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Worker Institute Blog

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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 Policy and Research

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Two ILRies leading Outreach institutes are informing the national conversation around the historic union organizing shift.

Cathy Creighton, director of the ILR Buffalo Co-Lab, and Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director of ILR’s Worker Institute, have been putting their ILR education and experience to work in roles they now hold at the school.
ILR signs outside Ives
Two ILRies leading Outreach institutes are informing the national conversation around the historic union organizing shift.

When the pendulum of justice moves backward, your generation must resist it | A 2022 commencement essay

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In an open letter to the Class of 2022, Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director of the Worker Institute, says "You must be comfortable with the tension that exists between going along to get along or challenging the status quo."
When the pendulum of justice moves backward, your generation must resist it | A 2022 commencement essay

2022 Migrations Awards Include Grant for Worker Institute Faculty on Central American Workers with Temporary Protective Status

The 2022 Migrations Awards include a Justice Futures Team Research Grant awarded to Patricia Campos-Medina and more for their project, “Displaced and Uprooted: Stories of Belonging, Central American TPS Workers' Defiant Struggle for their Right to Stay Home in the U.S.”
Patricia Campos Medina with TPS Worker
2022 Migrations Awards Include Grant for Worker Institute Faculty on Central American Workers with Temporary Protective Status

A Message from Worker Institute Leadership for International Workers' Day

A message from Worker Institute leadership, Patricia Campos Medina, Executive Director, The Worker Institute and Risa Lieberwitz, Academic Director, The Worker Institute for International Workers' Day, 2022.
Nail Salon Workers and Starbucks Organizing
A Message from Worker Institute Leadership for International Workers' Day

Equity in Focus: Investing in Childcare Careers

Join us on April 26th, 2022 for the second in our Equity in Focus Webinar Series. This webinar will explore the challenges of the child care industry and highlight local examples that are improving access to child care while also raising wages for child care workers. 
Daycare worker
Equity in Focus: Investing in Childcare Careers

Watch the Recording: Equity in Focus Webinar Series

On February 24th, the Worker Institute and the Women's Bureau of the US Department of Labor held the first webinar in the Equity in Focus: Job Creation for a Just Society Webinar Series.
Waitress Pandemic
Watch the Recording: Equity in Focus Webinar Series

Watch recording, "How U.S. Trade Policy Affects Workers"

On March 2nd at 2 pm EST, The ILR School hosted a discussion with United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai and Cornell experts discussing USTR's initiative to study the distributional effects of U.S. trade policy on workers.
Ambassador Tai Speaks
Watch recording, "How U.S. Trade Policy Affects Workers"

How U.S. Trade Policy Affects Workers

Join us on March 2nd at 2 pm EST when United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai will discuss USTR's initiative to study the distributional effects of U.S. trade policy on workers
Image of Container Ships
How U.S. Trade Policy Affects Workers

Labor Action Tracker

In 2021 the ILR School began tracking the scope of labor unrest in the United States. Today, the Worker Institute and Cornell ILR School released the first ILR Labor Action Tracker Annual Report, which presents key findings on work stoppages for 2021.
map of United States with strike locations marked
Labor Action Tracker

New Book on Managing with Labor's Values by Ken Margolies

Each staff person has different history, experience, personality, behavioral styles, culture, and motivation. Managers need to know their staff well so they can determine the best ways to help them be successful.
Managing with Labors Values Course
New Book on Managing with Labor's Values by Ken Margolies

What does equity in job creation in the construction industry look like in practice?

On February 24th, the Worker Institute at Cornell ILR, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau, will host its first webinar in a series Equity in Focus: Job Creation for a Just Economy.
Women Construction Worker
What does equity in job creation in the construction industry look like in practice?

