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.
Compliments to our Fall 2016 Capstone students in the Labor Studies MA program! On November 29th and December 6th, with the supervision of Professor Lynne Turner, our MA candidates enlightened the audience and stimulated discussion about their research topics:
- Milica Bogetic – The Trauma Doesn’t Stop at the Incident: A Case Study of Investigators’ Emotional Labor
- Daniel Buk – Letting Labor Lead: How Germany Integrates Workers into Its Nation’s Innovation & Growth Policies Through Co-Determination
- Steven Calco – Gender Politics in the CUNY Student Movement
- Erica Dodt – Confronting Climate Change: The Blue-Green Alliance and the Prospects of Labor and Environmental Movements Working Together
- Catherine Garcia – Inequality at the Workplace: The Gender Wage Gap
- Micah Landau – Labor Movement Revitalization and Rank-and-File Caucuses: Lessons from Teamsters for a Democratic Union
- Sarah Madden – This Affects Me: An App for a 21st Century Labor Movement
- Samantha Sherry – Changing the Conversation: Framing in the #FightFor15 Movement
- Samantha Valente – “Winner the Welder:” Ruth Young and the Fight for Gender Reform through the United Electrical Workers in the 1940’s
While the Murphy Institute establishes itself as a labor school, the state of labor education nationwide remains perilous. The latest news comes from the Labor Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst: with the sudden departure this month of its director Eve Weinbaum, who has said the she was forced out of her position, plus the cutting of funding to the center, the future of the Center is now in question.
An email from Weinbaum before Labor Day expressed dismay at the budget cuts and an appeal to the broader community to organize to ensure that the Center remains open. Since then, alumni and activists have been writing letters and making public appeals to keep funding in place for the Center.
From an article in Labor Notes:
It’s the latest blow in a volley against labor education programs. A 2015 report by Helena Worthen for the United Association for Labor Education found that in recent years, 34 of the 53 programs across the U.S. have either lost staff or outright disappeared.
The report identified right-wing think tanks like the Freedom Foundation and the Mackinac Center as key players in the drive to eliminate these programs, especially at public colleges and universities.
For more about the budget battle at Labor Notes and In These Times.
Photo by sushiesque via flickr (CC-BY-NC)
This course is open to interested students, labor and climate activists with at least a High School Diploma or GED. Students can email email@example.com or call 212-642-2011 for more information about registration and fees.
Taught by Lara Skinner, Ph.D.
URB451 Special Topics in Urban Studies – Labor and the Climate Crisis
Wednesdays 6:15 – 9:35 pm @ Cornell Conference Center
How can the labor movement and others best respond to the climate crisis? How can unions work to protect both the environment and good jobs? This class will give students a foundation in the scientific, social, and political aspects of the looming crisis. Students will explore how they can more effectively engage their unions, movement activism, and scholarship in efforts to protect the environment and our future.
Instructor: Lara Skinner, Ph.D., Associate Director of The Worker Institute at Cornell and Co-Chair of the Institute’s Labor Leading on Climate Initiative. Skinner has worked for unions doing campaign research and policy development since 1999. She began her career in labor working with Oregon’s Farmworkers Union (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste) and as an active member of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation, Local 3544. Skinner’s current research, writing, and labor education work focuses on increasing the role of unions and working people in addressing the environmental and climate crises and building a powerful, inclusive movement for climate and economic justice.
Registration for the class will open soon! Students must register through CUNYFirst. For more information on registering using CUNYFirst, call Orson Barzola at 212-340-2871. Registration is on a first-come basis, and is limited to 25 students.
Photo by Joe Brusky via flickr (CC-BY-NC)
Taught by Robin Gillespie
Register for LABR669 Special Topics: Occupational Health & Safety
M & W, 6:15-8:45 pm, from June 6 to July 21, 2016.
Workplace health, safety and wellness determine workers’ ability to stay on the job, thrive off it, be productive and reach a healthy retirement. This course will introduce students to the core knowledge areas of occupational health and safety (OSH): exposures, effects, risks and controls; industrial hygiene models and methods; regulatory protections that apply in public and private sector workplaces including OSHA and NLRA; and workplace health protection and promotion. The course practical work and guest lecturers will cover OSH concerns in jobs held by New York City workers in major industry sectors, including transit, restaurants, retail stores, offices, public sector, construction and several tiers of health care. Participatory research methods will be discussed and the concepts applied to existing and proposed research. Students will analyze and present their own work experiences in terms of the course skills and content. They will be encouraged to contribute to shaping the class content and readings to suit their professional needs.
NOTE: This graduate course is open to all who hold a Bachelor’s Degree. (Current CUNY graduate students should register for the course via E-Permit @ CUNY Portal and pay tuition to their home college. Once a permit is approved and processed the course will appear on the tuition bill and your course schedule will be generated by the home college). For more information about registration and tuition and fees, please contact Irene.Garcia-Mathes@cuny.edu / 212-642-2050
Photo by BASF – We create chemistry via flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)