Living Wage Action Coalition

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What is the Living Wage Action Coalition?

What is LWAC?

The Living Wage Action Coalition is a collective of students and recent grads from campuses across the country that share experiences from their living wage and student-worker solidarity campaigns with new and existing campus campaigns.

LWAC has structured students’ experiences into a series of workshops. LWAC collective members have been doing these workshops around the country on the LWAC campus tour since August 2005.

We do not seek to form chapters on campuses -- we leave this to the amazing national networks that already exist: the Student Labor Action Project and United Students Against Sweatshops. Instead, we seek to support student-worker solidarity organizing and deepen this movement's radical analysis through our long term project.


Spring 2005 brought exciting news for the campus living wage movement. Students and workers joined forces at Georgetown, Washington University in St. Louis, and other campuses, demanding that universities pay fair wages to campus workers. Members of these campaigns and other successful campus living wage campaigns in turn wanted to use their momentum and experience to inspire and strengthen other student-worker solidarity campaigns. Thus, with the help of many allies, the Living Wage Action Coalition was created in the summer of 2005 as a special project of the Center for Community Change. LWAC is a project to strengthen the national campus living wage movement by supporting students working in solidarity with campus workers to win living wage campaigns on their campuses. LWAC works closely with existing student-labor national networks such as the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) and United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). LWAC also works with American Rights at Work and unions to ensure that the freedom to organize be recognized at colleges and universities (our schools).

LWAC has created a space for students involved in successful student-worker solidarity campaigns to share their experience with new and current campaigns on campuses across the country. This is done through workshops, developed by LWAC, which are based on the experiences, knowledge and skills gained by students in their campaigns, and as a whole primarily encourage campaigns that are led by workers and are grounded in strategy. LWAC has been touring around the country for the last six months speaking about our various campaigns, running workshops on campaign skills and engaging students in comprehensive strategy discussions.

LWAC hopes to serve as a clearinghouse of information and resources through this website to students across the country.


Collective members and allies developed a list of LWAC's goals during a retreat in December 2005. Our goals include:

• encourage a campus living wage movement that is more worker-led;
• place the movement more in the context of a race, class and gender analysis;
• place campus living wage campaigns more in the context of the larger labor and student-worker solidarity movements
• encourage strategic thinking and concrete campaign victories;
• provide resources and support for living wage campaigns and all on-campus student-worker solidarity campaigns;
• link together campaigns regionally and according to specific challenges they face (i.e. in states with "Right-to-work" laws, navigating the bureaucracy of public or private institutions);
• connect student groups with existing national student-labor solidarity networks such as USAS and SLAP; and finally,
• build leadership among student labor activists and prioritize folks who identify as people of color, women, working class, queer, or genderqueer.

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