Category Archives: New Labor Forum

New Labor Forum

Announcing the 20th Anniversary Issue of New Labor Forum

The right-wing’s decades-long attack on public sector unionism is slated for a hearing before the Supreme Court later this fall in the Janus v. AFSCME case. The September 2017 issue of New Labor Forum contemplates the probable implications and strategic options facing public sector unions once the ruling is handed down.

Also under contemplation in the Fall 2017 issue is the historically troubled, but occasionally productive, relationship between organized labor and civil rights organizations. Strengthening that alliance in the years ahead will prove critical to the fate of labor and racial justice movements. The journal examines the historical obstacles to such alliances, and suggests new grounds on which to reinvigorate those efforts under current circumstances.

Subscribe to New Labor Forum and gain full access to in-depth analysis on issues like these.

New Labor Forum Highlights: Nov. 13th, 2017

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.

While important revelations of workplace sexual harassment committed by men in the entertainment industry continue to come to light, we take this occasion to consider the ubiquitous and nearly invisible harassment faced by the women who are most tethered to their jobs and least able to access legal remedies. They labor in fast food joints, hotels, secretarial jobs, farms, hospitals, and night shift janitorial jobs. For a host of reasons, their sexual harassment, assault and rape go largely unreported.* This abuse sometimes motivates them to organize, says New Labor Forum Editorial Member Kate Bronfenbrenner,  “But it can be a reason women don’t organize,” she explains in a Boston Globe article on sexual harassment within unions. Lin Farley, journalist, author, and coiner of the term “sexual harassment,” suggests that employers may also use sexual harassment to fend off union drives: “You have young girls, working-class kids for the most part, trying to get jobs in fast food places, because they have to work. And you have fast food managers systematically using sexual harassment to keep turn-over high, so they don’t have to unionize, they don’t have to give high wages. . . . Its one of the huge scandals going on in America today.” Continue reading New Labor Forum Highlights: Nov. 13th, 2017

New Labor Forum Highlights: Oct 30th, 2017

The New Labor Forum has launched 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.

New Labor Forum continues to discuss and debate the macro-economic and social forces that have contributed to the rightward shift in our national politics — among them, gaping wealth and income gaps, the outsourcing and downsizing of jobs in union-dense industries, the scapegoating of immigrants, and persistent forms of racism. Exacerbating the impact of those larger forces has been a strategic, highly effective effort known for over two centuries as gerrymandering. During the past seven years, the art of redrawing election districts for political gain has become a fairly exact science in the hands of right-wing super PACs and the Republicans they back.

Here we turn our attention to this radical right endeavor following the 2010 Census, offering a video clip from a recent talk at the Murphy Institute by David Daley, author of Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count.  We also provide a report by the Brennan Center for Justice, entitled Extreme Maps, which closely tracks the manipulation of election district lines, with greatest effects in seven states: Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania,  Florida, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. The Brennan Center joins the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund and dozens of other organizations that have filed amicus briefs in support of appellants in Gill v. Whitford, the most important case on the constitutionality of gerrymandering in over a decade, now under consideration by the Supreme Court. Included here is a Slate piece by Mark Joseph Stern reporting on the case’s hearing on October 3rd.

Table of Contents

  1. Divided Results: Voting And Partisan Gerrymandering/ David Daley, Murphy Institute
  2. Extreme Maps/ Laura Royden and Michael Li, Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law
  3. Partisan Gerrymandering Got the Sotomayor Treatment/ Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

Photo by judy_and_ed via flickr (CC-BY-NC)

New Labor Forum Murphy Institute Student Essay Contest

Are you a student or recent alumni of the Murphy Institute? Well we want your essays!

New Labor Forum, the Murphy Institute’s journal of ideas, analysis and debate, is excited to announce a new Essay Contest for currently enrolled students and alumni that have graduated in the past two years.

We invite original essays (neither previously published, nor under consideration for publication elsewhere) on a wide range of topics regarding contemporary working-class life and communities, the politics and policies bearing on those communities, and worker organizing taking place in and outside of organized labor.

Essays may be first person accounts, or scholarly and analytical pieces. We encourage fresh thinking on crucial challenges, provocative and well-grounded arguments, and/or efforts to wrestle with new and concrete information. Contributors should avoid jargon, assumptions, technical language, “academese,” and well-worn rhetoric. For examples of past NLF articles, visit our website.

