Category Archives: New Labor Forum

Confronting the Climate Crisis: Can Labor Help Shape an Effective Strategy?

Dr. James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, David Coles, President, Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union,  Canada, Bhairavi Desai, Executive director, New York Taxi Workers Alliance and Hector Figueroa, President, Local 32 BJ SEIU, Moderated by Sean Sweeney, Director Cornell Global Labor Institute on “Confronting the Climate Crisis: Can Labor Help Shape an Effective Strategy?” (January 17, 2013)

Faculty of the World, Unite?

Penny Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at The Murphy Institute

Years of organizing, agitating, occupying and strategizing have brought the issue of low wage and precarious work to the forefront of contemporary economic discussion.  Fast food and retail are not the only sectors where such low wage work has become the norm:  higher education is increasingly structured along the same logic.  One of the central slogans taken up by students and professors at today’s May Day march and rally is “May Day $5K” – a call for a minimum payment of $5,000 per college class taught by part-time and contingent faculty.  This demand is being made alongside calls for job security, health benefits, and other improved working conditions for the contingent instructional staff that now comprises 75 percent of all college faculty members.  Shamefully, CUNY pays adjuncts closer to $3,000 per class, and it’s not an outlier.

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