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SLU Newsflash: All SLU Public Events Currently On Hold

Due to public safety measures related to the Coronavirus, all in-person events at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) have been suspended through at least April 19, 2020.

Planning is underway to hold some upcoming programs – including Organizing 2.0 – as live-streamed web conferences, with all speakers and attendees participating remotely.
Please stay tuned for further information about the ongoing suspension of in-person events, as well as plans for live streams and web conferences. We will send you email updates, as well as add the latest information to the SLU website and to social media.
Questions? Email us: events@slu.cuny.edu
We hope that you and your family stay safe and be well during this public health crisis.

Public Domain photo via flickr

City Works: Randi Weingarten & Teachers Strike with Stacy Davis Gates

City Works is a NEW monthly news magazine program produced by the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) in collaboration with CUNY TV and hosted by Laura Flanders. The show’s mission is to create is a visual and thematic presentation of work, workers and worker organizations, employing topical examinations of the changing nature of work, tributes to unsung heroes, and analysis of the enduring challenges faced by workers. The show will spotlight the vast array of occupations of working people across New York City, and explore individual and collective efforts to make a better life for workers and a more prosperous and equitable society.

On this month’s show…

  • Randi Weingarten; Chicago Teachers Union Vice President
  • Stacy Davis Gates on the strikes of 2019 and what comes next.

New Labor Forum Highlights: March 2020

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.

The global video game industry – catering to 2.5 billion gamers across the world who annually purchase upwards of $152 billion in games – has become a new site of labor organizing. The mostly young people who carry out the game design, programming, aesthetics, and quality assurance for games like Halo, Assassin’s Creed, and World of Warcraft, are finding reasons aplenty to unite as workers. Having largely grown up without an experience of unions, their passion for video games has run headlong into the 50 to 70-hour work weeks (known as “crunch”) that are common in the industry prior to a game’s release. Often these hours go unpaid or underpaid. And once the games are released, mass layoffs are common, and those who have contributed to the game’s development often find their names missing from the credit rolls.

In the current issue of New Labor Forum, Jamie Woodcock describes nascent worker organizing in the U.K. that arose outside of traditional union channels, largely on-line, foregrounding demands for worker control more so than for wage increases. Woodcock assesses the use of social media as an organizing tool and conjectures on the lessons the UK campaign offers to game workers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Recent self-organizing among game workers in the U.S. has, in fact, spurred the formation in early January of the Campaign to Organize Digital Employees launched by the Communication Workers of America. We offer an article from the L.A. Times that describes that budding effort. And we conclude with a talk by Jamie Woodcock on his book, Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle.
Table of Contents
  1. Organizing in the Game Industry: The Story of Game Workers Unite U.K. / Jamie Woodcock, New Labor Forum
  2. Major union launches campaign to organize video game and tech workers / Sam Dean, Los Angeles Times
  3. Video: Jamie Woodcock presents Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle / Jamie Woodcock

Photo by Brian Brodeur via flickr (cc-by-nc)

SLU Announces Two New Faculty Members

Dean Gregory Mantsios is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members of the SLU faculty: Joel Suarez, Assistant Professor of Labor Studies, and Samir Sonti, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies.

Joel Suarez is coming to SLU from the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a Visiting Scholar in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department. At UT, he also serves as a Qualitative Research Associate at the Dell Medical School, studying the health care experiences of formerly homeless and historically marginalized populations. Dr. Suarez holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University, an M.A in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. He has received a number of grants and awards, including the Davis Prize from Princeton University, and the Reed Fink Award in Southern Labor History from Georgia State University. Joel is the associate editor of the academic blog “Tropics of Meta,” and currently has a book in progress based on his dissertation, entitled Laboring for Liberty: Work and the Problem of Freedom in Modern America.

Samir Sonti holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sonti earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a concentration on 20th century U.S. labor and political economy. He has worked as a political organizer for the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP), and as a researcher for UNITE HERE, a union representing hospitality workers in the U.S. and Canada. He is currently expanding his dissertation, entitled The Price of Prosperity: Inflation and the Limits of U.S. Liberalism, 1932-1980, for publication. Since 2019, Samir has been the Books and Arts Editor of SLU’s New Labor Forum. He will teach in both the Urban Studies and Labor Studies programs.

“We are very fortunate to have recruited scholars of the calibre of Joel and Samir to our School,” said Dean Mantsios. “Their academic achievements and their personal passion for the labor and social justice movements will help SLU grow and appeal to an expanding student population.”
Professors Suarez and Sonti will join SLU for the Fall 2020 semester.

Event: FROM THE FIELDS TO THE RUNWAY: Women Workers Fighting to End Sexual Assault (3/5)

Thu, March 5, 2020, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

Labor and Urban Studies, 25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10036

RSVP HERE

Featuring worker-leaders from The Model Alliance and Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Learn about their worker-driven approach to end and prevent sexual assault and discrimination from the tomato fields of Florida to the fashion industry in New York, as well as their current campaigns to grow worker power and ensure respect in the workplace.

Co-sponsored by: Alliance for Fair Food and Student/ Farmworker Alliance

Special Event: SUPER TUESDAY RECAP: #Election2020 (3/7)

Sat, March 7, 2020, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, 25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10036

Hear expert analysis on the 2020 primary elections and updates on the race to become the Democratic nominee in this interactive Super Tuesday recap event. Bring your questions and comments!

 

*Featuring*

BASIL SMIKLE, PhD

Political Commentator at CNN and MSNBC; Faculty at Columbia University; Former Executive Director of the New York State Democratic Party; Former Distinguished Lecturer in Urban Studies, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies