Modern Work and Workers' Voices

Modern Work & Workers' Voices Virtual Conference May 7 - 8, 2024, 9 AM - 3 PM Pacific

May 7 - 8, 2024 | 9 AM - 3:00 PM | Online

In 1972, Studs Terkel published Working. The book was about good and bad jobs, written in a time when it was possible to extract meaning, economic sustenance, and even satisfaction with many, if not all jobs.  Now, as current economic and political forces drive down wages and erode worker protections, we find sustenance is often impossible and meaning has been stripped from modern work. 

The Third Annual Conference of the California Labor Lab focuses on the state of working today and the recovery of workers’ voice. With continued low unemployment, worker expectations and an increased sense of empowerment may again produce some leverage in the labor market. Some signposts of that leverage include increases in local minimum wages, successful efforts by labor unions to increase wages and improve working conditions in previously unorganized industries, and white collar workers’ resistance to demands to forgo remote work.

This conference is organized around thematic modules that explore the experience of working in the contemporary economy, with a focus on California, the nation’s largest state and, if it were a nation, said to have the fifth largest economy in the world.


This conference is intended for labor market analysts, labor activists, and the public concerned with the impacts of changes in the nature of employment on the economic well-being of the working age population; for health professionals spanning the fields of occupational and environmental health and safety, clinical care, and other health professionals who want to understand how employment changes translate into health outcomes; and for policymakers wishing to construct a firewall of laws and regulation to mitigate the effects of the 21st century labor market to protect the health of the working age population.

Registration Fees:

General Registration: Free

Registration for Continuing Education CEUs: $49.00


If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) to fully participate in this course, please contact Will Bellamy at (510) 642-8365 or