On March 30th, the Murphy Institute hosted “Building a Worker Coop Ecosystem: Mondragon Meets the Five Boroughs,” a public conversation featuring Frederick Freundlich of Mondragon University and moderated by Stephanie Guico.
The conversation began with an explanation by Freudlich of the Mondragon network of worker coops in the Basque region of Spain. The network includes approximately 120 cooperatives and 130 affiliates or subsidiaries, all working across four broad areas — manufacturing, retail, finance, knowledge — and creating a livelihood for approximately 74,000 people. Freundlich discussed the history of the Mondragon system, tracing its origins back to the Spanish Civil War and describing the emergence of ancillary institutions, such as the cooperative bank, that have provided resources and support to the cooperative network throughout its development. Continue reading Coop Event at Murphy Draws Large Crowd
Launched in early 2015, Murphy’s International Program for Labor, Climate & Environment aspires to be a hub for education, research, policy development and alliance-building for US and international unions working on energy, climate change, and ecological and social sustainability. <<read more>>
Joseph S. Murphy Institute alum and MTA worker Richard Singleton successfully intervened in an attempted assault at his subway station at 28th Street and Park Avenue South on Sunday, March 22nd.
Richard has served as an MTA worker for almost two decades. He has graduated from the Murphy Institute with Masters of Arts in Labor Studies and Urban Studies.
Read more from the Daily News on this act of heroism.
On March 19th, Murphy Professor Sean Sweeney participated in a panel hosted by 350NYC and New York Society for Ethical Culture about COP21, the global climate treaty conference taking place in Paris in December 2015.
Sweeney was joined by Jeffrey Salim Waheed – Representative of Maldives to the UN; Tamar Lawrence-Samuel, Associate Research Director at Corporate Accountability International; Reinhard Krapp – Economic Department, UN Mission of Germany to the United Nations; and City Council member Helen Rosenthal. The panel was moderated by Claire Vondrich and introduced by Lyna Hinkel of 350NYC. Video by Joe Friendly.
Sean Sweeney recently joined the Murphy Institute to direct the International Program for Labor, Climate and the Environment. This past December, Sweeney spoke with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! about the potential effects of the since-vetoed Keystone XL pipeline on job creation. See the video here.
Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) got a plug in the Guardian on Tuesday with a letter from Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer of GMB, the energy union in the UK. The letter was in response to an article by Mark Lynas called We must reclaim the climate change debate from the political extremes.
Had Lynas attended the alternative people’s summit at the COP 20 climate change talks in Lima last year, he would have heard a succession of speakers from Latin America’s indigenous communities rejecting development models imposed on them by transnational capital. They are in the frontline of the fight against climate change and are struggling to stop the destruction of their environment by mining and mono-crop agriculture for export. They would not see themselves in terms of left or right, but fully understand that an economic model based on infinite growth, with the commensurate depletion of the planet’s natural resources, is incompatible with saving the Earth from the catastrophic effects of global warming.
This does not mean sufficient energy cannot be provided for the needs of future generations, but that it must be responsibly sourced and publicly owned instead of being left to market forces and monolithic corporations whose priorities lie in ripping off consumers and making money out of burning fossil fuels. As an energy trade union, we support the necessary, just transition to a low-carbon economy, and are members of the global network Trade Unions for Energy Democracy. As the slogan read in Lima: “Let’s change the system – not the climate.”
Photo by Mike Steinhoff via flickr (CC-BY).