All posts by Murphy Institute

Observations From a Trip to China: Part I

Photo: Professor Lu Zhang speaks about labor conditions inside Chinese auto factories.

By Stephanie Luce

I recently returned from two weeks in China, where I participated in a scholar exchange sponsored by the American Sociology Association, Labor and Labor Movements section. The exchange was the third piece of an ongoing effort to increase communication and collaboration between Chinese and US scholars. There were 8 sociologists in our delegation, along with Katie Quan, the coordinator of the program.

We spent time in Beijing at a conference on labor relations, then meeting with union officials and organizers from worker centers. I then spent a week in Hong Kong meeting with more labor activists, as well as people involved in the Umbrella movement. I’ll report on what I learned about the labor movement here, and in a second post I will write about the Umbrella movement. Continue reading Observations From a Trip to China: Part I

A Survey of Community and Labor Perspectives in the Wake of the Eric Garner Case

By Donald LaHuffman 

Produced for “Labor and Media Studies” with Prof. Ari Paul, Fall 2014

The United States recently exploded in protest around the country as citizens mobilized to show displeasure at the Staten Island Jury findings. The jurors decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner. Pantaleo had allegedly held Garner in an illegal choke hold until his death, despite Garner’s pleas of not being able to breathe during the encounter. Ensuing local and national demonstrations connected Garner’s death to the earlier police shooting of Michael Brown who was killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Community organizers have included mothers in New York City who have lost their sons to alleged police brutality in previous years in these actions. In my graduate Labor Studies class “Labor and Media” taught by Ari Paul during the fall 2014 semester, my classmates and I met five mothers who told their stories. These mothers told the stories to make sure that they were not forgotten. Continue reading A Survey of Community and Labor Perspectives in the Wake of the Eric Garner Case

Clarion is Hiring Editor

Clarion, the newspaper of the teachers’ union local at the City University of New York, is hiring for the position of editor. The Professional Staff Congress (PSC), Local 2334 of the American Federation of Teachers, is a progressive union representing more than 20,000 faculty and professional staff at the 22 campuses of the City University of New York (CUNY). (Current issue can be seen online at; PDF of the print edition is at

In recent issues, Clarion has reported on:
o how the suit against the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy was shaped by CUNY faculty research
o how CUNY students are affected by the unstable schedules of retail work
o the PSC’s “impossible” victory on health care coverage for adjunct faculty
o organizing against “militarization of the university,” and how a faculty vote ended the ROTC program at one CUNY college

We’ve also featured:
o analysis of “austerity education” and recent changes in CUNY’s curriculum
o a report on the academic publishing giant Elsevier and how it funded climate-change deniers
o an assessment of recent anti-union court decisions, and how labor can respond
o an op-ed feature on the police killings of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, and the movement that’s arisen in response

· Manage production of Clarion, the PSC’s newspaper, 9 issues per year
· Supervise Associate Editor, Clarion designer and freelancers
· Develop story list for each issue
· Consult with union officers and staff
· Edit all copy for each issue and write some articles
· Oversee design and layout; arrange for photography and illustrations
· Manage distribution of Clarion
· Handle administrative duties, such as budgeting and processing invoices
· Manage Clarion online edition
· Work as part of a communications team
· Participate in work on the PSC’s website, email newsletter, & social media
· Participate in local and national labor media organizations

· Demonstrated ability to manage the production process of a periodical
· Excellent writing, reporting and editing skills
· Experience with the labor movement or with community or political organizing
· Ability to communicate clearly, verbally and in writing
· Demonstrated ability to exercise independent judgment and to be deadline and detail-oriented
· Knowledge of standard office software
· Photography skills/Photoshop experience a plus
· Interest in being part of a progressive union staff team

Education & Experience Requirements:
· 4-year college degree
· 7+ years writing and related experience for a periodical
· At least 3 work references

Salary: $100,000+ depending on experience; comprehensive benefit package.

Application deadline: Monday, February 9, 2015

To apply: Send cover letter, resume and clips, by email to,
or by postal mail to:
Patricia Young
Professional Staff Congress
61 Broadway, 15th floor
NY, NY 10006

Phone: 212-354-1252
Fax: 212-302-7815

Two Days, One Night Movie Review

If you can find the time – and cash – this January, and are lucky to be somewhere with good movie theaters, I highly recommend checking out the new movie by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Two Days, One Night. (In NYC it’s playing at the IFC for now.) It’s a quiet, multilayered film that I’ve continued to think about since watching last week.

