New Labor Forum Highlights: Oct 16th, 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.

Nearly a month ago, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico at the speed of 150 miles per hour. To this day, water, food, electrical power, and fuel remain scarce on the island. As Naomi Klein pointed out in a recent speech before the British Labour Party, this disaster starkly encapsulates a multifaceted global crisis, combining the toll of climate change, gross economic inequality, the weakening of democratic institutions, racism and neo-colonialism.

In this installment of the New Labor Forum newsletter, we offer a video link to Klein’s incisive talk. We also include an article from New Labor Forum by Jennifer Wolff assessing the Puerto Rican labor movement’s response to the debt crisis which, combined with Hurricane Maria, has now increased the volume of calls for the privatization of essential public services on the island. The island’s colonial status, as neither a U.S. state nor an independent country, continues to put it in a netherworld beyond even the most basic democratic means of resolving these calamities. In a speech we include here, New Labor Forum Editorial Board member Juan Gonzalez provides a background for understanding the peculiar vice grip Puerto Rico found itself in well before Maria made landfall.

Table of Contents

  1. Naomi Klein’s Speech to Labour Conference/ British Labour Party
  2. Debtors’ Island: How Puerto Rico Became a Hedge Fund Playground/ Jennifer Wolff, New Labor Forum
  3. Juan González Speech on Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis/ Democracy Now!

Photo by Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos via US Department of Defense. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.