Civil Disobedience in the Struggle for Labor Rights and Social Justice
Apr 18, 2007
from 06:30 PM to 09:00 PM
|Where||Small Theater - Performing Arts|
|Contact Name||Tanagra A. Bledman (Pre-Law Club President)|
|Add event to calendar||
Roger Toussaint TWU Local 100 President will speak on: civil disobedience in the struggle for labor rights and social justice. Presented by the Pre-Law Club & Student Government, Behavioral Science Department.
About Roger: (from Wikipedia)
Toussaint emigrated to New York from Trinidad and Tobago at the age of 18 and settled in Brooklyn. He enrolled at Brooklyn College, and held a succession of blue collar jobs including working as a welder. He was hired by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a cleaner in 1984, and became a track worker in 1985.
Dissatisfied with working conditions at the Transit Authority, he and his fellow track workers started a newsletter called "On Track" which highlighted worker grievances. In 1994, he became a formal union member when he was elected leader of the 1800-member Track Division. As a TWU member, he was active in pursuing workers' grievances, much to the dislike of management.
In November 1998, he was fired by the Transit Authority for having been in an unauthorized car during working hours, although he was on official union business. Toussaint had been in an accident three months earlier (he was hit at an intersection), and had suffered neck and back injuries. Management had apparently hired private investigators to follow him. When the extensive surveillance was exposed, including trips to his son's nursery school and union meetings, his firing became rallying cry for union members who demanded his reinstatement. In the 2000 union election, he was elected president of the TWU. Upon taking office, he cut his own salary by 25%.