Co-sponsored by The Murphy Institute’s Labor Studies Program, CUNY and The NYC Chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network
In recent years, structural changes in the labor market, skyrocketing inequality, and rapid technological innovation have sparked renewed debate and speculation about the future of capitalism and the future of work itself. This conference features leading scholars, journalists and activists’ perspectives on these issues.
The day is structured to engage three key debates:
The impact of technological innovation, especially robots and artificial intelligence, on workers and on the labor market
The vast increase in capacity for surveillance and data collection by high-tech firms and its implications for daily life as well as for the workplace
The impact of the ecological crisis and the political failure to address it for the future of capitalism and the future of work.
The conference has three panels, each devoted to one of these debates. Each panel includes one keynote presentation from an expert on the topic, comments from two respondents, followed by discussion with the audience.
Future Hindsight is a podcast hosted by Mila Atmos where civic engagement meets civil discourse. On last week’s show, Atmos interviewed Murphy Professor Ruth Milkman, where the two discussed the role of unions for workers, the main factors of de-unionization, and the potential leadership by millennials in this space.
Students and faculty of the Murphy Institute and Cornell University Labor Relations Certificate Program gathered on Saturday, April 21st to discuss the Future of Work. The annual spring conference created and facilitated by current Cornell-CUNY students featured veteran leaders within New York City’s labor movement. Among the guest speakers were Carrie Gleason, director of the Fair Workweek Initiative for popular democracy, Garrett O’Connor, experienced organizer and labor strategist, Murphy student Alexander Mason, and community, labor, and anti-war activist Eljeer Hawkins.
The conference focused on the impact of Artificial Intelligence innovation within the workplace and its repercussions to the existing and future workforce. Students and speakers collaborated to discuss how the industries of New York City, specifically the transit, healthcare, education, retail and construction industries are being altered by A.I., robotics, and other technologies. In group sessions, students discussed how the future of work will contribute to or reduce existing inequalities and inequities within our labor system, in addition to the effects technological innovations will play in relation to ongoing social, racial, and environmental inequities. The conference laid the foundation for the upcoming series The Future of Capitalism and The Future of Workto be held at the Murphy Institute this Thursday—May 4th. Continue reading Photos: Cornell-Cuny Labor Relations Program Spring Conference→
This month was the bi-annual Labor Notes Conference of the “International Troublemakers and Boat-Rockers Union.” Those who have never been before can imagine it as the place where grassroots union and worker organizers meet union leadership on their terms, led by those previously left out of leadership in our unions. Youth, women and people of color speak, lead and shine.
At this year’s event in Chicago, Verizon workers and teachers led the day. With 3,000 attendees, the conference had workshops and panels celebrating and teaching the hard-learned ways to organize for deepening democracy and justice at work. Continue reading Dispatch from the Labor Notes Conference→
The concept of “Just Transition” has become increasingly in vogue in recent years in international political circles. While commonly ascribed to be “transformative” in potential, like any fashionable term it runs the risk of being emptied of content and coopted by arbiters of the status quo. So what really is Just Transition, and why is it potentially so transformative? This is the question the authors set out to answer in this eleventh working paper published under the auspices of our Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) project.
In one of its most thorough treatments to date, Sean Sweeney and John Treat, both of the Murphy Institute, not only define the concept of Just Transition but take us through its history and the various polemics that surround it. Starting with its roots in the U.S. labor movement, the authors trace the development of the concept, from being one focused almost exclusively on workers impacted by environmental policies, to becoming much broader in its call for socioecological transformation at the point of not only consumption but also production. Continue reading TRADE UNIONS AND JUST TRANSITION: TUED WORKING PAPER #11→
Last Friday, the Murphy Institute hosted a day-long event on labor and community in the age of #MeToo. The event brought together leaders from the labor movement, legal advocacy and gender equity work — with thought-provoking and actionable results.
For a round up of some of the discussions and panels from the event, check out The Chief-Leader’s coverage of the event by reporter Crystal Lewis here. From the article:
“The fact that we’re still talking about sexual harassment six months after #MeToo shows this isn’t a moment: it’s a movement,” said Maya Raghu, director of workplace equality at the National Women’s Law Center during a March 23 panel on sexual harassment at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies.
Students, union members and advocates attended the panel at the Murphy Institute’s headquarters in Midtown to learn and discuss strategies that labor and community groups could use to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Once allegations surfaced last October that movie producer Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted or otherwise harassed dozens of women in the entertainment business, the #MeToo movement triggered accusations of sexual misconduct in other industries.