Graduation Pledge for Worker Rights

Over 120 students in Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), many of whom are graduating this year, have signed a Graduation Pledge for Worker Rights.

Kate Bronfenbrenner, Director of Labor Education Research at ILR, contends that "the pledge serves two important purposes for students graduating from ILR. First, it challenges students faced with a variety of career paths to take the time to think through principles and values relating to worker rights and second, it gives them a chance to make a public commitment to upholding those rights regardless of the direction their career takes them."

The pledge is another indication of the rising tide of student labor activism and the reinvigorated bond between the academy and the labor movement. “We hope to send a message to the world that young people in our country are disgusted with the growing assault on worker rights and that the most promising avenue for pursuing social and economic justice is the labor movement,” said pledge co-author and signatory, Julie Hodek, an ILR Master’s Student (’03). Many students from Cornell’s ILR School go on to work in the labor movement.



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Graduation Pledge for Worker Justice:

    In signing this pledge, I recognize worker rights as human rights that include, but are not limited to: freedom of association, right to collective bargaining, freedom from discrimination, freedom from forced labor, freedom from child labor, right to occupational safety and health, and the right to an adequate standard of living. I acknowledge the utmost importance of worker rights and condemn the growing assault on these fundamental human rights by governments, corporations, and other organizations. I affirm that in my career decisions I will wholeheartedly respect and uphold these rights. Upon choosing to work with any organization, I will commit myself to reversing this trend of denying workers their basic rights by doing everything in my power to strive toward social justice. Finally, I stand in solidarity with those across the globe in the struggle for basic human rights and against oppression.

For more information contact Julie Hodek

or Ellen Stutzman (518/364-0448)