Janice Fine

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Janice Fine

Template:TOCnestleft Janice Fine holds a Phd from MIT in Political Science and is Assistant Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University where she teaches and writes about low wage immigrant labor in the U.S., historical and contemporary debates regarding federal immigration policy, dilemmas of labor standards enforcement and innovative union and community organizing strategies.

Prior to coming to Rutgers in 2005, Fine worked as a community, labor and electoral organizer for more than twenty-five years.[1]

Immigration work

Fine is faculty coordinator of the Program on Immigration and Democracy at the Eagleton Institute of Politics as well as a member of the graduate faculty in Political Science and the Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers.

In 2008, Fine was appointed by Governor Jon Corzine to the Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy, where she helped formulate recommendations on a range of issues including strategies to strengthen labor standards enforcement as well as establishing a Commission on New Americans in the state of New Jersey.[2]


Fine's book, Worker Centers: Organizing Communities at the Edge of the Dream was released in January of 2006 by Cornell University Press and the Economic Policy Institute.

Her most recent articles include “A Movement Wrestling: American Labor’s Enduring Struggle with Immigration 1866-2007” in Studies in American Political Development April 2009 (with Daniel Tichenor), “Why Labor Needs a Plan B” in New Labor Forum May 2007 and “A Marriage Made in Heaven? Mismatches and Misunderstandings Between Worker Centers and Unions” in the March 2007 issue of the British Journal of Industrial Relations. In addition to her scholarly writings, Fine has written for the Boston Globe, The Nation, and the Boston Review, been a guest commentator on All Things Considered and appeared on the Lou Dobbs show.[3]

Editorial Advisory Board

The Forge Editorial Advisory Board comprises leading organizers and strategists who offer key leadership and guidance to the endeavor.


In 1982 Joel Weissman, from Radical Student Union, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Janice Fine, from United States Student Association addressed the annual Progressive Student Network conference at Wayne State University, Michigan, on "Budget cuts in Education". .[5]

New Party builder

New Party News Fall 1994 listed over 100 New Party activists-"some of the community leaders, organizers, retirees,, scholars, artists, parents, students, doctors, writers and other activists who are building the NP" the list included Janice Fine, MIT

Democratic Socialists of America member

Former Boston Democratic Socialists of America board member Janis (spelling inc.) Fine has been active for many years with Northeast Action and was a leader in the 1998 Clean Elections campaign.[6]

New England activism

In the early 2000s, Fine was an organizing director of Northeast Action and the Northeast Citizen Action Resource Center and founder of the New England Money and Politics Project.[7]

Left Forum 2010

Union Strategies, Poor People's Movements and Crisis:

Social Policy

The Editorial Advisory Group of the magazine Social Policy includes[8];

Noam Chomsky, Janice Fine, S. M. Miller, Peter Olney, Frances Fox Piven, Heather Booth, Peter Dreier, Maya Wiley, Robert Fisher, Ashutosh Saxena, Ken Grossinger

Cry Wolf Project

The Cry Wolf Project was established in 2010 to counter conservative attempts to stop or discredit "progressive" policy options.

Cry Wolf Project Coordinators

  • Peter Dreier, E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, Director of the Urban & Environmental Policy program, Occidental College
  • Donald Cohen, Executive Director, Center on Policy Initiatives
  • Nelson Lichtenstein, Professor of History at UC Santa Barbara and Director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy

Project Advisory Board

New Labor Forum

New Labor Forum is published by Center for Labor, Community, and Policy Studies, Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education & Labor Studies.

Editorial Board members listed, as of March 2013; were;[10] Elaine Bernard, Ron Blackwell, Barbara Bowen, Kate Bronfenbrenner, Arthur Cheliotes, Mike Davis, Amy Dean, Steve Early, Hector Figueroa, Janice Fine, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Juan Gonzalez, Marie Gottschalk, Gerald Hudson, Lisa Jordan, Tom Juravich, Robin D G Kelley, Jose LaLuz, Nelson Lichtenstein, Manning Marable, Ruth Needleman, Ai-jen Poo, Katie Quan, Adolph Reed, Daisy Rooks, Andrew Ross, Kent Wong.

Raise the Floor Alliance

From 2013 through 2016, the Chicago City Council enacted three new employment laws. In 2013, the Wage Theft Ordinance was passed. The Minimum Wage Ordinance was passed in 2015 and in 2016, the Council enacted the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.

Who is minding the store on this legislation? In Chicago, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) is supposed to protect workers’ rights. The Department’s web site states: “The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection licenses, regulates and empowers Chicago businesses to grow and succeed as well as, receives and processes consumer complaints.”

Faith – Labor – Action is the motto of ARISE Chicago. The group’s mission is to end workplace abuse. ARISE Chicago announced their campaign to have the City of Chicago create a Chicago Office of Labor Standards (COoLS) at a press conference at Roosevelt University on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017. It appears that ARISE is calling for the COoLS to be under the Dept. of BACP and take responsibility for enforcing Chicago’s employment laws.

In her opening remarks, Reverend C.J. Hawking (Executive Director of ARISE Chicago) welcomed us as a “congregation of believers.”

Janice Fine, PhD, Professor of Labor Studies at Rutgers University took to the podium and said that municipalities, large and small, have established Offices of Labor Standards with enforcement capabilities.

Four members of the Chicago City Council took part in the press conference. Council member Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) said he is in fear of the current federal administration.

Council member George Cardenas (12th Ward) was introduced as Chair of the Latino caucus. He said he is product of his

Council member Carlos Rosa (35th Ward) was introduced as a member of the Latino and the Progressive caucuses. He added “and a proud member of the Gay and Lesbian caucus.” He spoke of being approached by ARISE Chicago to help a worker facing wage theft in his ward. “We need stronger citywide enforcement, connected to community groups on the ground . . . Chicago won’t have the first Office of Labor Standards, but working with experts, groups on the ground and workers, we can have the best Office of Labor Standards.”

The final speaker was Sophia Zaman, the Executive Director of Raise the Floor Alliance, a collaborative effort to amplify the voice of workers. Raise the Floor Alliance was launched in December, 2015. The founding members are ARISE Chicago, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Chicago Community & Worker Rights, Chicago Workers Collaborative, Latino Union of Chicago, Restaurant Opportunities Center, Warehouse Workers for Justice and Workers Center for Racial Justice. Ms. Zaman indicated Raise The Floor Alliance would be in a strong position to bridge the gap between workers and the Chicago Office of Labor Standards.[11]

2016 awards

Midwest Academy December 12, 2016.

ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT until the Midwest Academy Awards in Washington DC! Help us honor Joel Silberman, Janice Fine, Wade Henderson, and Mary Kay Henry for all the amazing progressive work they have been working to accomplish for years![12]



  1. [1] Rutgers School of Labor Studies and Employment Relations website, accessed June 13, 2010
  2. [2] Rutgers School of Labor Studies and Employment Relations website, accessed June 13, 2010
  3. [3] Rutgers School of Labor Studies and Employment Relations website, accessed June 13, 2010
  4. [4]
  5. [Progressive Student Network conference at Wayne State University, Michigan program]
  6. TYR 2004
  7. [5] Boston Review contributors list, accessed June 12, 2010
  8. http://www.socialpolicy.org/index.php?id=804
  9. [6] George Mason University History News Network, accessed June 13, 2010
  10. NLF website, accessed March 6,2013
  11. New Ground, Wage Theft Must End by Tom Broderick
  12. [7]