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SLU and China’s SWUPL Establish MOU for International Education Exchange

Last June, SLU adjunct professor Joshua Bienstock and China Program Manager Jiajing “Jojo” Xu visited Southwest University of Political Law and Science (SWUPL) in Chongqing, China. Joshua taught courses in negotiation and collective bargaining, and Jojo held a number of preliminary information sessions with freshman and sophomore students majoring in labor and business fields who were interested in studying at SLU.
The initiative paid off handsomely, as SWUPL and SLU have now established an education exchange memorandum of understanding. SWUPL will offer $1,500 scholarships to students who choose to attend SLU’s undergraduate and graduate certificate programs.

Last week, Jojo organized and co-hosted several online presentations and information sessions to educate SWUPL’s students about how to apply to study at SLU. SWUPL’s academic director for labor relations and business law, Fu Hongyong, and associate dean of the business school, Li Yujie (shown above), also participated. Jojo reports that the students showed great enthusiasm for the program and gave good feedback.

 

Featured photo by Natasha de Vere & Col Ford via flickr (cc-by)

Event: BEYOND RESISTANCE: A Progressive Immigration Agenda for 2020 (12/3)

Tue, December 3, 2019
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM EST
CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10036

RSVP HERE

What should be the top priorities of a progressive immigration agenda for 2020?

Featured speakers:

Maribel Hernandez-Rivera – District Director for U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Deepak Bhargava – Distinguished Lecturer in Urban Studies, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU)

Muzaffar Chishti – Director of the Migration Policy Institute at NYU Law

ModeratorRuth Milkman, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU)

What should be the top immigration policy priorities of a new Democratic administration, assuming an election win in 2020? What are the labor market, social, and political impacts of merit-based vs. more humanitarian immigration streams? What are the various impacts of these two streams on the labor movement and working-class communities? What are the various political and economic interests influencing the growth of the deportation and detention industry? In what different ways are U.S. communities and jobs dependent on this industry? What are the key political distinctions among pro-immigration forces? Should the mass decriminalization of migrants and refugees be at the top of an immigration reform agenda? As war and climate change promise to accelerate this world-wide migratory trend, what policy framework should organized labor and social justice movements support?

FIRST COME, FIRST SEATED

Events are free and open to all, but due to space constraints registration is requested. We generally overbook to ensure a full house. Registered guests are given priority check-in 15 to 30 minutes before start time. After the event starts all registered seats are released regardless of registration, so we recommend that you arrive early. Light refreshments will be served.

AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDING

Programs are photographed and recorded by the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies for educational purposes. Attending this event indicates your consent to possibly being filmed and photographed and your consent to the use of your recorded image by the School.

PRESS

Please email all press inquiries (photo, video, interviews, audio-recording, etc.) at least 24 hours before the day of the program to events@slu.cuny.edu. Please note that professional photography and video recordings are prohibited without expressed consent.

PRIVACY POLICY

No spam, ever. Your email address will only be used by the event sponsors to communicate with you about this event and upcoming public programs.

ACCESSIBILITY

This venue has an elevator and is accessible for wheelchair users. There is an all-gender restroom on site. Simultaneous translation into other languages is not available for this event.

Video: Going Big: Reversing Trump’s Agenda & Modernizing Labor Rights

On Friday, November 15th, SLU hosted a Labor Forum on the future of labor rights. 135 people attended to hear how the labor movement can fight for workers’ rights and protections while the Trump administration continues to attempt to roll them back.

Featured speakers included:

  • Randi Weingarten — President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
  • Steven Greenhouse — Veteran New York Times labor journalist and author of the new book, Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor.
  • Vincent Alvarez – President of NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Although union density is near an all-time low, labor activism has surged in many sectors. From adjunct faculty to video game developers, digital media workers, platform app drivers, and public school teachers, labor movement activism is growing in a number of key sectors. This is happening as many full-time jobs with benefits are disappearing, consumer/student debt is skyrocketing, the “gig economy” is expanding, and economic insecurity is increasing for American workers and families. Housing and child care costs – which heavily impact workers’ income, wealth, and health – have also become more burdensome for many families. Under President Trump, a number of worker rights and protections have been weakened or denied, including:

• No movement toward federal minimum wage increase

• Weak overtime protections for salaried workers

• Allowing employers to self-report wage violations and escape penalties • Siding with employers against rights of gay and transgender workers

• (Mis)classifying Uber drivers and others as independent contractors, denying them basic rights

• Continuing ‘Right-to-Work’ efforts kickstarted by Supreme Court’s Janus decision

• Restricting workers’ right to organize at franchised businesses like McDonald’s

• De-funding and weakening OSHA

What should be Democrats’ top policy priorities to strengthen all workers’ rights? What are the most significant gaps and weaknesses in protections for worker organizing and economic rights today? ‘Right-to-work’ laws? Legal constraints against strikes and other worker actions? Minimum wage? The growing numbers of workers who fall outside the protections of the NLRA? Lack of livable safety net benefits for displaced and underemployed workers? Lack of protections for flex/gig workers? What new policies would best promote stronger worker protections and greater economic justice?

