Category Archives: New Labor Forum

Event: Solidarity Economies & Worker Coops (12/4)

December 4, 8:30 -10:30am
The Murphy Institute
25 W. 43 Street, 18 Floor

The local movement of worker cooperatives, supported by the City Council, has increasingly caught the imagination of workers and organizers.  What is the potential and what are the limitations of worker co-ops in building a movement for economic and social justice? To what extent does the co-op model enable working people to create secure jobs with decent pay and dignity, and, in doing so, begin to envision a new economy?  What is the nature of organized labor’s role in this new movement?

Speakers:

  • Amy B Dean, Editorial Board Member, New Labor Forum; Fellow, The Century Foundation; Co-author, A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement
  • Roger Green, Director, Dubois-Bunche Center on Public Policy, Medgar Evers College; collaborating on a conversion of hospitals to cooperative ownership models
  • Adria Powell, Executive Vice President, Cooperative Home Care Associates
  • Melissa Risser, Attorney, Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project; co-founder of 1worker1vote.org

“Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement” Sparks Conversation

On October 19th, the Murphy Institute had a packed house for “Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement,” sponsored by the Murphy Institute and the Sidney Hillman Foundation.

The forum panelists highlighted that the growing movements, Black Lives Matter and Fight For $15, share in the struggle for access to justice and equality. These movements not only intersect but recognize that together there is the opportunity to create significant change. Continue reading “Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement” Sparks Conversation

Livestream: Black Lives Matter/Fight for $15: A New Social Movement (10/19)

With: Jelani Cobb | Kendall Fells | Alicia Garza | Francis Fox Piven

This event is currently at capacity. To watch the conversation, check back here on 10/19 from 8:30 AM to 10:15 AM (EDT). Livestream will appear below.

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxQQM5jKS_o]

Black Lives Matter and Fight for $15 are linked, growing social movements. As these two movements converge, how are they influencing each other? What are the chances their convergence might sow the seeds for a broader social and economic justice movement? What obstacles remain?

Speakers:

  • Jelani Cobb, journalist, historian, Director of the Africana Studies Institute, UConn, Hillman Judge
  • Kendall Fells, Fast Food Forward- SEIU/Fight4$15
  • Alicia Garza, National Domestic Workers Alliance, #SayHerName, #BlackLivesMatter

Introductory remarks by Francis Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor, CUNY, Consortial Faculty, Murphy Institute

This event is being co-sponsored by:

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Photo by Paul Silva via flickr (CC-BY).

Challenging Racism at Work

This post was originally published in the Spring 2015 issue of New Labor Forum

By Sarah Jaffe

Cameron McLay became chief of police in Pittsburgh in September 2014, tasked by new mayor Bill Peduto with cleaning up the department, after its former chief wound up in federal prison for corruption. This put him in charge at a time when the Black Lives Matter protests erupted across the country, calling for an end to police brutality, racial profiling, and the deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of police officers. When the chief met some of those activists, with the group What’s Up?! Pittsburgh, at community festivities, he posed, in uniform, for an Instagram photo with one of their signs. It read: “I resolve to challenge racism @ work. #EndWhiteSilence.” The photo looked to many like a rare example of a police officer supporting the message of the protesters — the mayor told reporters that he immediately reposted the picture to his own Facebook page.

Continue reading Challenging Racism at Work

Green Capitalism Won’t Work

This article was originally published in the Spring 2015 issue of New Labor Forum

By Sean Sweeney

For the last twenty years, unions in the United States and internationally have generally accepted the dominant discourse on climate policy, one that is grounded in assumptions that private markets will lead the “green transition,” reduce emissions, and stabilize the climate over the longer term. Indeed, unions began attending the climate negotiations convened by the United Nations in the early 1990s, a time when the “triumph of the market” went unchallenged and the climate debate was awash with neoliberal ideas. Unions, therefore, focused on articulating the need for “Just Transition” policies to deal with the negative impacts on employment brought about by climate policies and to highlight the need for income protection, re-employment opportunities, education and re-training, and job creation.1 Continue reading Green Capitalism Won’t Work

Labor, Accountability and Safety in the Global Era

By Karen Judd

At Thursday’s breakfast forum, Decent Wages and Accountability to Workers in the Garment Global Supply Chain, former New York Times Labor Journalist Steven Greenhouse, whose coverage of the Rana Plaza disaster put global sweatshops again on the front page, said: “Overseas sweatshops are the logical result of globalization and the race to the bottom.” He noted that it is shocking that, 114 years after the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, workers – predominantly women — are working in the same incredibly bad conditions, with no fire escapes or sprinklers, with infrequent inspections and with absolutely no voice for workers, concluding: “Things will not improve unless there is greater pressure from consumers and the media.”

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRWhuYVlqS0&feature=youtu.be] Continue reading Labor, Accountability and Safety in the Global Era