Labor

Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Wondering why we're experiencing abortion bans and attacks on birth control? The birth rate is plunging in the U.S.: It's a spontaneous birth strike! In other countries, panic over low birth rates has led governments to underwrite childbearing and childrearing with generous universal programs, but in the U.S., women have not yet realized the potential of our bargaining position. When we do, it will lead to new strategies for improving the difficult working conditions U.S. parents now face when raising children. Join Jenny Brown, in discussion with Laura Tanenbaum, on her new book, Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women’s Work (PM Press, 2019).
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Escalating fascist and racist violence grows out of the bipartisan capitalist offensive against immigrants: not only Trump’s border wall with Mexico and anti-Muslim ban, but Obama’s record deportations and Democrats’ policy of border militarization. Key to fighting anti-immigrant hysteria is mobilizing the power of the multiethnic working class. The Internationalist Group calls for workers action to stop deportations and crush the fascists. In the Pacific Northwest, Class Struggle Workers – Portland sparked union motions to mobilize against racist/fascist provocations, and initiated Portland Labor Against the Fascists that brought out some 300 unionists and supporters in 2017. It calls to form workers defense guards to defeat the fascist threat. In the 2016 elections Painters Local 10 called to break with all bosses’ parties, and for a class-struggle workers party. In Los Angeles, transit workers have marched with Teamsters defending Salvadoran immigrants. In New York, Trabajadores Internacionales Clasistas has joined in unionizing immigrant workers, demanding full citizenship rights for all immigrants.
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Kim Moody's Rank-and-File Strategy (RFS) has received new attention in the pages of Jacobin in the last year. Moody weighed in two decades after writing his original article, followed by articles from Barry Eidlin and Max Elbaum. Here, the three panelists will examine what is missing both from Moody's bottom-up organizing model and those of his Jacobin respondents. Marc Kagan will speak on the importance of fighting for workplace control, a crucial feature of previous rounds of working class unrest, which has largely disappeared from discussions about mobilizing workers. After this deeper dive onto the shop floor, the next two speakers argue for a more expansive strategy. Lynne Turner will consider how to conjoin RFS with the "bargaining for the common good" approach utilized in recent teacher strikes, to build more power and encourage workers to think beyond the workplace and toward social transformation. Luke Elliott-Negri will argue that the rank and file approach to union politics is much more a tactic of socialist strategy than it is socialist strategy itself, and needs to be combined with electoral work.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
My Mis-Education in 3 Graphics documents the filmmaker’s darkly humorous journey through the mind-boggling constructs of mainstream economics. Critics offer some clear-sighted alternatives to the dominating economists' beliefs and models. The film is a visually fun satire deconstructing the current orthodox version of "the dismal science". Filmed introductory economics course lectures and interviews with economists reveal the enormous rift between the economic textbook models and the filmmaker’s and other critics’ understandings of economic reality. The first part of the film explores how mainstream economics (mis)represents markets, the next is a presentation of their befuddling model of the firm, and the final section, on macroeconomics, points to some of the major issues hidden by the models: financial debt’s contribution to inequality, and the unaccounted for destruction of the natural world. Mainstream economists such as N.Gregory Mankiw, George Borts, Timothy Taylor, and Lawrence Summers are critiqued by Herman Daly, Michael Hudson, Randall Wray, Richard McIntyre, Richard and Max Wolff, Robert Pollin, Nancy Holmstrom, Richard Smith, Costas Panayotakis, Doug Henwood, John Foster, Susan Feiner, and Stephen Marglin.
