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Welcome to CUNY SLU’s Spring 2019 Students!

On Thursday, January 24th, 63 new CUNY School of Labor and Urban studies students from all programs gathered for a New Student Orientation.  Students were joined by faculty, student peers, and SLU advising and support staff to prepare for the spring 2019 semester.  Thanks to all the staff and students who participated, and here’s to success for all our students in the semester ahead!

New Labor Forum Highlights: January 22nd, 2019

The New Labor Forum has 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.

Original insights into the workings of an ever-evolving capitalism are rare occurrences. We are proud to be publishing one in the winter 2019 print issue of New Labor Forum.  The article, by Shoshana Zuboff, offered in today’s installment of our newsletter, presents a theory of surveillance capitalism. It’s an essay length summation of her book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, published to much acclaim and rave reviews.  Zuboff argues that surveillance capitalism opens up a whole new era in capital accumulation. It relies on a process of primitive accumulation, which has always been characteristic of capitalism, but extends capital’s reach beyond nature and human labor into the interior, intimate life of human beings, by tracking, manipulating, and trading in human behavior. She calls the new system the “Big Other” and ponders what new forms of collective resistance might need to emerge to challenge the dominion of surveillance capitalism.
Table of Contents: 
  1. Surveillance Capitalism and the Challenge of Collective Action/ Shoshana Zuboff, New Labor Forum
  2. How Tech Companies Manipulate Our Personal Data/ Jacob Silverman, New York Times

Continue reading New Labor Forum Highlights: January 22nd, 2019

Joseph S. Murphy Institute Scholarship for Diversity in Labor (Deadline: 2/19/19)

The period is now open to file an application for the Joseph S. Murphy Institute Scholarship for Diversity in Labor for Fall 2019 admission. Well qualified candidates should be encouraged to apply. The two-year Scholarship offers students enrolled on the graduate track up to $30,000 and, those enrolled on the undergraduate track up to $20,000.

Eligibility:

Applying for the Diversity Scholarship is a two-step process. The first step is to apply and be accepted to an academic program by the deadline date indicated below. Graduate candidates must be first-time applicants, accepted to the MA in Labor Studies program (MALS). Contact Rob Callaghan at Rob.Callaghan@slu.cuny.edu At the baccalaureate level, candidates must be accepted to, or currently enrolled in the Urban and Community Studies program. Contact Cherise Mullings at Cherise.Mullings@slu.cuny.edu

Continue reading Joseph S. Murphy Institute Scholarship for Diversity in Labor (Deadline: 2/19/19)

New Labor Forum Highlights: January 7th, 2019

The New Labor Forum has 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.

While reports on the political implications of the current partial government shutdown continue to run on the front pages of major news outlets, less attention has been paid to the 800,000 workers who are going without a pay check. It’s been a decidedly unhappy holiday season for the roughly 400,000 furloughed workers and the approximately 400,000 essential workers forced to keep working without compensation. These workers and their union, the American Federation of Government Employees, are prohibited under federal law from striking or even from bargaining over wages. The union has opted to file a lawsuit against the government alleging that the act of forcing employees deemed essential to work without pay is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. And, in the meantime, many of those workers have decided to take matters into their own hands in the form of a sickout. As it turns out, Transportation Security Officers (TSA), who get us all through airport security checkpoints on starting salaries that run as low as $25,000 to $30,000 per year, have had enough. Beginning yesterday, the TSA sickout appears to be making a real impact on wait times at airports from New York to Salt Lake City. This may be the beginning of an upsurge of greater militancy among federal workers. We include here a number of articles and a video that explore this vital aspect of the current government shutdown.
Table of Contents: 
  1. How Federal Workers Could Fight the Shutdown/ Ben Beckett and Ryan Haney, Jacobin
  2. Airport Security Lines Grow Across the Nation As TSA Sickout Continues/ Grant Martin, Forbes
  3. Union leader discusses lawsuit against President Trump over shutdown/ The Hill
  4. All 20 previous government shutdowns, explained/ Dylan Matthews, Vox

Continue reading New Labor Forum Highlights: January 7th, 2019

On Equity in Our Workforce

By Rebecca Lurie

As I read the latest paper by Steve Dawson on workforce, once again I am grateful for the principles and practices he describes so well. (And succinctly! So if you have time to read a one-pager, do it! And don’t bother to read my post!)

Dawson’s paper, “Class Dismissed Defining Equity in our Workforce Field” suggests we look deeper into meaningful work and consider, when we train and prepare for jobs, that we also train and prepare for the broader world of work. Exposing trainees to organizing, policy, advocacy and cooperative business skills all as means to improve lives even when job placement options are not great.

The full series can be found here. I highly recommend it for those aiming to do more than good work through workforce development, but for those who want to use the opportunity when engaged in workforce training to help raise the bar, and advocate for better jobs and better work in a world that demands us to make ready ourselves, our young, our disenfranchised, for work that will improve conditions through a wide range of strategies and approaches.

Local 94 Members Celebrate First Business Writing Course with the Murphy Institute at CUNY SLU

By Becky Firesheets

On Thursday, December 6th, thirteen members of Local 94 celebrated their successful completion of Worker Education at SLU’s Business Writing course with a graduation ceremony that felt more like a family meal than a formal event. After nearly perfect attendance throughout the term (there were only two absences, both due to medical reasons), the group of Chief Operators, Assistant Chiefs, and Operating Engineers who work at SL Green had clearly become close-knit – with one another and their instructor, Dr. Michael Shapiro.

“It was a great learning experience. Dr. Shapiro runs a class that makes you want to learn. He keeps you busy and makes you think. He is a great teacher,” one student wrote on his final evaluation form. Continue reading Local 94 Members Celebrate First Business Writing Course with the Murphy Institute at CUNY SLU