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Worker Institute Blog

Delivery Biker in New York City

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. 

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

The U.S. Can Build the Largest Offshore Wind Industry in the World

The U.S. Can Build the Largest Offshore Wind Industry in the World with a Commitment to Ambitious Climate Action, Racial Justice, and Good Jobs
Image of Wind Power

The U.S. Can Build the Largest Offshore Wind Industry in the World

Building a large, equitable offshore wind industry in the U.S. is an excellent opportunity for the Biden Administration and East coast states to respond to the current moment and the intersecting crises of COVID-19, climate change and inequality.
portrait of Lara Skinner

An Alternative to Mass Unemployment: Short-time Programs

Short-time compensation is a relatively low-cost program that already exists in many states to prevent or at least slow mass unemployment. With some reforms, it could protect many more U.S. jobs.
Young woman working on a laptop, sitting on a window sill.

On Labor Day let’s honor workers by protecting their lives

The Worker Institutes' Patricia Campos-Medina writes an opinion piece for the NJ Star-Ledger on the importance of honoring workers on Labor Day by honoring their lives at work.
Essential Workers Protest for the Safe Workplace

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

Food Delivery Apps Are Booming. Their Workers Are Often Struggling.

The New York Times
Maria Figueroa, Worker Institute expert on gig economy is quoted in New York Times on impact of the pandemic on food delivery workers.
Bike Delivery Worker with a Mask

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.
Ithaca Voice Logo

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.
ROC NY Worker in a cafe

Little known unemployment program is helping businesses avoid layoffs

WCNY
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.
Sign on store saying "Sorry we're closed"

State Guidelines For Reopening Schools Are "A Skeleton" To Be Adapted To Specific Buildings

wicz.com news FOX 40
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.
Fox 40 Coronavirus Coverage

Can schools safely reopen? Cornell University Health and Safety Director weighs in

Local Syracuse News ABC-9
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.
Can Schools Reopen Safely News Story

COVID-19 and Occupational Safety and Health

Monthly until June 2021, Nellie Brown MS, is hosting a three-part COVID-19 and Occupational Safety and Health series. Nellie Brown is the Director of Workplace Health and Safety Programs for the Worker Institute at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Covid-19 illustration

Worker Institute is hosting a national conference, Labor in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

On March 26th, as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations for the School of Industrial Labor Relations, the Worker Institute is hosting a conference focused on Labor in the 21st Century Challenges and Opportunities: A Worker-Centered Economic Recovery,.
Worker with a mask in a restaurant

Skinner to Participate in "Union Labor and Building a Renewable Future," LEP Labor Forum

Lara Skinner, Director of the WI Labor Leading on Climate Initiative, will discuss how Illinois can move into a clean energy economy at the scale climate science demands, create good union jobs, and support more equitable communities at the LEP Labor Forum live-streamed on Facebook Live.
wind turbines and solar panels

Lara Skinner Speaks at Time for Turbines conference

The Worker Institute's Lara Skinner spoke at the Time for Turbines conference which took place virtually on January 26 & 27, 2021 on the “Training an Equitable Offshore Wind Workforce” panel.
Time for Turbines Conference

Skinner to Speak at the 2021 Time for Turbines Conference

Lara Skinner, Director of the WI Labor Leading on Climate Initiative, will discuss how to create good, long-term jobs and build equity in the offshore wind industry at the 4th annual Time for Turbines conference on Jan. 26th.
Image of Wind Turbine

Lara Skinner Speaks at Carbon Neutral Summit

On Wednesday, January 13, the Worker Institute's Lara Skinner spoke at the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) and NYSERDA co-hosted a Carbon Neutral Summit focused on decarbonizing the built environment in New York State.
Picture of Forest
Cayuga Training Class