A woman (Marion Cotillard, in an incredible performance) is told that she’s lost her job unless she can convince her co-workers at a solar panel manufacturing company in Belgium to give up their bonuses in exchange for bringing her back on. The movie is the story of the weekend she has to make the case to her colleagues, who she visits one by one across small towns and industrial suburbs where they live. I don’t want to give too much away, as it’s the kind of movie that invites reflection, and I think is great to see and chew on yourself. But I’ll make some observations here about what I’ve thought about these past few days.

Continue reading Two Days, One Night Movie Review

Northeast Nurses Association Seeks Regional Organizing Director

The Northeast Nurses Association (“NENA”) is seeking a seasoned organizer to serve as Regional Organizing Director to take responsibility for new organizing campaigns, serve in a leadership position with respect to program and other staff, and play an integral role in NENA.

The ideal candidate will take an active role in all organizing efforts; and is at ease walking around hospital corridors and meeting with nurses wherever they are located, rather than sitting behind a desk.

The right candidate is outgoing, self-directed, has experience developing and running organizing campaigns, including oversight of staff to achieve concrete assessments and progress. S/he has excellent critical thinking, creativity, verbal and written communication skills, as well as the ability to work in a team environment.

About Us:
NENA is a regional, progressive, organization covering 30,000 nurses and allied health care employees, working together to advocate for our patients, our practice, and our profession. NENA’s mission is to support efforts to educate and mobilize health care professionals interested in forming a union at their place of work. To that end, NENA has recently funded a budget to establish an organizing team to assess and develop new organizing opportunities into campaigns.

As members of NENA, nurses and healthcare professionals become part of a progressive and respected organization that uses its strength and vision to advocate for positive change through collective bargaining, legislation, education, and mobilization

NENA is looking for candidates who have:

  • A minimum of five (5) years of demonstrated experience required in developing and leading organizing campaigns.
  • Ability to direct, oversee and develop organizing staff.
  • Previous experience with the labor movement
  • Knowledge of organizing campaign data base management tools.
  • Skill in the use of Microsoft Office programs.
  • Ability to write and proofread campaign communications materials.
  • Ability to conduct, analyze, and critique independent research to effectively synthesize and implement material for effective messaging.
  • Supervisory experience a strong plus;
  • Ability to work independently, think critically and creatively, self-directed, and operate within a dynamic and complex organizing environment;
  • Healthcare industry experience preferred,
  • Must be willing to travel throughout the northeast; Home base in NYC area preferred but can be located in other Northeast area.
    Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Long hours and weekend work is expected.


  • Designs, manages, and implements organizing campaigns.
  • Expected to serve as hands-on organizer. Works with staff to coordinate all aspects of the campaign including vision, strategy,
    timeline, communication, and community outreach.
  • Coordinates and supervises organizing staff;
  • Provides feedback to staff on their performance while on the campaign.
  • Oversees management of the campaign data base, web based applications, lists, and cards.
  • Develops metrics to measure, quantify, and track progress. Provides information and metrics to NENA Board on regular basis.
  • Develops and monitors the campaign budget for the campaign.

Scope and Nature of Supervision

  • Must be able to act and manage time with extreme independence.
  • A high level of judgment, ability to take initiative and work independently; must be able to work with worker leaders and staff in complex and sometimes political situations.
  • Must be able to handle multiple priority projects simultaneously and meet established deadlines.
  • Reports to the NENA Board and/or the Board’s appointed sub-committee.

Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package: health, dental, car allowance, 401(k) plan, and paid sick/vacation time.

In addition to a resume, we require a cover letter that gives us a clear picture of who you are, why you want to be the regional organizing director, an example of how you demonstrated success on a
campaign, and what you will bring to the role.

Please send your resume and cover letter to: with the Subject Line: NENA Organizing Director.

NENA is committed to Equal Opportunity, and considering applicants of all ages, races, sexual orientations, national origins, ethnicities, and religions.