Editorial guidelines:

Interested students should submit to Samantha.Valente@cuny.edu by

December 19, 2017:

  • An original essay between 1,500 to 2,000 words,
  • Short author bio
  • Submissions must be double-spaced and in 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • Please spell out full titles and put acronyms in parentheses at their first use, including commonly used union acronyms.
  • Where endnotes (please do not use footnotes or references) are necessary, please refer to the Chicago Manual of Style.

The winning essay will be published in the May 2018 issue of New Labor Forum and will be featured on the NLF website. The winner will also receive a one-year subscription to New Labor Forum.

The winning author will be notified by March 6, 2018. The winning essay will be judged by the journal editors. All decisions made by the judges regarding the winners will be final.

For more information, please contact Samantha.Valente@cuny.edu.

 

 

 

Video: Getting Back on Track: The New York Transit Crisis – Part 2

On October 13th, 2017, the Murphy Institute hosted a forum exploring the nature and causes of the current mass transit crisis, and focusing on solutions that could enable New York to sustain itself as a world-class city.

Panel 1:

  • Kafui Attoh, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, Murphy Institute
  • Robert Paaswell, Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, City College of New York and Director Emeritus, University Transportation Research Center (UTRC)
  • Pierina Ana Sanchez, Directer, New York, Regional Planning Association

Panel 2:

  • Andrew Bata, Regional Manager North America, International Association of Public Transport (UITP)
  • City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Committee on Transportation
  • John Samuelsen, President, TWU International

Missed the event or want to catch it again? Part 2 is below. Catch Part 1 here.

New Labor Forum Highlights: Oct 16th, 2017

The New Labor Forum has launched 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.

Nearly a month ago, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico at the speed of 150 miles per hour. To this day, water, food, electrical power, and fuel remain scarce on the island. As Naomi Klein pointed out in a recent speech before the British Labour Party, this disaster starkly encapsulates a multifaceted global crisis, combining the toll of climate change, gross economic inequality, the weakening of democratic institutions, racism and neo-colonialism.

In this installment of the New Labor Forum newsletter, we offer a video link to Klein’s incisive talk. We also include an article from New Labor Forum by Jennifer Wolff assessing the Puerto Rican labor movement’s response to the debt crisis which, combined with Hurricane Maria, has now increased the volume of calls for the privatization of essential public services on the island. The island’s colonial status, as neither a U.S. state nor an independent country, continues to put it in a netherworld beyond even the most basic democratic means of resolving these calamities. In a speech we include here, New Labor Forum Editorial Board member Juan Gonzalez provides a background for understanding the peculiar vice grip Puerto Rico found itself in well before Maria made landfall.

Table of Contents

  1. Naomi Klein’s Speech to Labour Conference/ British Labour Party
  2. Debtors’ Island: How Puerto Rico Became a Hedge Fund Playground/ Jennifer Wolff, New Labor Forum
  3. Juan González Speech on Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis/ Democracy Now!

Photo by Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos via US Department of Defense. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

New Labor Forum Highlights: Oct 2nd, 2017

The New Labor Forum has launched 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.

A number of contemporary economists and political observers have begun to argue that remedies for the devastating consequences of neoliberalism can be found in the economic and social arrangements associated with information-technology. They detect therein the makings of a post-capitalist future.  In the current issue of New Labor Forum, U.S. historian Howard Brick takes issue with the info-tech disciples. Brick also considers naive what he views as their over reliance on spontaneous collective action, and a disregard for the work of building solidarity and systematic organizing so essential to socialist and labor movements. We include a link to Brick’s article here, as well as an interview Laura Flanders conducts with Paul Mason, author of Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future, a leading theoretician of the view that the digital world cannot be assimilated into the accumulation process of capitalism and that it contains the seeds of an alternative economic model.

Whether or not a post-capitalist future lies on the horizon, the gig economy has arrived and is already shaping the conditions and imaginings of millions of workers. In our current installment of “Working-Class Voices,” Clynton Lowry, a young art handler who crates, transports, and assembles artwork,  draws a compelling picture of the simultaneous attraction and exploitation of this sort of gig work, as well as the inherent obstacles it poses to worker solidarity.

Table of Contents

  1. Info-Tech Is Not the New Utopia/ Howard Brick, New Labor Forum
  2. Paul Mason on Post-Capitalism and “A Guide to Our Future”/ Interview on The Laura Flanders Show
  3. The Ecstasy and Exploitation of Art Handling/ Clynton Lowry & Kressent Pottenger,  New Labor Forum

Photo by paul.comstock via flickr (CC-BY)