The Workers Center was founded by unemployed garment workers in 1987. The Workers Center combines workers’ rights education, leadership development, and support for collective action to develop the roles of immigrant workers as leaders in their workplaces, in CPA, and in the community.
The goal of the Workers Center is to help Chinese workers learn about and organize for our rights, and to develop solidarity with workers of different communities and nationalities. The Workers Center:
- promotes awareness of workers’ rights
- provides support for collective action
- organizes the unemployed and the unorganized
- promotes fuller participation by Chinese workers in union activity to strengthen the labor movement
- develops Chinese workers’ voice in the policy arena
- builds the leadership role of Chinese workers in our community and in society.
The Workers Center holds a monthly “coffee hour” to develop workers’ solidarity and mutual support, involves immigrant workers in a Workers Center Committee for leadership development and decision-making.
We helped approximately over 100 immigrant workers with workplace rights counseling and support every year.
CPA plays a core role in developing the Immigrant Workers Center Collaborative to build organizing capacity and solidarity between the Chinese, Brazilian, and Latino communities.
We are working to demand local and minority hiring goals for local development projects that reflect the current population of the City of Boston and the local neighborhood. We are working to ensure that the jobs created in our community are jobs that provide a living wage and benefits and offer pathways to limited English speakers in both the construction and permanent jobs.
The Workers Center holds a monthly Monday Coffee Hour, with discussions and activities to promote mutual support around workplace struggles, and help immigrant workers learn about US society, labor laws, and workers’ rights. We also hold a weekly drop-in Know Your Rights Workshop every Monday morning, for workers to discuss work-related problems; topics rage from wage theft to unemployment insurance to safety and workers’ compensation.
The Workers Center Committee helps plan long-term campaigns, strategy, and Workers Center activities.