Category Archives: New Labor Forum

New Labor Forum

New Labor Forum is a national labor journal from the Murphy Institute and the City University of New York. Published three times a year, New Labor Forum provides a place for labor and its allies to test and debate new ideas. Issues we explore include (but are not limited to): the global economy’s impact on work and labor; new union organizing and political strategies; labor’s new constituencies and their relationship to organized labor’s traditional institutions; internal union reform and new structural models for the labor movement; alternative economic and social policies; and the role of culture in a new, revitalized labor movement. Read the latest issue or subscribe to New Labor Forum.

New Labor Forum Highlights: March 18th, 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.

With today’s newsletter, we offer an article written for us by Bob Dreyfuss, editor ofTheDreyfussReport.com and frequent writer for Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, The American Prospect , and The New Republic . In his piece for New Labor Forum , Dreyfuss notes that Sanders and Warren, alone among the 14 candidates who have currently entered the 2020 Democratic field, have begun to elaborate foreign policy positions. Their unabashedly left positions, Dreyfuss argues, are without parallel since the 1972 candidacy of George McGovern. As centrist candidates and the U.S. military lobby apparatus gear up, Democratic foreign policy discussions are certain to shift to the right. And as that happens, Dreyfuss suggests we keep an eye out for a bold, new actor on the scene: Common Defense, an organization unwilling to cede any anti-war ground to the erratic gyrations of Donald Trump.

As the left continues its efforts to elaborate a foreign policy in the 2020 race, Ted Fertik, writing for N+1, urges a more accurate understanding of what he views as the widely mischaracterized Marshall Plan. Rather than an act of global generosity, he argues, its intent was to shore up U.S. capitalism and bourgeois political systems in Western Europe, and its distinct result was to feed the Cold War. “Marshall Plan-thinking”, Fertik argues, has held powerful sway in U.S. politics through the periods of the Vietnam War, wars in Central America, and the war in Iraq. It is this thinking to which the left must offer an alternative in a world made more complex by the rise of China as a global economic and military power.

Table of Contents

  1. The Left Gets a Foreign Policy, Sort of/Bob Dreyfuss, New Labor Forum
  2. Geopolitics for the Left/ Ted Fertik, N+1 Magazine
The Left Gets a Foreign Policy, Sort of.
By Bob Dreyfuss/ New Labor Forum
With the number of Democrats who’ve opted to challenge Donald Trump’s reelection in 2020 now well into double digits and growing, it’s notable that so far only two, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have put down markers on foreign policy. Both, hailing from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, have outlined in some detail the principles that, they say, would guide their approach to foreign affairs as president. Both outlines, of course, should be considered works-in-progress. Neither Sanders nor Warren have much of a track record when it comes to national security, and in 2016 the Sanders..

 

Geopolitics for the Left
By Ted Fertik/ N+1 Magazine
Not since the early years of the Iraq War has foreign policy dominated American headlines as it does in the age of Trump. The United States in the ’90s enjoyed the narcissism of the “New World Order,” and journalistic glances abroad mainly flattered this self-conception. After Bush, Obama campaigned as an antiwar candidate, only to get the country embroiled in at least five additional conflicts, all more or less waged sotto voce, so as to minimize the tarnish imperial police…

Photo by ricardo via flickr (cc-by)

New Labor Forum Highlights: March 4th, 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.

Until recently, it has been assumed that among the most highly skilled and best paid soft-ware engineers and technicians, the chances of collective resistance to the labor and other managerial practices of the giants of the industry were virtually nil. However, journalist Julianne Tveten’s article for New Labor Forum’s winter 2019 issue records the growing fight back on the part of precisely these kinds of workers at places like Google and Microsoft. And some recent tech worker efforts have resulted in remarkable victories. Among them, the protest of senior engineers and others at Google that caused the company to end “Project Maven,” its contract with the Defense Department using artificial intelligence to improve the strike precision of the Pentagon’s drones. A distinct feature of this new organizing is the manner in which it combines political and more traditional labor organizing.

Protests against sexual harassment at Google have brought these forms of organizing together to achieve a very recent, notable victory. In Wired, Nitasha Tiku covers the protests’ latest results: the ending of the company’s practice barring workers from initiating class-action suits, or from suing over discrimination or wrongful termination. The widening ideological and political divide between Silicon Valley’s CEOs and its employees has, no doubt, contributed to these advances. Moira Weigel and Ben Tarnoff, writing for The New Republic, note that media outlets have largely failed to take account of tech workers’ growing tendency to eschew the libertarianism prevalent in the corner offices of Silicon Valley for the solidarity of the labor movement. As evidence of this yawning ideological divide, we invite you to view SpeakOut.Tech’s video incitement to tech workers to stand up against their employers, assuring them, “We’ve got your back,” words common in any union hall.
Table of Contents
  1. Daniel in the Lion’s Den: Platform Workers Take on the Tech Giants in the Workplace and the World/ Julianne Tveten, New Labor Forum
  2. Google Ends Forced Arbitration After Employee Protest/Nitasha Tiku, Wired
  3. The Stark Political Divide between Tech CEOs and Their Employees/Moira Weigel and Ben Tarnoff, The New Republic
  4. Tech workers have incredible power/SpeakOut.Tech

