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Labor and the People’s Climate March

Photo shows Master’s degree alum Bill Cali marching with the Committee of Interns and Residents, SEIU.

By Stephanie Luce

Murphy faculty, staff and students were among the over-310,000 people who participated in the People’s Climate March on September 21. Labor unions first gathered for a rally at 57th Street and Broadway before the march began, and union leaders and members spoke about the importance of the march and the issue of climate change.

Many union members were impacted directly or indirectly by Superstorm Sandy, and they are eager for the city to make necessary changes to prevent future storms from having a catastrophic impact. Others emphasized the ways in which labor rights and environmental rights are intertwined. Employers who violate environmental standards and harm the environment are often the same ones violating labor laws.

The president of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, stated, “It’s our for-profit system that will lead to the devastation of our planet.”

The Murphy Institute will host a follow-up event on the topic of climate change for our next breakfast forum, on October 31st. The event — Jobs and Climate: Two Crises, One Solution — will begin at 8:30 am and will feature Jill Furillo, Executive Director of NYSNA, and Bill McKibben, author and founder of 350.org.

Labor studies Master’s degree student Tony Moran marched with his union, SEIU 32BJ .

Labor studies Master’s degree student Tony Moran marched with his union, SEIU 32BJ .