This International Workers’ Day, celebrate as workers have throughout history: take to the streets. For a guide to the marches, rallies, protest and strikes happening throughout New York City, hop over to Gothamist, where Emma Whitford has compiled an overview of the day’s events. Happy May Day!
This Thursday, the worker-owned cooperative Action OSH hosted their Grand Opening at the Murphy Institute, celebrating the National Day of Workers’ Health and Safety. Along with allies from the Center for Family Life, United Steel Workers, NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives and the Murphy Institute Community and Worker Ownership Project and elsewhere, this group will bring knowledge and power to immigrant workers in our city. We stand proudly in support of this team of educators and activists
Later in the day, the Murphy Institute Community and Worker Ownership Project joined with Green Worker Cooperatives to welcome Luis Alberto Duenas Casal from Cuba. He is a co-founder of the Cuban worker cooperative SCENIUS and a leader in the Cuban cooperative movement. Following Principles #5 and #7 of the international creed for coops, “Education, Training and Information” and “Concern for the Community,” we learned through conversation and presentation how the economic transformation in Cuba is supporting a redesign of their Social Economy.
Friends and comrades enjoyed a full day of learning and networking!
The Murphy Institute for Worker Education & Labor Studies, CUNY, is bringing together academics, labor leaders, activists, students, and policy makers to pose crucial questions concerning the criminal justice system and the labor movement’s place and responsibility within it. Our two-day conference, Confronting the Tragedy: Law Enforcement, Unionism, and Communities of Color, is the culmination of a conversation we began last fall at a forum of the same name (videos here). These events are designed to examine the complex and interlocking dynamics of race, class, law enforcement and unionism, and thus to support the work of social justice activists, trade unionists, and policy makers to create a more just system of law enforcement.
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.
With the escalation of US involvement in the Syrian battlefield AND the introduction of our biggest bomb ever to the caves of Afghanistan, it’s urgent that we ask what happened to the anti-war movement. Lyle Jeremy Rubin, an Afghanistan War Vet, has written an appeal for New Labor Forum, calling for a reinvigorated veterans peace movement. While there has always been veteran organizing, under a Trump presidency, this constituency holds particular meaning. Veterans are an incredibly diverse constituency, but one that is rooted in the working class, and distant from the ‘coastal elites’ that the right wing finds so easy to demonize.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, the Murphy Institute hosted the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor Spring 2017 Scholar Symposium. Michelle Akyempong, Vice President of Legislation & Political Action for District Council 37, Local 371 attended as this term’s special guest.
Since the inception of the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship program, symposiums have been held at the start of each Fall and Spring term, allowing the program’s budding scholars to interact with practitioners, researchers and scholars in the fields of labor and urban studies.
To this end, we invite prominent members of these fields to join us for a roundtable talk, where they share reflections about their personal challenges and conquests on their educational and/or professional journeys. Past guests have included: Kitty Krupat, labor activist, organizer and associate director, emeritus JSMI; James Steele, labor studies adjunct faculty JSMI; and Ydanis Rodriguez, district 10 – NYC council member. We thank each of the past presenters who have truly inspired us to our better selves and willingly and generously shared their time with our scholars. Continue reading Diversity Scholarship: Spring 2017 Symposium→
Taught by Evan Casper-Futterman
With Guest Lectures by Dario Azzellini This class will be cross-listed in the Masters Programs of both Labor and Urban Studies. Speak to your adviser about registration. Monday nights at the Murphy Institute
In the 1950s, labor unions claimed membership in 35% of the workforce. Today, density of labor unions outside of government employees is 6.7%. This precipitous decline in the economic and political power of working people begs the question: who will act as the countervailing economic and political forces to capital and inequality in the 21st century? This course will identify and examine multiple forms of workers’ self-management and cooperative enterprises and institutions throughout history, both as a reaction to economic crisis and as a coherent vision for a humane and just society. The course explicitly approaches cooperatives and self-management not as an “alternative business model,” but as part of labor history and labor struggles. This reconnects the idea of cooperatives to their origins and shows the potential of cooperatives in putting forward different values for a more just and participatory politics, economics, and society.
Evan Casper-Futterman is a 3rd generation New Yorker living in the Bronx. He earned a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans in 2011, was a White House Intern in the Spring of 2012 in the Domestic Policy Council’s Office of Urban Affairs and a Research Fellow for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Bloustein School of Urban Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, studying economic democracy and economic development. He is on the Board of Directors of the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City (CEANYC). His writing has been published in The Lens and The Huffington Post, as well as the peer-reviewed Berkeley Planning Journal. He contributed a chapter in the edited volume, The Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas (2013).
Dario Azzellini, Murphy Institute visiting scholar, is a political scientist, lecturer at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, writer and filmmaker. He has published several books, essays and documentaries about social movements, privatization of military services, migration and racism, including An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy. His research and writing focuses on social and revolutionary militancy, migration and racism, people’s power and self-administration, workers control and extensive case studies in Latin America.
A conversation about workers, communities and social justice