Tag Archives: New Labor Forum

New Labor Forum Highlights: May 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 begin by taking a closer look at workers in the energy industries. New Labor Forum columnist Sean Sweeney examines the deep environmental rift in the U.S. labor movement, with the building trades promoting continued coal, oil, and gas extraction and transport workers, nurses, service employees, and a growing number of other unions pushing to end our dependence on fossil fuels. However, Sweeney points to signs that many members and leaders in the Trades appear uncomfortable playing the role of attack dog for fossil fuel interests. Although not imminent, a realignment for  “energy democracy” and environmental sustainability may be possible.

Environmental activists and labor leaders around the globe will be keeping a close eye on  Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) after its recent convention resulted in the introduction of the Leap Manifesto and its “ambitious vision for a nobody’s-backyard approach on pipelines.” We’ve gathered a few articles and perspectives for you to learn more about what’s brewing in Alberta, home to the Tar Sands and location of the NDP convention.

Contents:

  1. Contested Futures: Labor After Keystone XL by Sean Sweeney
  2. The Leap Manifesto 
  3. VIDEO: Avi Lewis talks about The Leap Manifesto
  4. The Leap Manifesto, and where the NDP will land by Jason Markusoff, (MacLean’s)

Photo by kris krüg via flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)

New Labor Forum Highlights: May 16th, 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.

The Annual Summer Inequality Jump Is Nigh

Can we blame summer for inequality? Not quite. But summer is when young people are particularly desperate for jobs, recent graduates are staring at their first student debt bills, and are signing market rate leases for the first time.

It might not be fair to blame the warmest and most vacation-laden of the seasons for inequality, yet it’s a good lens for understanding some of the systemic factors at work. It matters that we draw attention to them, as a way of pushing back against schemes that only treat the symptoms, instead of root causes.

While increasing numbers of college students will be graduating with jobs this summer, it is also true that more of them will be facing a triple trap. The cities with the most opportunities, like New York and San Francisco, are also home to growing numbers of young people trapped in the gig economy, made up of freelancers with few rights and low pay. Meanwhile, this generation has ever larger student debt bills, and even faster increasing rents. Welcome to Millennial hell: low pay, unstable employment, debt you can’t pay, and impossible rent.

And while it may be true that most young people get by, somehow, it’s also the case that those who graduated into a recession will be feeling the ill effects for years to come. Recent graduates in the gig economy will be meeting quite a few from the classes of 2009, 2010, 2011 and so on, whose career prospects took a hit then.

As bad as this is on average, we need to remember that the average masks even greater inequalities. African Americans, including college graduates, continue to be unemployed at twice the rate of their white peers. And women on average still earn less than men – a problem that gets worse as the years go by.

Summertime, but these economic realities mean few of us will rise up singing, instead many will enter the ranks of the precariat, with diminished opportunities and that next step in a gray zone of uncertainty. This issue of Highlights is dedicated to our long, hot, precarious summer, and those who still need support to get by.

View on site

Contents:

  1. Indentured Studenthood: The Higher Education Act and the Burden of Student Debt by Elizabeth Tandy Shermer
  2. To Be Young and Unemployed by David S. Pedulla
  3. The On-Demand Economy Is Transforming Summer Jobs by Alina Dizik, WSJ

Photo by Yasmeen via flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)

New Labor Forum Highlights: May 2nd, 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.

The May 2016 issue of New Labor Forum is hot off the press and shipping now!  It includes articles you won’t want to miss: Feeling the Bern: An Analysis of the Sanders Phenomenon by Tom Gallagher; The Black-Labor-Left Alliance in the Neoliberal Age, by Adolph Reed; Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of the Chilean Labor Movementby René Rojas; The Marikana Massacre: Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in South Africaby Rajendra Chetty; Class Struggle in Robot Utopiaby Peter Frase; and much more, including a fascinating book review in which Rachel Sherman takes us behind the scenes with the one percent, examining two pop culture books: Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir by Wednesday Martin, and The Nanny Chronicles of Hollywood by Julie Swales and Stella Reid.

Contents:

  1. Feeling the Bern: An Analysis of the Sanders Phenomenon, by Tom Gallagher
  2. The Black-Labor-Left Alliance in the Neoliberal Age, by Adolph Reed
  3. Behind the Scenes with the One Percent, Reviewed by Rachel Sherman
  4. There Is No Such Thing as the Moment of Death, by Marilyn Krysl
  5. Subscribe to the New Labor Forum Journal

New Labor Forum Highlights: April 18th, 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.