Continue reading New Labor Forum Highlights: March 4th, 2019

New Labor Forum Highlights: Feburary 19th, 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.
An increasing number of Americans now see climate change as an imminent threat caused by humans. Sixty-four percent of voters also believe the U.S. should do more to respond to the crisis. Enter Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of 14th district of New York, the burgeoning Sunrise Movement, and the Congressional Resolution on the Green New Deal, released February 7th. In this installment of the New Labor Forum newsletter we make available to our readers an analysis of the Resolution by Sean Sweeney, NLF columnist and Director of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy. Sweeney examines what have widely been characterized as the Resolution’s far-fetched proposals, and argues that “the magnitude of the climate crisis makes the half-measures and failed ‘market mechanisms’ of the mainstream in fact more unrealistic than the bold plans put forward by the Green New Deal.” We also include a link to the resolution itself, as well as two pertinent articles, one describing successful organizing by the residents of a majority-black community in Detroit to achieve public ownership and community control of utilities, and another article highlighting legislation in Maine to create a consumer-owned utility, with the support of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union. All of this is intended to spur discussion and inform action on the most urgent challenge of this era.

 

Table of Contents

  1. The Green New Deal’s Magical Realism/ Sean Sweeney, New Labor Forum
  2. Resolution on the Green New Deal/ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, House of Representatives
  3. The Green New Deal Must Put Utilities Under Public Control/ Jackson Koeppel, Johanna Bozuwa and Liz Veazey, In These Times
  4. Consumer-Owned Electric Utility Proposed for Maine; Union Contracts to be Protected/ IBEW Local 1837

Photo credit: Dimitri Rodriguez via flickr (cc-by)

New Labor Forum Highlights: Feburary 4th, 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.

American dominion over most of the globe has been a fact of life for many decades. The price in blood and treasure, both abroad and at home, has been ghastly. Yet for some time now, even as the forces of progressive reform have grown at an astonishing rate, the new left as a whole, pre-occupied with domestic political issues, has failed to offer an alternative vision of a left foreign policy. Aziz Rana does that in the winter 2019 issue of New Labor Forum. Along the way, he urges the left to break through the artificial division between domestic and foreign affairs, arguing, as did social democrats of yesteryear, that the dominion of capital at home depends on its political and economic over-lordship throughout the rest of the world. The material well-being and freedom of working people everywhere are organically linked, and that must inform the way a progressive America behaves abroad. Aziz Rana will be speaking at a forum organized by the journal at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies on March 1st. Please join us for this important discussion. Included here, you will also find a thoughtful article titled “America Needs an Entirely New Foreign Policy for the Trump Age” by Peter Beinart, who argues that, since the end of the Cold War, U.S. presidents of both parties have upheld a commitment U.S. global domination, which is both immoral and increasingly unsustainable.

Table of Contents
  1. Renewing working-class internationalism/ Aziz Rana, New Labor Forum
  2. America Needs an Entirely New Foreign Policy for the Trump Age/ Peter Beinart, The Atlantic
  3. The Making of a Progressive Foreign Policy/ The Murphy Institute, CUNY SLU

Renewing working-class internationalism

By Aziz Rana/ New Labor Forum
Trump’s 2016 victory has generated a growing internal debate within left-leaning circles about the future direction of the Democratic Party. To date, this debate has overwhelmingly focused on domestic questions of the economy, with the Sanders’ wing transforming policies like “Medicare for All” into a basic litmus test for party politicians with national ambitions. But it has not left foreign policy totally unscathed….

America Needs an Entirely New Foreign Policy for the Trump Age

By Peter Beinart/ The Atlantic
Amid all the talk about the Democratic Party’s move to the left, a contrary phenomenon has gone comparatively unnoticed: On foreign policy, Washington Democrats keep attacking Donald Trump from the right. They’re not criticizing him merely for his lackluster response to Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections. They’re criticizing him for..

The Makings of a Progressive Foreign Policy

Friday, March 1, 2019–9:00AM-10:30AM
CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
Featuring: Aziz Rana, Professor of Law, Cornell Law School; and Steve Fraser, Editor-at-Large, New Labor Forum
What are the challenges in developing and implementing a progressive foreign policy alternative?  What can we expect from the emerging progressive wing of Congressional Democrats?…

Subscribe to New Labor Forum

Do you subscribe to New Labor Forum, our publication for labor and its allies to test and debate new ideas?  In this new year, consider giving your favorite friends and colleagues a subscription too. Three times a year scholars, journalists, labor leaders and activists explore topics like the global economy’s impact on work and labor; new union organizing and political strategies; labor’s new constituencies and their relationship to organized labor’s traditional institutions; internal union reform and new structural models for the labor movement; alternative economic and social policies; and the role of culture in a new, revitalized labor movement. It is required reading for anyone who is concerned with issues of work, workers, and social change.Subscribe now to get each issue of New Labor Forum.

 

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

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