Event: PRIMER ON THE PRIMARIES: #Election2020 (11/23)

RSVP HERE

Saturday, November 23, 2019
12:30pm-2:00pm
CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
25 West 43rd Street, New York, NY * 18th Floor * Rooms 18 C-D

Featuring:

Basil Smikle, Jr. PhD

– Political Commentator – CNN, MSNBC

– Faculty – Columbia University

– Former Executive Director – NYS Democratic Party

What rules and procedures govern primaries, delegate selection, and party conventions?

What do unions and other political action groups do during primary season to promote the candidates, issues, and proposals they support?

Bring your questions and comments!

Doors open at 12:00pm. Program begins at 12:30pm.

Lunch will be served.

Workers’ Studio: El Co-op Exhibit at Queens Museum

Workers’ Studio: El Co-op is a series of collaborative art projects that use art as a tool for worker-led organizing. The Workers’ Studio is nomadic, and functions mostly in Day Laborers’ Worker Centers as a weekly encounter facilitated by artist (and 2019 SLU alumna) Sol Aramendi. Aramendi works on socially engaged art collaborations that are part of an evolving social sculpture integrating labor, immigration and art. Workers use the studio to create art projects that support their organizing and advocacy. The exhibition features a series of photographs, writing and works created by the participants.

The exhibition runs through January 12th at the Queens Museum located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Click here for more information.

New Labor Forum Highlights: November 2019

The New Labor Forum has a monthly 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.

Two historically important strikes came to a close last week, as 49,000 GM workers returned to work after the longest national work stoppage against the automaker in half a century; and 25,000 teachers and 7,500 school employees headed back to Chicago schools after landmark gains in negotiations with the city. Part of a rising tide of victorious strikes during the past two years, these workplace actions represent advancements worth noting in both public and private sector bargaining.

With $8.1 billion in earnings at GM in 2018 and $1.5 million in annual salary going to chief executive Mary Barra, UAW members were hell-bent on sharing in the company’s reversal of fortune since the Great Recession. A primary bargaining concern for workers was to raise the abysmal wages at the low end of their multi-tier contract, which included both temporary workers and “in progression workers” hired after 2007. A hallmark divide and conquer tool of management, multi-tier wage scales sell out the unborn by establishing lower wages and benefits for new hires, thus undermining worker solidarity and, in effect, giving employers reason to target older, more expensive workers. Undoing a multi-tier contract, which is precisely what UAW members managed to do, requires a heightened level of worker solidarity, given the need to direct contract gains toward workers on the lower end, in this case roughly 37% of the GM workforce. This sort of egalitarianism, heightened solidarity, and militancy in the private sector, the core of our economy, bodes well for a labor movement struggling to revive itself.

The Chicago Teachers Union − a leader in experimentation with a promising new strategy called Bargaining for the Common Good − won major concessions last week from the city in the form of contract language that went well beyond traditional negotiations over wages and benefits. Putting the demands of their community-based allies on the bargaining table, the union won lower class sizes and guarantees that every school will employ a nurse and social worker, as well as 120 new counselors, restorative justice coordinators and librarians in the highest-need schools, and improved staffing in bilingual and special education. These demands, including an unmet bargaining demand for affordable housing, make the union an increasingly powerful voice in policy-level concerns that impact educational outcomes. The strategic advance of Bargaining for the Common Good in the public sector presents a dramatic advance in joining the interests of worker and tax-payers in securing well-funded, equitable, high quality public services. The CTU strike, joined by SEIU Local 73, points the way in that direction.

With this installment of the newsletter, we offer a New Labor Forum article by Jobs with Justice Executive Director Erica Smiley that assesses organized labor’s growing militancy and innovation during the last year. We also bring to your attention to new publication from Labor Notes , “How to Strike and Win ,” which seeks to encourage and inform the rising tide of strikes by providing analysis and resources for unions and workers contemplating how, why and when to use the strike weapon.

Table of Contents

  1. Crisis, Creativity, and a Labor Movement Revival /  Erica Smiley, New Labor Forum
  2. How to Strike and Win/ Labor Notes, November 2019 Issue

Photo by Charles Edward Miller via flickr (cc-by-sa)

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