Join us for the Equity in Focus Webinar Series

Our first webinar will explore how equity in job creation is defined – with a focus on job growth through the current expansion of infrastructure investment. Central to any definition are questions about identifying the policy outcomes and how to measure these.
Women working during the pandemic
Join us for the Equity in Focus Webinar Series

The Market Starts Speaking Out on a Tech Worker Union Effort at The New York Times

"Unions play an institutional role in influencing decisions in capitalist systems as shareholders," said Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director for the Worker Institute at the Cornell University School of International Labor Relations.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez | VIEW press | Corbis | Getty Images
The Market Starts Speaking Out on a Tech Worker Union Effort at The New York Times

Amazon Reaches Federal Settlement Allowing Workers More Leeway to Organize

Wall Street Journal
Amazon's NLRB settlement allowing workers more leeway to organize “can give an enormous boost to organizing at Amazon and at other large employers in the United States,” says Risa Lieberwitz of ILR's Worker Institute.
Staten Island Amazon workers protested in New York’s Times Square Wednesday as they demand union rights. PHOTO: AHMED GABER/REUTERS
Amazon Reaches Federal Settlement Allowing Workers More Leeway to Organize

The Pandemic Struck Orchestras With Underlying Conditions Hard

The New York Times
“Workers across the spectrum are demanding more and feel like they have more power,” said Patricia Campos-Medina, a longtime labor activist who serves as executive director of Cornell University’s Worker Institute.
The Springfield Symphony Orchestra in 2019, before the pandemic. performing a Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto with Viktor Valkov, the guest soloist, and Kevin Rhodes conducting.Credit...Chad Anderson
The Pandemic Struck Orchestras With Underlying Conditions Hard

RED STRIKETOBER

Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina, the Executive Director of the Worker Institute at the Cornell School of Industrial Labor Relations, says one of the biggest factors is the global pandemic. Campos-Medina points out that many workers had to deal with enhanced risks in the workplace.
Red blob with text "We Demand to Be Heard"
RED STRIKETOBER

Nice work week, if you can get it

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In this episode of Planet Money, Ileen DeVault discusses the origins of the 40-hour work week.
Nice work week, if you can get it

Trumka era ends, and union tactics may be in for a makeover

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"People have all of these new issues at work all of a sudden," said Ileen DeVault, academic director of The Worker Institute at Cornell University's Industrial and Labor Relations School.
Democracy protest
Trumka era ends, and union tactics may be in for a makeover

Texas Unions Launch Major Effort to Combat Climate Change, Tackle Inequality in US Energy Capital

A new report by climate and labor experts at Cornell University, Northeastern University, and Occidental College, in consultation with 27 Texas labor unions, accompanied the launch and outlays out a comprehensive climate jobs action plan to put Texas on the path to building an equitable clean-energy economy.
Man installing solar panels
Texas Unions Launch Major Effort to Combat Climate Change, Tackle Inequality in US Energy Capital

Combatting Climate Change, Reversing Inequality: A Climate Jobs Program for Texas

The Worker Institute’s Labor Leading on Climate launches report that examines the crises of inequality and climate change in Texas and makes a series of “climate jobs” recommendations that can help Texas simultaneously combat climate change, create high-quality jobs, and build more equitable and resilient communities.
Tx Report
Combatting Climate Change, Reversing Inequality: A Climate Jobs Program for Texas

Washing for Dignity and Safety on the Job:  Workers in the NJ Retail Laundromat Industry

A new report by the Laundry Workers Center and the Cornell ILR Worker Institute examines the work and socio-economic conditions of workers in the retail laundromat industry in New Jersey.  
Cartoon about wage theft
Washing for Dignity and Safety on the Job:  Workers in the NJ Retail Laundromat Industry

Engaging in Wage Policy; Elimintaing the Tipped Wage

Worker Institute Senior Associate Linda Donahue presented testimony she co-authored with ILR faculty members Shannon Gleeson and Kati Griffith today in front of the New York State Wage Board in Buffalo supporting the elimination of the tipped wage rate in the state.
Tipped Wage
Engaging in Wage Policy; Elimintaing the Tipped Wage

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