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Worker Institute Blog

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. 

Labor Standards Can Help Us Build Back Better

The Worker Institute's Labor Leading on Climate team examines the American Jobs Plan and explains why the built-in labor standards are critical to the proposal’s success.
Labor Standards

What’s Ahead for Teachers?

A year after COVID-19 disrupted education, Dean Alex Colvin and Randi Weingarten ’80 will discuss the future of K-12 teaching.
A female teacher wearing a mask puts hand sanitizer on a student

Cunningham Facilitates LI Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Training

Zach Cunningham, Training and Education Extension Associate, delivers Climate Change and Offshore Wind (OSW) Training to LiUNA members on Long Island.
Union members listening to Offshore Wind training presentation

Double Trouble: How the PRO Act Could Solve Two Crises at Once

The Worker Institute's Labor Leading on Climate research team provides insight into the PRO Act and the climate crises.
State Climate Labor Risks

Cunningham Facilitates Climate Change and Offshore Wind (OSW) Training

Zach Cunningham, Training and Education Extension Associate, delivered Climate Change and Offshore Wind (OSW) Training to New York union leaders.
Opening slide of Climate Jobs and Offshore Wind Training

New Survey From Broad Coalition Shows Overlapping Challenges of Racial, Gender, and Economic Injustice Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Survey adds to a growing body of evidence showing need for worker-centered and equity-focused interventions in the pandemic recovery
Cover Just Recovery Report

Profile of a Platform-Worker

Profile of a platform worker Espen Utne Landgraff, who lives and works in Oslo, Norway by journalist E. Tammy Kim.
Drawing of Espen Utne Landgraff by Molly Crabapple

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
Robert Kelley

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.
Zaborah Roane

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.
Eddie Quezada

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.
Briskella Garas

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.
Nicanora Montenegro

Labor Solidarity and Racial Injustice

See all stories in Labor Solidarity and Racial Injustice

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.
man wearing a mask and high-vis vest riding a delivery bike

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.
Protesters hold a sign saying "Boiling Point" during protests against the killing of George Floyd.

About Violence and Resistance

Risa L. Lieberwitz, Professor of Labor and Employment Law, writes about the meaning and history of violence and resistance.
Photos of Tributes to Eric Gardner and Michael Brown.

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.
Black Lives Matter Protest in Ithaca New York

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.
Patricia Campos-Medina (foreground) at a racial inequity protest organized by local students in Flemington on Saturday

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.
dollar bills illustrating pay

How You Win in the South

National Labor Leadership Initiative (NLLI) alum, MaryBe McMillan, President of the North Carolina State AFL-CIO, was interviewed by franknews and Payday Report on organizing and collective bargaining in the South.
Organizers protesting n the south

Biden Gender Policy Council leaders: We must fix the caregiving crisis COVID has created for women

Fortune News
Op-ed in Fortune by the co-chairs of the White House Gender Policy Council cites the Foundations for a Just and Inclusive Recovery report by the Worker Institute.
Women Caregivers

Fighting Back: Apps Kept City Restaurants and Gig Workers Afloat During the Pandemic, But Now They Want More

logo for WNYC radio
The Worker Institute's Maria Figueroa speaks to WNYC about how New York City restaurants became heavily reliant on third-party delivery services during the pandemic.
WNYC logo

Could an Alabama Union Election at Amazon Start a Labor Wave?

Worker Institute Executive Director, Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina, is quoted in Nonprofit Quarterly on unionization efforts at Amazon in Alabama.
Union Now Graffitti

Behind the Camera with Tsering Lama: Documenting Domestic Workers Fight for Rights

Profile of New York State AFL-CIO/Cornell Union Leadership Institute (ULI) and WE RISE graduate Tsering Lama on CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies Blog.
Tsering Lama

Amazon Covid-19 Lawsuit Spotlights State Regulatory Power

Bloomberg Law
OSHA’s existing rules do not equate to a COVID-19 standard, says the Worker Institute's Nellie Brown in Bloomberg News.
NYS Attorney General

Worker Institute hosts National Virtual Conference on Labor in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

On March 26, 2021, the ILR school celebrated its 75th anniversary by hosting a National Virtual Conference on Labor in the 21st Century Challenges and Opportunities: A Worker-Centered Economic Recovery, A Changing Legal and Regulatory Environment, A Contested Political Terrain.
Package Delivery Worker

A Changing Legal and Regulatory Environment: Labor in the 21st Century National Conference

This breakout session of the Labor in the 21st century discussed some of the most pressing legislative and regulatory issues for workers and their organizations. It explores current challenges and opportunities for reform.
Book and scales

Worker Centered Economic Recovery : Labor in the 21st Century National Conference

This breakout session of the Labor in the 21st century focused on critical initiatives needed to launch a Worker Centered Economic Recovery featured as we currently face the worst political, social, and economic inequality in a century. While a recovery will require work on many
People protesting

Welcome and Opening Plenary: Labor in the 21st Century Challenges and Opportunities

The opening plenary of the Worker Institute’s conference “Labor in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities” featured three speakers with innovative ideas on show to shape the trajectory of work, and worker power, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Solar Panel Workers

Virtual Boston Labor Conference: Labor, Climate Change, and Political hosted by the Labor Resource Center (LRC)

On Friday, March 12, the Labor Resource Center at the University of Massachusetts Boston hosted the Virtual Boston Labor Conference: Labor, Climate Change, and Political featuring the Worker Institute's Lara Skinner.
Sign that says Climate Crisis

A Worker-First Green New Deal with Lara Skinner | Jacobin Show

Lara Skinner, director of the Worker Institute’s Labor Leading on Climate Initiative at Cornell's ILR School, joins the show to discuss the critical role of unions in the fight for climate protection and clean energy and why the Green New Deal must begin with the labor movement.
Lara Skinner on The Jacobin Show Flyer