Tag Archives: New Labor Forum

New Labor Forum Highlights: Feb. 21st, 2017

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.

One of the major accomplishments of Democrats and financial reformers during the Obama Administration was the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Like Dodd-Frank which authorized its creation, the CFPB was a response to the financial meltdown of 2007-8. It sought to close regulatory gaps that allowed banks and corporations to prey on consumers. New Labor Forum columnist Max Fraser writes in the January 2017 issue about what had been a set of frustrated Congressional efforts to dismantle the bureau and the business interests backing those efforts. Now that Donald Trump and a solidly Republican Congressional majority have assumed control of the government, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is firmly on the chopping block. Fraser’s investigative reporting reveals the Congressional and Wall Street actors behind its demise.

We also offer an update on the state of play regarding the most recent efforts to take down the CFPB in Congress since the election, and an excellent overview of what the CFPB actually does from LifeHacker, written for a general audience.

With the general trend of increasing cooperation between Wall Street interests and the Trump Administration in the news, activists and consumer advocates in Washington have taken to the streets. On Valentine’s Day, a coalition held a mock wedding in our nation’s capitol to highlight the cozy relationship between Wall Street and Washington. Bernie Sanders spoke and we provide the video of that event, courtesy of act.tv.

Table of Contents

  1. Gutting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau / Max Fraser
  2. The Assault on the CFPB: Current State of Play / Charles Lenchner
  3. What is the CFPB and What Does It Offer Consumers? / Kristen Wong
  4. Video: Washington DC Protest against the Financial Industry / Act.tv

Photo by Rev Stan via flickr (CC-BY)

New Labor Forum Highlights: Jan. 23rd, 2017

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.

The numbers from the rallies this past weekend are astounding: 600 events in dozens of countries with a global turnout in the millions. What sparked the uprising that surprised us all?.

In addition to widespread antipathy toward the Donald, another driving force is certainly an outrage over the state of our democracy. Trump won the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote by 3 million votes. And in so many other ways — from the erosion of voting rights to the massive increase in political spending by the super rich — we are witnessing the shredding of fundamental democratic principles. This crisis neither began, nor will end with Trump, Rob Goodman warns in an especially useful article in Politico. We include that here as a way to provide some insight into what is happening and how we might respond. Aso included is the video of an illuminating talk at the Murphy Institute by Saqib Bhatti of the ReFund Project, in which he explores shifts in the economy that mirror the shifts in our political culture. And by way of surveying the proliferation of organizational responses to the crises we face, New Labor Forum has compiled a list of many of the new, social media-fueled efforts launched since the election. And among the new-ish organizations formed pe-election is LittleSis, a winking name referencing Big Brother, committed to  uncovering the conflicts of interest to watch for as corporate power continues to exert undue influence.

Table of Contents

  1. What Trump Taught Us About Democracy by Rob Goodman
  2. Debt, Wall Street, and Public Sector Unions, presentation by Saqib Bhatti
  3. The New Wave of Organizing on Social Media
  4. LittleSis – the Database of Hidden Relationships Among the Powerful

Photo by Ted Eytan via flickr (CC-BY-SA)

New Labor Forum Highlights: Dec. 12th, 2016 

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.

As all our newsfeeds continue to be filled with an increasingly nightmarish list of Trump cabinet appointments, we wanted to bring something different to your attention. New Labor Forum prides itself on covering international affairs as well as domestic politics, economics and social movements.  And it seems apt to close the year with a focus on two countries – Russia and China – that have received so much attention from our Tweeter-in-Chief.

Paul Christensen offers Labor Under Putin, an overview of the severe challenges facing Russian workers. Russia’s authoritarian political climate makes it hard to talk about a real labor movement, but that hasn’t prevented the emergence of a rising number of labor struggles. One recent struggle involved truck drivers protesting a tax that would seriously impact their livelihoods. Philippe Alcoy of Left Voice interviews a local observer for an in-depth look at the Russian trucker’s strike.

Kevin Lin gives depth and breadth to what we think we know about inequality in China. It forms the backdrop to countless stories; one of them is the ongoing engagement between Walmart, the world’s largest private employer, and the ACFTU, which represents Walmart employees in China and is the largest trade union in the world. Qian Jinghua of Sixth Tone reports from the field.

Please note that the next issue of Highlights will come out on January 9th, and will announce the publication of our Winter 2017 issue. Happy holidays from all of us at New Labor Forum!

Table of Contents:

  1. Labor Under Putin: The State of the Russian Working Class by Paul T. Christensen/New Labor Forum
  2. Russian Truck Drivers on Strike by Philippe Alcoy
  3. Rising Inequality and its Discontents in China by Kevin Lin/New Labor Forum
  4. Mega-Retailer Walmart May Face World’s Biggest Union by Qian Jinghua

Photo by Farhad Sadykov via flickr (CC-BY)

New Labor Forum Highlights: Nov. 28th, 2016

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.