This week’s Highlights focuses on the Fight for $15. We begin with New Labor Forum consulting editor, Stephanie Luce, who places the wage gains in context of the larger, global fight to stop the erosion of worker power and answers critics who claim that the United States cannot afford a $15 minimum wage. We also encapsulate information we think everyone should want to know about the differences between the recent New York and California wage increases,  and the positions of each of the five 2016 Presidential candidates on #FightforFifteen. Next, we have a video clip from a panel at the Murphy Institute where Fight for $15 Organizing Director Kendall Fells describes how thousands of workers least expected to rise up are doing so to demand what no one thought possible: $15 an hour for fast-food workers. We conclude with two pieces about the massive day of action, April 14, 2016, for the Fight for $15. The first is a video from Fight for $15 that shows the scope of involvement around the globe. And we close with an article about Jeffrey Pendleton, to whom the day of action was dedicated.

Contents:

  1. And a Union: Minimum-Wage Victories and The Fight for Worker Power by Stephanie Luce
  2. Comparing New York and California’s Wage Increases
  3. The Presidential Candidates on #FightforFifteen
  4. VIDEO: Kendall Fells on the Fight for $15
  5. VIDEO: Fight for $15 April 14, 2016
  6. When Wages Lead to Jail and Death

Photo by Mark Dixon via flickr (CC-BY)

New Labor Forum Highlights: March 21, 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.

New Labor Forum Highlights: Mar. 21, 2016 

This newsletter focuses on labor and digital organizing. Kati Sipp, in her forthcoming article in the May issue of New Labor Forum, asks: How long will it take for labor to catch up to the corporate and political tech sectors in the use of digital tools? Why is it taking so long? And what are the enormous missed opportunities? It’s a timely look at an issue that’s become pressing for large categories of workers, such as Uber and those in the gig economy. It’s also a fitting accompaniment to the report “Virtual Labor Organizing: Could Technology Help Reduce Income Inequality?” by Zuckerman, Kahlenberg, and Marvit. While tech can’t solve the political and social contradictions, they argue it can make solutions easier to implement and fight for.

Last but not least – save the date for the next Organizing 2.0, the annual training event for labor and allied movements to improve their use of digital tools and strategies, to be held at the Murphy Institute. Now in its 8th year, this event features fifty distinct workshops covering social media, mobile apps, email list management, small dollar fundraising, online video production, internal organizing and more. Not to be missed.

Contents:

  1. The Internet versus the Labor Movement: Why Unions Are Late-Comers to Digital Organizing/ by Kati Sipp
  2. Register for conference.organizing20.org
  3. Virtual Labor Organizing: Could Technology Help Reduce Income Inequality?/ by Mark Zuckerman, Richard D. Kahlenberg, and Moshe Z. Marvit

Photo by Michael Coghlan via flickr (CC-SA)

New Labor Forum Highlights: March 7, 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.

Working-class anxiety and rage – often disguised in the drama that is American electoral politics – have assumed a central role in the current presidential race. It is this distress that has in large part buoyed the Donald, harlequin huckster of the GOP, who upon reviewing the Nevada Caucus results, declared, “I love the poorly educated!”

And in a sign that working-class angst may have emerged from some of its old hiding places, evangelicals have largely abandoned candidates like Ted Cruz, who have built their careers railing against abortion and gay rights, in favor the unabashed playboy exemplar of “New York values.” It is Trump’s energetic anti-free trade, anti-immigrant tirades that so poignantly enact white working-class stress and has brought him to the lead. 

So no surprise then that union members voting in the Republican primaries vote for Trump at significantly higher rates than other GOP voters. This, after roughly two decades of energetic, expensive and, until now, fairly successful efforts on behalf of the AFL-CIO to educate union voters and their families. On one hand, it makes perfect sense; after years of making it clear that corporate friendly free trade deals were harming workers, why wouldn’t Republican union members square the circle by going for Trump?

Please feel free to respond directly on New Labor Forum’s site. We welcome your feedback!

Contents:

  1. The Genie Grown Monstrous: How Donald Trump, the All-American Frankenstein, Devoured the GOP / Steve Fraser Editor – at Large, New labor Forum
  2. Class Will Out by Harold Meyerson, American Prospect

Photo by Gage Skidmore used via Creative Commons from flickr (CC-BY-SA)