The New Labor Forum has a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.
On Friday, March 23rd, the Murphy Institute, publisher of New Labor Forum, will be holding two important public events. Those events provide the dual focus of today’s newsletter.
NLF Consulting Editor Joshua Freeman will be speaking on his important new book Behemoth: The Factory and the Making of the Modern World and sharing the stage with award-winning journalist Louis Uchitelle, who will discuss his book Making It: Why Manufacturing Still Matters. The decline of U.S. manufacturing jobs – to the tune of 28 percent over the past two decades—has, of course, been a primary concern of the trade union movement, which fought tooth and nail to turn that grueling work into decent jobs and a base of union strength. In his recent, ad hoc announcement of 25 and 10 percent tariffs on steel and aluminum, respectively, President Trump sought to capitalize on those concerns. As it turns out, the political history of imposing tariffs as a means to defend manufacturing goes back to the founding of the country, as discussed in an illuminating article for New Labor Forum by Joshua Freeman and Steve Fraser, included here. And what are progressive economists’ to make of the current iteration of protectionism? In their recent op-ed for the Washington Post, Jared Bernstein and Dean Baker critique Trump’s ill-considered trade tariffs, arguing for a trade policy that would support those whose jobs are lost to global trade, while reducing certain protections, namely for professionals and patents that keep the cost of our healthcare so high.
The second public event at the Murphy Institute will bring the #MeToo movement out of the Hollywood spotlight and into the realm of lower waged work in restaurants, on the factory floor, and the hotel cleaning crew, where change often depends on collective action and the coupling of feminist and class consciousness. Providing a historic context for these contemporary efforts, we offer an article by scholars Eileen Boris and Annelise Orleck, written for New Labor Forum on the hundredth anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.
Table of Contents
- Book Talk: “Behemoth: The Factory and the Making of the Modern World” & “Making It: Why Manufacturing Still Matters”/ Joshua Freeman & Louis Uchitelle, The Murphy Institute
- “In the Rearview Mirror” Trading Places: Protecting American Industry is so Yesterday/ Steve Fraser & Joshua Freeman, New Labor Forum
- We know what bad trade policy looks like. But what about good trade policy?/ Jared Bernstein and Dean Baker, The Washington Post
- Promising Practices: Labor and Community Fighting Sexual Harassment in the Era of #MeToo/ The Murphy Institute and The Worker Institute at Cornell ILR
- FEMINISM AND THE LABOR MOVEMENT: A Century of Collaboration and Conflict/ Eileen Boris and Annelise Orleck/ New Labor Forum