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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.

Lifting Worker Voices

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

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.
Duane Townes

Interview with Sandra Seibert, a pork plant employee in South Dakota and Covid-19 survivor

Sandra Seibert is an employee of Smithfield Foods at a pork plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She is a Covid-19 survivor and has addressed her concerns about workplace safety with company representatives and elected leaders.
Sandra Seibert

Interview with Amanda Flores, a teach in the Bronx whose family was directly impacted by Covid-19

Amanda Flores has worked as a teacher for seven years. Her mother, a school administrator in New York City, tragically passed due to complications from Covid-19.
Amanda Flores

Interview with Derrick Williams, a general pipe-fitter in Detroit, Michigan

Derrick Williams is a general pipe-fitter. Because of how badly the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Detroit, he and his partner have to wear hazmat suits when entering households.
Derrick Williams

Speaking with an Uber Driver about the COVID-19 Crisis

Worker Profile by Tammy Kim of Amara Sanogo, an Uber/Lyft driver in the Bronx, New York.
Amara Sanogo

Interview with Cassandra Knight, a patient care technician at Strong Memorial Hospital in NY

Cassandra Knight has worked in the healthcare field for 25 years. She believes that many of the workers who interact with patients the most, like PCTs and environmental service workers, are often under appreciated for their work during this crisis.
Cassandra Knight

Interview with Pete Donovan, a stage electrician working on Broadway

Pete Donovan has been a stage electrician on Broadway since 1993. Like nearly all other employees on Broadway, he has been unemployed since New York closed down as a result of the pandemic.
Peter Donovan

Interview with Meghan Van Alstine, assistant manager at a Speedway gas station in Buffalo

Meghan Van Alstine has a long history of working in the hospitality, food service, and retail industries. She believes that gas station and convenience store workers are underappreciated.
Meghan Van Alstine

Interview with Jazz Salm, a waitress in Broward County, Florida

Jazz Salm has worked in the restaurant industry for approximately 20 years. Due to the COVID crisis, she lost her new job as a waitress at Chili’s just a day after her training ended.
Jazz Salm

Many Factory Workers Denied Rights: Union Days Speaker

Global capitalism creates jobs, but often at the cost of human rights, says Solidarity Center leader.
Shawna Bader-Blau

Building Bridges, Coalitions, and an Inclusive Labor Movement

NLLI Graduate, Erica Smiley, speaks about her work as Co-Executive Director of Jobs with Justice.
Erica Smiley at NLLI Retreat

Worker Struggles Detailed

Wages inch up, but financial issues continue: Worker Institute poll