be exploited.
Students in the Indiana University Fall 2014 course I-300: Global Human Trafficking are raising awareness about service industry exploitation in Middle America. Behind the Kitchen Door (Cornell University Press, 2013) author Saru Jayaraman has received numerous awards for her efforts to do the same.
Jayaraman, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, has performed extensive research into the abusive labor practices and exploitative compensation policies faced by many working in the food and agriculture industries in the United States.
You can check out Behind the Kitchen Door book trailers and Jayaraman’s blog for the Berkeley Labor Center, which features commentary such as “To Tip or Not to Tip” and updates on the growing Living Wage movement led by U.S. fast food workers. Jarayaman’s Bill Maher interview is also available online.
On Wednesday, September 24th, Dr. Korytova’s Global Human Trafficking class welcomed representatives from the Bloomington Human Rights Commission. Michael Molenda, Barbara McKinney, and introduced the mission and work of the BHRC. Students and guests went on to discuss logistics for the Fair Labor Bloomington project, including design of the certification decal and the definition of workers’ rights to be promoted by the project.
The Bloomington Human Rights Commission and Indiana University Fall 2014 course I300: Global Human Trafficking led by instructor Dr. Stepanka Korytova are pursuing a Fair Labor Practices project. The goal of this semester-long service learning project is to educate the public, advocate for fair treatment, and eliminate discriminatory labor practices in Bloomington, Indiana restaurants. Restaurants that pledge to uphold fair labor practices and post information about U.S. labor laws will receive a “Fair Labor Bloomington” window decal that is being developed by the Bloomington City council artist.
Check back in the coming weeks for restaurant-related news and regular updates from I300 students on their progress!