The fight to close the Rikers Island Jail complex has received renewed attention since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan last March to close down the facility in the next 10 years. Many have welcomed the moved, but one group has expressed resistance: correctional officers.
In a recent article in the Daily News, Brooklyn College sociology professor Alex Vitale argues that this resistance is misguided:
Corrections unions face a difficult challenge in the months and years ahead. Do they continue to defend a broken institution in the hopes of saving jobs or do they look for concrete ways to ensure that the people who work at Rikers have secure economic futures?
The irony of this dilemma is that the men and women who work at Rikers know better than almost anyone what a failed institution it is. They see day in and day out the deteriorating infrastructure, inadequate management, and culture of violence that organizes their daily work life. Continue reading Jail Workers & the Fight to Close Rikers
On November 3rd, faculty, students and community members gathered for a lively discussion and celebration of The City Is the Factory: New Solidarities and Spatial Strategies in an Urban Age, co-edited by Miriam Greenberg, University of Santa Cruz and Penny Lewis, Murphy Institute, CUNY.
Contributors Penny Lewis, Miriam Greenberg, Stephanie Luce, Shannon Gleason and Melissa Checker discussed today’s urban-based struggles for change, asking: what are the new kinds of organizing that we’re seeing emerging in cities today? What challenges do they face, what potential do they have?
Some photos from the event are below!
Friday, November 17th, 2017
25 W. 43rd St., 18th Floor, New York, NY
Join union leaders, scholars and activists during this one-day conference to discuss the implications of the Janus v. AFSCMEcase for workers and organized labor, possible immediate outcomes, and strategic options for combatting the attack on public sector unionism.
- Janella Hinds, Secretary-Treasurer of the NYC Central Labor Council
- City Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor
- Tony Utano, President of Transport Workers Union Local 100
- Barbara Terrelonge, Director of Organizing at DC37, AFSCME
Continue reading Conference: Janus & Beyond: The Future of Public Workers (11/17)
On October 19th, Murphy Institute Founder & Director Greg Mantsios was honored by City & State in recognition of his work in labor. City & State CSR showcases outstanding New York business leaders and corporations through its series of highly-publicized award ceremonies, conferences, and specialty publications, for their tremendous work in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility. The Labor & Law Awards are presented to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated dedication and commitment to the well-being of New York and its citizens through their accomplishments such as promoting respect for human rights, good governance and transparency, combating exploitative working conditions, offering pro-bono services and community giving.
Check out photos from the event here.
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
- Divided Results: Voting And Partisan Gerrymandering/ David Daley, Murphy Institute
- Extreme Maps/ Laura Royden and Michael Li, Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law
- Partisan Gerrymandering Got the Sotomayor Treatment/ Mark Joseph Stern, Slate
Photo by judy_and_ed via flickr (CC-BY-NC)
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.
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.