Tag Archives: nlf highlights

New Labor Forum Highlights: Oct 30th, 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.

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

  1. Divided Results: Voting And Partisan Gerrymandering/ David Daley, Murphy Institute
  2. Extreme Maps/ Laura Royden and Michael Li, Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law
  3. Partisan Gerrymandering Got the Sotomayor Treatment/ Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

Photo by judy_and_ed via flickr (CC-BY-NC)

New Labor Forum Highlights: Oct 2nd, 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.

A number of contemporary economists and political observers have begun to argue that remedies for the devastating consequences of neoliberalism can be found in the economic and social arrangements associated with information-technology. They detect therein the makings of a post-capitalist future.  In the current issue of New Labor Forum, U.S. historian Howard Brick takes issue with the info-tech disciples. Brick also considers naive what he views as their over reliance on spontaneous collective action, and a disregard for the work of building solidarity and systematic organizing so essential to socialist and labor movements. We include a link to Brick’s article here, as well as an interview Laura Flanders conducts with Paul Mason, author of Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future, a leading theoretician of the view that the digital world cannot be assimilated into the accumulation process of capitalism and that it contains the seeds of an alternative economic model.

Whether or not a post-capitalist future lies on the horizon, the gig economy has arrived and is already shaping the conditions and imaginings of millions of workers. In our current installment of “Working-Class Voices,” Clynton Lowry, a young art handler who crates, transports, and assembles artwork,  draws a compelling picture of the simultaneous attraction and exploitation of this sort of gig work, as well as the inherent obstacles it poses to worker solidarity.

Table of Contents

  1. Info-Tech Is Not the New Utopia/ Howard Brick, New Labor Forum
  2. Paul Mason on Post-Capitalism and “A Guide to Our Future”/ Interview on The Laura Flanders Show
  3. The Ecstasy and Exploitation of Art Handling/ Clynton Lowry & Kressent Pottenger,  New Labor Forum

Photo by paul.comstock via flickr (CC-BY)

A Not-So-Happy Labor Day: NLF Highlights for September 4, 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.

For the past half-century, Labor Day has more often than not presented the occasion for a sobering assessment of the diminished power of organized labor and the resulting decline in living standards for the entire working-class – from wage stagnation and precarious work to the whittling away of employer-based health and pension coverage. And this Labor Day forces an even grimmer-than-usual reckoning. The fact that, only a week ago, the Trump regime inducted the likes of former President Ronald Reagan into the Labor Department Hall of Honor is emblematic of the crisis. With the addition of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the right-wing’s decades-long attack on public sector unionism is likely to score a big victory in the Janus v. AFSCME case, slated for a hearing later this fall. In theSeptember 2017 issue of New Labor Forum, rolling off press now, we contemplate the probable implications and strategic options facing public sector unions once the ruling is handed down. Included in this newsletter is an article from the issue by Chris Brooks, arguing against a strategy of members-only unionism advocated by some on the left in response to the predicted end of the agency shop.

Also under contemplation in the Fall 2017 issue, is the historically troubled, but occasionally productive, relationship between organized labor and civil rights organizations. Strengthening that alliance in the years ahead will prove critical to the fate of labor and racial justice movements. We offer here a piece from the journal by Brandon Terry and Jason Lee, examining the historical obstacles to such alliances, and suggesting new grounds on which to reinvigorate those efforts under current circumstances.

Subscribe to New Labor Forum and gain full access to in-depth analysis on issues like these.

Table of Contents

  1. A Cure Worse Than the Disease/ Chris Brooks
  2. State of the Union/ Ruth Milkman & Stephanie Luce
  3. Rethinking the Problem of Alliance/ Brandon Terry & Jason Lee
  4. Fighting Back Against Public Sector Attacks/ Pierrette Talley
  5. The Trump Administration Just Put Ronald Reagan Alongside Eugene Debs In Its Labor Hall of Honor/ Thor Benson

Photo via The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives 

New Labor Forum Highlights: June 26th, 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.

As summer heats up, even those of us in the northern hemisphere can’t help but ponder the perils of climate change. This crisis should be a top issue for the U.S. labor movement. Yet unified action by organized labor to protect our planet remains constrained by narrow notions of worker self-interest and of solidarity, as well as by public policy that disregards the need for a “just transition” to sustainable energy. Today’s Highlights includes New Labor Forum columnist Sean Sweeney speaking at this year’s People’s Summit in Chicago, arguing for an independent worker’s voice on climate.