Many of us continue to scratch our heads about a Trump electoral victory that only weeks ago seemed pretty improbable. While we anxiously gaze ahead at the likely domestic and international ramifications of a Trump presidency, we also look back in an effort to understand how it came to this. The Democratic Party primaries, of course, hold some clues. The labor movement was divided during the primary season over whether to support Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. In the forthcoming January issue of New Labor Forum, we invited contributions from both sides to debate those differences. Larry Cohen, past president of the Communications Workers of America argued on behalf of the Sanders option, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, together with Leo Casey, president of the Albert Shanker Institute, argued on behalf of the Clinton nomination. The authors assumed, as many readers also did, a Clinton victory.  When the election results came in, Randi Weingarten and Leo Casey asked to rewrite their essay. Larry Cohen elected to leave his essay as originally written, opting instead to add a brief addendum that also takes account of the election results. We feature that exchange here, as well as 2 articles and a video which all seek to wrestle with what happened and why — particularly as relates to organized labor.

Table of Contents:

  1. We Believe that We Can Win! by Larry Cohen
  2. Why Hillary Clinton Deserved Labor’s Support by Randi Weingarten and Leo Casey
  3. Election Debrief: Reporters’ Roundtable (Video)
  4. The Union Revolt by Bob Hennelly
  5. What Unions Got Wrong by Steven Greenhouse

Photo by Bill B via flickr (CC-BY)

New Labor Forum Highlights: Nov. 15th, 2016

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.

We send this newsletter just a week after Donald Trump’s electoral victory. That stunning outcome raises more questions than it answers. To what degree are the election results largely a result of an anxious and enraged white working class, sections of which endorse the Trump campaign’s virulent racism, or are willing to overlook it in favor of his tough talk on free trade and a rigged political system? And how should labor and progressive activists understand and respond to the racism the campaign both encouraged and exposed? What did the 2016 election tell us about the wisdom and viability of the Obama coalition, which depends on demographic changes presumed to be advantageous, rather than on birthing a multi-racial working-class? What was the nature and extent of organized labor’s impact on the election, particularly in the rust belt?

Table of Contents:

  1. The Dinosaur and the Billionaire By Steve Fraser, The Nation
  2. Why Did White Workers Leave the Democratic Party? by Judith Stein, Jacobin
  3. Video/Transcript: Michael Eric Dyson vs. Eddie Glaude on Race, Hillary Clinton and the Legacy of Obama’s Presidency, Democracy Now
  4. It Looks Like Donald Trump Did Really Well With Union Households. That’s A Bad Sign For Unions By Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post
  5. Elizabeth Warren addresses the AFL-CIO Executive Council (Video)
  6. Election Debrief: Reporters’ Roundtable November 18 Event, Murphy Institute

Photo by Gage Skidmore via flickr (CC-BY-SA)

New Labor Forum Highlights: Oct. 31st, 2016

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.

In this week’s newsletter, we look policy issues — work and family — that normally fail to receive the political attention they deserve. Ironically, during the first electoral season to feature a woman as major party candidate, these issues remained overshadowed by other far less policy oriented concerns.

We kick off our effort to highlight these issues with an assessment by Linda Gordon of Second Wave Feminism, which included a strong strand of Socialist Feminism that emphasized the intersection of gender, race, and class oppression. As such, this movement that peaked from the mid 1960s until the 1980s gave rise  to many of the work-family policy initiatives of today, including paid family and sick leave; affordable, high quality childcare; and equal pay for equal work.

We look at current progress toward those policy objectives here. In a Washington Post column, New Labor Forum Contributing Editor Ruth Milkman discusses Paid Family Leave as a key means of reducing wealth inequality.  Sharon Lerner, writing for In These Times, describes the financial, emotional, and health repercussions suffered by working-class American women, who unlike their counterparts throughout the world, deliver and raise children without the most fundamental supports. And we provide, from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a handy, brief analysis of gender pay gaps.

To close out this discussion, we look at the disparate promises regarding women’s and family issues being made by each of the two major party nominees for President. If the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill signed into law by President Obama, it’s reasonable ask what legislation is likely to garner the early support either a President Trump or a President Clinton.

Table of Contents:

  1. Socialist Feminism: The Legacy of the “Second Wave” by Linda Gordon
  2. How a Lack of Paid Leave is Making Wealth Inequality Worse by Ruth Milkman
  3. The Real War on Families: Why the U.S. Needs Paid Leave Now by Sharon Lerner
  4. “The Economic Impact of Equal Pay by State” Status of Women in the States Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Feb 2016 
  5. Donald Trump Unveils Plan for Families in Bid for Women’s Votes by Nick Corasaniti and Maggie Haberman
  6. Clinton’s Platform: Women’s Rights and Opportunity

Photo by Steve Rainwater via flickr (CC-BY-SA)