The California Future of Workers Summit brings together workers, organizers, policymakers, labor leaders, scholars and advocates to discuss worker-centered strategies and solutions in the statewide future of work debate.
Together, participants will explore and envision new ways to respond to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The Summit will feature:
February 11, 2020
Holiday Inn Downtown - Arena
300 J St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Registration closed Feb 4. To inquire about available space, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
California Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development
Julie A. Su is the Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Su in January of 2019 to serve as his cabinet advisor on labor issues and employment programs for workers and businesses throughout California.
Su is a nationally recognized expert on workers’ rights and civil rights who has dedicated her distinguished legal career to advancing justice on behalf of poor and disenfranchised communities, and is a past recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant.
She served as California Labor Commissioner from 2011 through 2018, and previously was the Litigation Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, the nation’s largest non-profit civil rights organization devoted to issues affecting the Asian American community.
Director, Ford Foundation Future of Work(ers) team and former Executive Director, Jobs with Justice
Sarita Gupta is the Director of the Future of Work(ers) Program at the Ford Foundation. She leads the team that oversees Ford’s efforts to actively shape a future of work that puts workers and their well-being at the center.
She has deep expertise in policy advocacy, organizing, and building partnerships across the workers’ rights and care movements, having served as the Executive Director of Jobs With Justice and Co-Director of Caring Across Generations.
She is widely acknowledged as a key leader and strategist in the progressive movement, and is known as a national expert on the economic, labor, and political issues affecting working people.
Opening Remarks by Kathryn Lybarger — President, California Labor Federation and President, AFSCME Local 3299 & Alma Hernandez — Executive Director, SEIU California
Morning Keynote by Sarita Gupta — Director, Future of Work(ers) program, Ford Foundation
Moderated by Assemblymember Ash Kalra — 27th California Assembly District
Worker leaders will share their experiences in the context of low wage work and eroding job quality, responses to the introduction of new technologies, and innovative approaches to organizing in campaigns that advance a worker-centered vision for the future of work.
Click the session title for more info:
Moderator: Annette Bernhardt, Director, Low-Wage Work Program, UC Berkeley Labor Center
This session will feature new research on employers’ use of workers’ data, algorithms, and surveillance in the workplace. Join panelists to gain a better understanding of data collection strategies and key technologies.
In addition to providing concrete examples of technologies and their implications for workers in low-wage industries, this panel will highlight emerging organizing, collective bargaining, and policy responses to data-driven systems in the workplace.
Moderator: Nayantara Mehta, Strategic Partnerships Director, National Employment Law Project
California is a leader in developing community partnerships between public agencies and worker organizations to address wage theft and other labor violations. AB5 offers new opportunities to tackle misclassification of employees as independent contractors, but will require robust enforcement efforts.
This session will highlight how worker centers and unions are using enforcement of minimum wage and other labor laws to organize and build worker power and strategies to enforce AB5.
Moderator: Saru Jayaraman, President, One Fair Wage; Co-Founder, Restaurant Opportunities United; Director, Food Labor Research Center of UCB
In this workshop we will discuss how technology is changing jobs in the retail and food sectors, and how workers are confronting these changes and preparing for the future. We will share findings from a new study of technological change in the retail sector and its potential consequences for workers.
We will also hear from worker organizations about challenges they are facing, and opportunities for organizing and policy change to help retail and food workers build power.
Moderator: Nari Rhee, Director, Retirement Security Program, UC Berkeley Labor Center
California faces growing demand for care work — including child care, home care, and nursing homes. Despite the proven link between job quality and the quality of care, workers in this sector struggle to survive on low wages, while working families struggle to find and afford quality care.
In this session, we will discuss future challenges in caregiving work and identify public policy responses that are needed to improve job quality.
Moderator: Danielle Mahones, Director, Leadership Development Program, UC Berkeley Labor Center
In this panel, we will discuss different ways that unions have bargained over workplace issues related to technology. We will highlight important models for asserting workers’ rights in relation to technological change, and discuss challenges and limitations that unions have faced.
Lunch Keynote by Julie Su — Secretary, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency
Moderated by Jennifer Ito — Research Director, USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity
An intersectional lens on the Future of Workers, examining the particular challenges to workers due to gender, race and immigration status. Panelists will discuss the specific ways that workers are fighting back against multiple types of discrimination, and investigate roles that the state can play in helping build worker power for all.
Click the session title for more info:
Moderator: Sheheryar Kaoosji, Executive Director, Warehouse Worker Resource Center
This panel will examine current and predicted trends in warehouse workers' lives. It will include perspectives from people working in a California warehouse, as well as presenting new research by Dr. Beth Gutelius of University of Illinois, Chicago about automation in the warehouse and logistics sector.
Moderator: Andrea Dehlendorf, Co-Executive Director, United for Respect and United for Respect Education Fund
Corporate concentration of both economic and political power is a reality — and the major obstacle to our ability to win conditions that benefit us as neighbors, workers, and communities. Antimonopoly is one way advocates and activists are tackling corporate concentration head-on.
Panelists will reflect on what life governed by corporations is like now, how it might worsen, and how we can work together on defeating the dangers big business poses to our democracy and economy.
Moderator: Elly Matsumura, California Director, Partnership for Working Families
New technologies, public investments and mobility strategies are reshaping our daily lives and the lives of millions of workers in sectors related to transportation, manufacturing and goods movement. A panel of leading experts, labor leaders and workers will explore what these trends mean for working conditions and potential solutions in public policy and worker organizing.
Moderator: Carol Zabin, Director, High-Road Training Partnerships Institute, UC Berkeley Labor Center
This panel discusses Labor-Management Partnerships and how they have strengthened the voice of workers in industries such as health care, transit, construction and energy, among others and how the state of California is supporting these efforts as models for the workforce development system.
The panelists highlight how these partnerships have provided a venue alongside collective bargaining agreements to get ahead of changes in their industries, including changes from technological innovations and climate policy; and to foster inclusion of a more diverse workforce.
Moderator: Alexandra Suh, Executive Director, KIWA
This panel will introduce "Future of Workers and Work," a statewide coalition launched in January 2019 to expand and strengthen the labor movement, protect workers who organize, and raise standards at scale.
We will discuss initiatives such as crafting municipal standards boards for domestic workers; portable benefits programs as an infrastructure for organizing rideshare drivers; and bringing more workers into our movement through state-mandated outreach programs against sexual harassment in the janitorial industry.
Moderated by Ken Jacobs — Chair, UC Berkeley Labor Center
A central principle of this summit is that the future of work and workers is not predetermined but will depend on what we do as a state. In this panel we will hear from policymakers and thought leaders about what they see as the next steps for our public institutions in increasing workers' voice and bargaining power and shaping the future for workers in California.