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
In recent years, states and cities across the U.S. have pursued a range of creative -- and increasingly assertive -- efforts to strengthen workers' rights. New standards-setting legislation has been enacted that establishes sharply higher minimum wages, guarantees various forms of paid leave, prohibits abusive scheduling practices, and provides access to public retirement savings programs, among other measures. However, legislation that would directly strengthen worker organizing has been pursued more tentatively and with less success. Notable initiatives in this vein include legislation to allow app-based drivers to unionize in Seattle and a law in New York City that would allow fast food workers to form a novel form of organization and fund it through payroll deductions. In this panel, a diverse set of speakers will take stock of the new wave of policies concerning workers’ rights, assess strengths and limitations, and discuss strategies for furthering a pro-worker agenda at the state and city level. Janice Fine, Professor of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University, will provide an overview and analysis of the recent wave of state and local activity on workers’ rights. Mansoor Khan, Organizing Coordinator at SEIU, will discuss the history of unionization among publicly-financed home care and child care providers. Driven by state and local policy innovations, home care and child care workers’ successes over the past two decades, followed by recent setbacks, hold important lessons for current strategy. Sam Krinsky, Research Director at the New York City Office of Labor Policy and Standards, will review recent proposals for using wage boards and benefit programs to strengthen worker organizing and discuss how these can be implemented by states and cities despite constraints posed by federal law.
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Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
A spectre is haunting the USA: the first strike wave in over four neoliberal decades. West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Los Angeles, and Oakland teachers have walked off their jobs and shut down schools to demand better pay, more funding for students, a reversal of privatization, and an end to years of austerity. More recently, slowdowns and a threatened strike by flight attendants and airport screeners ended the government shutdown. Join us for a conversation about the lessons and prospects of this historic upsurge for educators, unionists, and radicals.
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
The Green New Deal should be the most important agenda for expanding the power of the working class since the original New Deal. However, up to now the response from labor has been skeptical or even dismissive. We will discuss how to formulate a Green New Deal plan that will appeal to the labor movement, by explaining how a broad-based Federal program of building new national and local green infrastructure systems will benefit the working and middle classes as a whole, and the labor movement in particular. Because of the millions of jobs, up to at least 20 million, that this program can generate, manufacturing can be revived, and along with millions of other jobs, a de facto job guarantee would mean that the working class would gain unprecedented power in the economy.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
What does the labor movement look like in Africa today? What are the dynamics and theories of revolutionary socialism on the Continent? We explore these questions with the chairman of the African Socialist Movement, a Pan-Africanist and revolutionary socialist movement based in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Race, Class, Gender, and the University: Struggles within and beyond the Campus Walls The university under capitalism is a site of political unevenness and contradiction. While academia promotes an image of impartiality and liberality in terms of viewpoints, scholarship, and diversity, those who don’t adhere to the restricted parameters of institutionalized “neutrality” are often marginalized, slandered, and sometimes dismissed. Indeed, as Steven Salaita argues, “disinterest and objectivity” are more often aligned with ruling powers both within and outside the walls of the academy. While identitarian positioning is often encouraged, solidarity that challenges systems of racial and gendered oppression or that exposes the symbiotic relationships between academic knowledge-production and imperialism are systematically repressed. At this same time, the university--perhaps especially our austerity-prone public universities, which often serve 'majority minority' and working-class students-- still can provide fertile ground for radical thinking and new social connections with the potential to resist hegemonic capitalist regimes of 'divide and rule.' Accordingly, this panel seeks to discuss the intersections of race, class, and gender struggles that challenge the status-quo politics within the university, or that use the base of the university to challenge capitalism and imperialism beyond the campus walls. While we intend to address some of the limits of critique offered by institutionalized identity politics, primarily this panel will offer first-hand accounts and theorization of alternative models for radical social justice organizing within the university space, with a view towards building resistance beyond the confines of campus-oriented politics.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Jazz and Self Determination 4 is the continuation of discussions focused on the socio-political components within the Jazz idiom. The free jazz movement of the 1960's and 70's are the primary focus with the primaries of this activity providing the narrative. The first installment premiered at Left Forum 2018 and the second took place at The People's Forum, March 10, 2019. The topics include: formations of collectives, independent record labels, underground festivals, gender, working conditions for musicians and the black arts movement. Althea SullyCole is the co host as occurred on Left Forum 2018. The panelists include: Greg Tate, Basir Mchawi, Ahmed Abdullah, Ted Daniel, Jeremiah Hosea and William Parker.