The AFL-CIO, the RWDSU, the union of Southern Service Workers, and civic and civil rights organizations, as well as 10 present or formerly incarcerated people, are suing to stop the horrific exploitation of prison inmates in Alabama. The federal class action lawsuit was filed on Dec. 12. Essentially, prisoners are made to work without renumeration, or, if there is any, it is an insulting wage such as .86/day or $3.45. Adam Obernauer, who is the organizing director for the RWDSU, says that this forced labor, which falls to an overwhelming percentage of black inmates, is “modern-day slavery”. Alabama’s profit from this labor? $450 million each year from private firms who use the prisoners’ labor, without fear of strikes, union organizing, health benefits, unemployment insurance, or workers’ compensation.

Read the full story by Mark Gruenberg for People’s World, published December 20, 2023, here:


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