Acknowledging Incarcerated Workers As Labor Day Approaches
Date:  08-31-2018

From fighting forest fires, to cleaning toilets, advocates for people in prison say they deserve fair wages
From Popula:

In 1984, General Parker worked as a boiler room operator in Illinois. A driven worker, Parker quickly received a promotion, earning him the title of manager and doubling his pay from $20 a month to $40—which at the time was one of the highest-paying jobs in the prison where he was incarcerated. Though he spent only 10 months in prison, the felony record that followed him prevented him from putting those skills to use until he found a job as a boilermaker in 1994, after years of cobbling together other odd jobs to make ends meet.

“I’m always trying to hide from my conviction, even though it was almost 40 years ago now,” Parker said.

The felony, and the minuscule pay he earned behind bars, informs Parker’s work as a criminal justice reform activist, but it also resonates with him as a unionized worker. There’s no reason, Parker believes, that incarcerated workers shouldn’t earn the same wages as everyone else. Continue reading >>>