Category Archives: Labor Studies

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March with SLU at the 2019 Labor Day Parade (9/7)

We just graduated the first class from the new CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies! We never would have gotten to this point without the continuous support of the New York Labor Movement. So, this Sept. 7th, we’ll join in solidarity with our union sisters and brothers by marching in the Labor Day Parade. It’s a great opportunity to join fellow colleagues, students, alumni and faculty in showing our thanks to all helped make our school a reality.

March with SLU!

We’ll be meeting up at 9:00 AM, and marching out at 10:00 AM. from 44th St. between 5th and Madison — less than a block from SLU!

Remember, since we are marching in the first group, you will have plenty of time to circle back to your own local to march with them!
 

SLU Graduate Nicolas Pineda Featured on DC37 Radio

After graduating with a BA in Urban Studies, Nicolas Pineda, Jr. was the undergraduate speaker at SLU’s very first commencement ceremony this past spring, This coming fall, he’ll be starting his advanced certificate in Labor Studies. His has been a sometimes surprising journey into city work and then the labor movement — and SLU has played a pivotal role in that journey. Pineda shared his story, and the story of studying at the Murphy Institute as it transitioned into SLU, and what it’s been like to study under labor greats like Ed Ott on the DC37 radio show a few weeks back. It’s an illuminating listen. Check it out here.

Mourning 32BJ SEIU President Héctor Figueroa

It is with great sadness that we note the untimely passing on Thursday, July 11th of Héctor Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU and long-time member of the Murphy Institute and SLU Advisory Boards.

Héctor was a great labor leader and political powerhouse. His belief in the right of workers to determine their own destiny and to enjoy the benefits of unionization led him to wage numerous successful campaigns that brought better pay, benefits, and working conditions to thousands of women and men. He was a progressive leader with a broad vision of labor and its role in the larger struggle for social justice. He was a champion of racial, social, and economic equality. His work in defense of immigrants’ rights was outstanding, as were his efforts to expand voting rights. Continue reading Mourning 32BJ SEIU President Héctor Figueroa

New Labor Forum Highlights: June 10th, 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.

In the current issue of New Labor Forum , columnist Sarah Jaffe covers a very bright spot in the contemporary labor movement: the impressive union organizing taking place at digital media outlets around the country. Beginning in 2010 with Truthout, the first digital newsroom to organize, then since 2015, a wave of unionization has taken place at outlets that include: Gawker, The Onion, The Dodo, Gizmodo Media Group, HuffPost, Mic.com, Thrillist, Mic, Jacobin, Fast Company, The Onion, BuzzFeed, Vox Media, Slate, Salon, the Intercept, MTV News, and the fashion site Refinery29.

Campaigns with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America (CWA) have been led largely by millenials and, as Steven Greenhouse reports in an article in NiemanLab included here, have focused on raising abysmal starting wages, improving benefits packages, and protecting workers from the precarity that characterizes the industry. And according to TeenVogue columnist Kim Kelly − who figures in Jaffe’s and Greenhouse’s reporting and spoke at a CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies forum – collective bargaining at these media outlets has also begun to make strides toward improving workplace culture and bringing about “the world we think we want.” New digital media union members continue to experiment with their own feisty and innovative organizing to secure labor contracts. For instance, just last Thursday at Vox Media, approximately 300 workers stayed out of work to pressure the company to settle a contract that’s been in negotiation since April of last year. The dearth of fresh content to post left the company high and dry for the day and seems likely to spur a settlement.

Table of Contents
  1. The Labor Movement Comes to Virtual Reality: Unionizing Digital Media/ Sarah Jaffe,New Labor Forum
  2. Why are digital newsrooms unionizing now?/ Steven Greenhouse, Nieman Lab
  3. The Next Generation: Young Workers Building Movements/ The Murphy Institute, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies

Photo by lizsmith via flickr (cc-by-nc-nd)

Union Semester Student Bailey Miller Wins Labor Journalism Contest

Each year, the Metro New York Labor Journalism Council gives out awards for student labor journalism. And this year, the winner for written article was SLU student Bailey Miller, who wrote about “body shops,” labor-leasing companies that exploit formerly incarcerated workers, and which are proliferating on construction sites throughout New York City. Her article is reproduced below. Congratulations, Bailey!

The Rise of Labor-Leasing Companies and the Exploitation of Formerly Incarcerated Workers in New York City

By Bailey Miller

Construction in New York City is booming, but beneath the glitter and shine of new buildings, a troubling trend has emerged. An expanding class of labor-leasing companies, known as “body shops”, is providing general contractors with workforces of formerly incarcerated people for exploitive construction sites across the five boroughs. Body shops pay barely minimum wage, offer no benefits like medical coverage, and provide minimal safety training for workers to erect scaffolds, clear debris, and perform other types of work on the cheap. The rise of body shops means that formerly incarcerated workers, who are disproportionately Black, are increasingly exploited to perform the dangerous work of erecting New York City’s luxury towers and shopping complexes.   Continue reading Union Semester Student Bailey Miller Wins Labor Journalism Contest

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