The Worker Institute brings together researchers, educators and students with practitioners in labor, business and policymaking to address issues related to confronting systemic inequality and building a fair economy, robust democracy and just society. We will share opinion, analysis, research, data, insights and training from our faculty and staff.
Cornell Union Leadership Institute Student Survives Covid-19
Gene Carroll, Co-Director of the NYS AFL-CIO/Cornell Union Leadership Institute (ULI) writes on an experience of a member of the current Institute class who contracted COVID-19
Interview with Zaborah Roane, a childcare professional for over 20 years
Zaborah Roane has worked as a childcare professional for over 20 years. She is a member of the NDWA and a leader of We Dream in Black’s Raleigh chapter, a project of the NDWA to empower Black domestic workers.
Interview with Eddie Quezada, a produce worker in Long Island and Covid-19 survivor
Eddie Quezada has worked in the produce department of the grocery industry for 32 years. He is a Covid-19 survivor and still witnesses social distancing guidelines being ignored.
Interview with Briskella Garas, a member of IBEW Local 3
Briskella Garas works at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant in northern Manhattan. She feels as if her employer has taken many steps to protect workers, including measures to enforce social distancing and provide PPE for any interactive work.
Interview with Nicanora Montenegro, a home care provider in California
Nicanora Montenegro is a home care provider in San Diego, California. She is Vice President of UDW-AFSCME 3930 District 1 and believes that home care providers should be considered as essential, front line workers.
Interview with Duane Townes, working in construction in New York, NY
Duane Townes has worked in construction since 2014. He was working on a project at a school before the Covid-19 pandemic but has since taken a position delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) at Bellevue Hospital in New York.
Opinion – All Undocumented Immigrants Deserve Citizenship – Not Just Essential Workers
Shannon Gleeson outlines the situation faced by undocumented workers, and discusses potential futures for them including pathways to citizenship and their relationship.
The Intervention White America Needs
Tristan Ivory, Assistant Professor, International and Comparative Labor, writes about the history that led to this moment and direct actions to address systemic racism and poverty.
About Violence and Resistance
Risa L. Lieberwitz, Professor of Labor and Employment Law, writes about the meaning and history of violence and resistance.
A Call for Radical Labor Solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter Movement
Five labor scholars write to denounce racial injustice and call for radical labor solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and all movements for racial justice.
Latinos stand with #BlackLivesMatter because we both fight for justice and equality
"Our movement for immigrant worker justice is a struggle to reclaim the humanity of immigrant workers in a capitalist economy that thrives on dividing workers by race and nationality." The Worker Institute's Patricia Campos-Medina writes an op-ed in the Star-Ledger.
Racial and Economic Inequality in NYS within the Context of the Pandemic and Protests against Racism
The average annual salary from 2014 to 2018 in New York state for a white worker was $60,808 as compared to $40,707 for a black worker in New York state, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
The Ithaca Voice's Guide to Tompkins County school reopening
“Schools are not accustomed to looking at their buildings from the standpoint of communicable disease,” says Nellie Brown, Director of Workplace Health and Safety Programs at the Worker Institute in an interview with the Ithaca Voice.
Returning Workers Still Question Workplace Safety As Pandemic Continues
With more workers making their way back to their jobs, some provided an update about their recent experiences during a joint panel discussion and press event hosted by The Worker Institute and ROC United.
Little known unemployment program is helping businesses avoid layoffs
In an effort to prevent layoffs amidst this tumultuous economic situation, many states including New York have embraced a shared work system. Maria Figueroa, Director of Labor and Policy Research at the Cornell ILR School, explained how the system works.
Can schools safely reopen? Cornell University Health and Safety Director weighs in
Nellie Brown speaks with Local SYR on the adaptations that schools need to make to reopen safely and the logistical and financial barriers that will entail.
School Boards Worry About Time, Money When It Comes to Reopening
Nellie Brown speaks with Spectrum News about schools reopening and recommends districts first put together a joint labor-management committee that includes the school nurse, the district’s attorney, the HVAC folks, teachers, staff, and administration.
State Guidelines For Reopening Schools Are "A Skeleton" To Be Adapted To Specific Buildings
Nellie Brown speaks with Fox 40 Brown about school reopening, noting school buildings aren't exactly designed with the transmission of communicable diseases in mind and that each building will present its own host of problems.
Virtual Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit set for Sept. 22
Registration is open for the virtual Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit, Sept. 22. Confirmed speakers include John Podesta, former White House chief of staff, Nobel Laureate Marilyn Brown, Bloomberg Philanthropies' Climate Lead Antha Williams and New York State Climate Policy and Finance Chair Ali Zaidi.
Fair and Safe Return to Work: Protecting Workers and Communities during Reopening
This webinar will examine the issues that workers and communities are facing as New York City undergoes phase 4 of the reopening of its economy.
Strategies for a Worker-Centered Reopening and Recovery
On July 1st the Worker Institute at Cornell University, ILR School convened an online webinar, Strategies for a Worker-Centered Reopening and Recovery, moderated by Juan González, Co-Host, DEMOCRACY NOW!
Clean Energy and COVID-19: Green Priorities for the Economic Recovery
Worker Institute Executive Director, Lara Skinner speaks on a panel presented by eCornell, "Clean Energy and COVID-19: Green Priorities for the Economic Recovery."
Gig Worker Rights in New York State during the Covid-19 Crisis and Beyond
"COVID is becoming an occupational disease,” said State Senator Jessica Ramos in her closing remarks in this Worker Institute hosted panel.
Building Worker Power in NY State during the Covid-19 Crisis and Beyond
The virtual convening featured national and local labor leaders sharing insights on how workers have acted collectively during the Covid-19 crisis.