We’re also proud to call attention to Climate Solidarity: Workers vs. Warming, a brand new e-book by New Labor Forum Contributing Editor Jeremy Brecher. We have posted a chapter of the book to our website, and the entire book is available for free download. It’s full of insight regarding the practical and ideological obstacles to concerted work within unions to combat climate change, as well as strategic thinking on energizing labor’s climate protection work.

Committed climate activist Naomi Klein’s new book, No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need, notable in part for coming out so quickly after the elections, is reviewed by Hari Kunzru (The Guardian), and we include that here. The book is a clarion call for a politics that accentuates what movements are working towards, rather than what they merely oppose.

Lastly, we’re sharing an article from Wired by Nick Stockton about dogged legal efforts to delay and obstruct the Trump Administration’s environmental efforts.

Table of Contents

  1. Winning Clean Energy & Climate Justice for All / Sean Sweeney, New Labor Forum
  2. Climate Solidarity: Workers vs. Warming / Jeremy Brecher
  3. No Is Not Enough by Naomi Klein (Book Review) / Hari Kunzru, The Guardian  
  4. The Grizzled, Stubborn Lawyers Protecting the Environment From Trump / Nick Stockton, Wired Magazine 

Photo by Jonathan Potts via flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)

New Labor Forum Highlights: May 1st, 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.

New Labor Forum is proud to announce the release of our May 2017 issue – just in time for May Day! We offer a collection of exceptionally strong articles, notably a debate regarding the broadly predicted emergence of a non-white voting majority in the U.S. Cristina Mora & Michael Rodriguez-Muniz respond to an intriguing article by Richard Alba, entitled “The Likely Persistence of a White Majority” that appeared in The American Prospect. In that article, Alba warned against the presumption of a “majority-minority” voting block. In their response for New Labor Forum, Cristina Mora & Michael Rodriguez-Muniz take issue with Alba’s conclusions, particularly concerning the racial identities of Latinos and growing numbers of mixed race offspring. And Alba responds, asserting the significance of these segments of the population in which he discerns a politically consequential blurring of ethno-racial boundaries. In the wake of Trump’s election after years of assertions about the ‘New American Majority’ this conversation holds special urgency. Also from the May issue, we highlight a review by Lily Geismer, who examines two books and their discussion of post-industrial life in the  rustbelt, important to understanding a vital aspect of Trump’s electoral support.

And in honor of May Day, we’re pleased to showcase Sarah Aziza’s article from Waging Nonviolence about the organizers of the ‘Day without an Immigrant’ happening today in conjunction with International Workers Day. The last decade has seen a revival of May Day as something that combines a resurgent immigrant workers’ movement, a more public and militant wing of the left, and a shifting labor movement – all at the same time. We will continue to examine these burgeoning forms of the Resistance as they test their strength.

Table of Contents

  1. The Likely Persistence of a White Majority / Richard Alba, The American Prospect
  2. A Response to Richard Alba’s“The Likely Persistence of a White Majority” / G. Cristina Mora and Michael Rodriguez-Muniz, New Labor Forum
  3. How Census Data Mislead Us about Ethno-Racial Change in the United States: A Response to Mora and Rodriguez-Muniz / Richard Alba, New Labor Forum
  4. Books and the Arts: Life After the Great Industrial Extinction / Lily Geismer, New Labor Forum
  5. Meet the Organizers behind the next “Day without an Immigrant” Strike / Sarah Aziza, Waging Non-Violence

Photo by Lorie Shaull via flickr (CC-BY-SA)

New Labor Forum Highlights: April 17th, 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.

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.

We look at the veterans who joined the Women’s March in Washington for personal insights, and at a book review of Tom Hayden’s last and posthumous book, about the Vietnam anti-war movement. Finally, to close our vet-specific content, we offer a link to the Veterans Organizing Institute, a little known training program in organizing for veterans.

The broader peace movement gets an in-depth look from Daniel May at The Nation. This article sums up ‘where we are’ just before the recent escalation. And Thomas Gallagher, in another NLF original, makes it clear precisely how Bernie Sanders plays a distinctive role  in US politics when it comes to war and peace.

Table of Contents

  1. Appeal for a Reinvigorated Veterans Movement by Lyle Jeremy Rubin
  2. Veterans Talk About Why They Joined The Women’s March In DC by Adam Linehan / Task and Purpose
  3. The significance of Bernie Sanders’s opposition to Donald Trump’s Syria bombing by Thomas Gallagher
  4. How to Revive the Peace Movement in the Trump Era by Daniel May / The Nation
  5. The Veterans Organizing Institute

Photo by Shawn Musgrave via flickr (CC)