Employment and Jobs

Job Quality in Practice Webinar: Worker Organizations Respond to the COVID-19 Crisis

April 21, 2020  • Economic Opportunities Program


The global pandemic and economic aftermath place us in a time of unprecedented uncertainty with respect to our work and well-being. Frontline workers are bearing an excessive burden. Despite the vital roles they play in keeping our economy moving, they are underpaid, overworked, and lacking essential health protections. And frontline worker roles are disproportionately filled by women and people of color, further exacerbating the divides of race, ethnicity, and gender.

A pre-crisis wave of worker activism—among tech workers, teachers, and others—was responding to already challenging working conditions for millions. As crisis conditions are now threating the livelihoods and lives of millions of workers, will this wave of activism accelerate? In earlier eras, worker organizations played critical roles in improving the quality of work—are we in a similar moment?

In this session we hear from leaders with long experience in organizing working people to tell their story, raise their voice and build the power to demand better. The panel includes:

  • Amanda Ream, Strategic Campaign Director, United Domestic Workers of America/AFSCME; Job Quality Fellow, The Aspen Institute
  • Michelle Miller, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Coworker.org
  • Tanya Wallace-Gobern, Executive Director, National Black Worker Center Project; Job Quality Fellow, The Aspen Institute
  • Maureen Conway (moderator), Vice President for Policy Programs, The Aspen Institute; Executive Director, Economic Opportunities Program

This webinar is the fifth in our Job Quality in Practice webinar series. The Job Quality in Practice series is designed to support practitioners across fields – including workforce development, economic development, capital deployment, policy, worker advocacy, and business – to address job quality in their work. Webinars share updates on current conditions and priorities as well as actionable tools and approaches. We also seek to highlight leading practitioners’ work and create connections across disciplines.

We are grateful to Prudential Financial for its support of our Job Quality in Practice webinar series and our ongoing efforts to advance a job quality field of practice.

Other Webinars in This Series


Webinar: “#JobQuality in Practice: Worker Organizations Respond to the #COVID19 Crisis.” Featuring Amanda Ream (@UDWA), @michelleimiller (@teamcoworker), and Tanya Wallace-Gobern (@NBWCP). Hosted by @AspenWorkforce. Tues, April 21, at 2 p.m. ET.

Our work and well-being face unprecedented uncertainty, and frontline workers are bearing the brunt of this crisis. How can we support #jobquality and raise workers’ voices during #COVID19 and beyond?

Many workers have been fired or furloughed, while others are overworked, underpaid, and unprotected. How can we advance #jobquality now and after #COVID19?

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The Economic Opportunities Program advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. Join our mailing list and follow us on social media to stay connected to our work, including events, publications, blog posts, and more.