ILR Students Alex Klein And Allison Lapehn, Report From The Labor Roundtable
An annual event that educates students on current issues within the labor movement
Monday, February 11, 2013
On November 14, 2014, The Worker Institute hosted the twelfth annual ILR Labor Roundtable at Cornell. Around 170 students – the largest recorded turnout in the event's history – came to the Roundtable to talk with 16 speakers representing the labor and social justice movements.
Made possible by The Worker Institute and the Cornell Organization for Labor Action (COLA), COLA's success in campaigns for fair labor practices against Jansport, Adidas, Nike, and Russell Athletics have put Cornell at the forefront of the national student labor movement, and the opportunity for students to talk to these labor leaders was not to be missed. This fall, student activists campaigned against workers rights violations and Cornell joined 14 other Universities in ending their contract with Jansport over labor rights violations.
The annual event seeks to educate students on current issues in the labor movement and expose them to a wide range of organizations, both unions and social justice NGOS, that are fighting to advance the rights of workers.
Speakers included: researchers, labor lawyers, a labor economist, and organizers, representing: the Retail Action Project, Laborers' International Union of North America, United Steelworkers Canada, National Nurses United, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Communications Workers of America, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Teamsters, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Solidarity Center, The Food Chain Workers Alliance, and Writers Guild of America West.
Students at the event stated that it "exceeded expectations", and truly enjoyed "hearing the new perspectives that each speaker brought to the table."