Welcome to the Youth Labor Committee’s home page!

The Youth Labor Committee was founded in August of 2010 at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville, IL.  For most kids, this would mark a normal start to the school year, but for the students of the Youth Labor Committee, it was a different story. The students of this organization dedicate their time to giving a voice to the voiceless and fighting for labor rights, not only in America, but all around the world. Consisting of only 34 students, this organization has already paved the way for a workers’ rights revolution. So far, the YLC has created over 70 lesson plans that have been distributed to teachers all over the world. Within the first 6 weeks, the YLC held multiple phone conferences with Barbara Briggs and Charlie Kernaghan of the National Labor Committee, Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine, and MIT Professor Noam Chomsky. In conjunction with the above, this group of dedicated individuals organized a 90-minute presentation for their high school of nearly 2,600 students. The presentation included immigrant and labor rights activist Jorge Mujica and Charlie Kernaghan. (Pictures to the left, top: Charlie Kernaghan, bottom: Jorge Mujica)

This group has also gained recognition from some major leaders in our society. Charlie Kernaghan and Barbara Briggs, from the National Labor Committee, Jorge Mujica, axisofjustice.org, Noam Chomsky, the Steelworker’s Union, the AFL-CIO,  and many, many more.

The next big endeavor of this organization will be a press conference at Sears’ corporate headquarters on December 10th, 2010. The YLC will demand that Sears grants all of their workers the right to organize, whether they are working in Honduras or Bangladesh, and that Sears provides complete transparency on the locations of their supplying factories, and that each factory grants each and every member the freedom to determine what their working environment looks like, how it develops, how long they work and what wages they are paid.

Dickie Schaefer, a member of the YLC states, “This whole process has really opened up my eyes to how the big businesses of today operate, and how cruel people can really be”.

Alex Blyth, another YLC member adds, “I think it’s extremely important to get involved, because involvement gives you insight as to what really happens in the world and gives you a sense that anyone has the power to change the world.”

Emily Voyles quotes, “We can do something. We, just as a group of students, and an amazingly supportive teacher, can change the world. These corporations have nothing on us, we are the future and we realize that these businesses need us, we don’t need them.  Without us they cannot exist, and because of us we are shaping an environment within which they can choose to exist, but this environment is based around human compassion and support, not profit maximization.   We are aiming to inspire the world to do something, something for what you believe in. All we want to do is help those who are not as fortunate as ourselves.”

Jessica Rivera, not a member of the group states, “The Youth Labor Committee changed my line of thought about major corporations and about reasonable consumption of products and helped to open up my eyes and make me want to do something.”

The Youth Labor Committee would like to extend a big thanks to their biggest supporter, Dundee-Crown Social Studies teacher Bruce Taylor for all of his help and support.