Labor

Description: 
This panel discussion will discuss the labor and pay infractions/inequities in the fashion industry, centered mostly around fashion models. Fashion models are front and center when it comes introducing consumers to the new collections of major fashion houses, yet, we live in an era where fashion models, unless they have great agents or are supermodels, are being used as free labor, and in many cases being used as free labor for billion-dollar fashion brands. How did this come to be? Don't fashion models live a luxury lifestyle? Perhaps, they once did, but that narrative has changed as fashion has become more of a global industry with a few fashion finance firms consolidating and controlling major fashion houses. Fashion models, once the darlings of the industry, are now being subjected to declining wages and are falling victim to the neo-liberal capitalist business models that are wrecking havoc on the working class. During this panel discussion we will discuss the real narrative around what fashion models earn and how neo-liberal capitalism is quickly changing the fashion industry, putting livelihood of fashion industry professionals at great risk. There will also be frank discussion of evolving business models that can change pay inequity and fashion industry professionals, once silent, are organizing to claim what is rightly theirs.
Description: 
Originating in a struggle inside Socialist Alternative for the basic Marxist principle of the political independence of the working class, the Class Struggle Education League (based in the New Hampshire/Massachusetts area) has been working closely with the Internationalist Group/League for the Fourth International. Fusing our forces on the basis of the genuine Trotskyist program is an example of revolutionary regroupment that can help others dissatisfied with reformism and centrism find a path towards building a revolutionary workers party here and internationally.
Location: 
NYC
Description: 
In this workshop, we'll dive deep into the history of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' unique and successful alliance with students, activists, faith communities, and community allies to bring respect and human rights to the fields. For nearly two decades, farmworkers and consumers have built consciousness about farm labor poverty and exploitation in the fields. Together, they've taken to boycotts and other forms of nonviolent direct action to leverage the market power of 14 major corporate retailers of tomatoes -- from McDonald's to Walmart -- to establish the Presidential Medal-winning Fair Food Program. Thanks to the Fair Food Program, the human rights of tens of thousands of farmworkers along the East Coast are being respected for the first time. The Fair Food Program's model, called "Worker-driven Social Responsibility," has been adapted by dairy workers in Vermont, garment workers in Bangladesh, and others, promising a new approach to ensuring labor rights for low-wage workers around the globe. We'll discuss the merits and future of Worker-Driven Social Responsibility as well as the ongoing boycott of Wendy's, the only major fast food company still refusing to participate in the Fair Food Program.
Description: 
Panelists will pose the Henry George Theorem in terms of a picture of society battling within diametric poles of “democracy” and “capitalism.” Whereas the capitalist would maximize gain without concern for social and income inequality, the small “d” democrat would use government to assure that moral suasion and Constitutional rights put limits on capitalists maximizing their yields. Steve suggests an aspirational technique of letting free markets work will allow land value taxes to be quantified and made available for use by the community for all the services constituents need.
Description: 
Humanity is making significant strides in science and technology growing its ability to sustain a much bigger population than currently lives on the planet, liberating humans from menial labor through automation while making significant strides towards creating livable environments outside of our Mother Planet Earth and planning intergalactic colonization. However... here are some of the sub-humanization processes currently working full-throttle all around the globe: Growing income inequality, unemployment/underemployment, commercializing human life, health-sector cannibalism, corporate encroachment of natural resources, forces and ecological habitats, homelessness, mental illness, drug addiction, PTSD, moral injury, child trafficking and abuse, sexual predation, terrorism, apartheid, state and police brutality, subverting democratic process, lobbyists negating the vote of the citizens, corrupting the justice system, narcotics trafficking, modern slave-trade, illegal immigration, war-mongering, weapons of mass misinformation and destruction, hate-mongering, race baiting are some of the phenomenological aspects of the pathogenies afflicting our society. These ailments threaten to shred the human fabric that holds all together into pieces in a species-lethal way. The above assessment echoes the arguably prophetic writings of 19th century independent thinker Henry George in his monumental work: Progress and Poverty (published 1879). Correct diagnosis of the insidious forces that cause and feed this spreading cancer while resisting policies that would reverse its growth and eventually heal it completely is needed, especially in an era when people seem to protest and demand policies that have the opposite effect from the one they desire. Solutions and strategies for efficient dialectic discourse and remedial political action will be openly discussed.
Location: 
NYC
Description: 
The wave of teachers’ strikes that began in West Virginia and spread to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Colorado and Arizona has proven to be an incredible demonstration of working-class power in the face of austerity and privatization. Education workers have shown a willingness to take risks and withhold their labor to demand better working conditions and treatment on the job. And the strikes have been led by the rank-and-file, which in some cases have been in tension with union leadership. But should these labor actions be considered “wildcat” strikes? How can they inform organizing by other rank-and-file teachers across the country? And what can the labor movement learn from such militant organizing in “right to work” states when the entire public sector is under threat by the Supreme Court's upcoming Janus decision? We will discuss these and more questions with labor experts and teacher organizers.
Description: 
Since the 1970s, capitalists strategies of neoliberalism combined with accelerating automation have had a devastating effect on working class organizations and communities. Through advancing workers control and the workers-owned cooperative enterprise, we begin to counter the class warfare strategies that have set us back. This panel examines strategies and practices that counter the neoliberal offensive.
Description: 
The entire left is struggling towards a coherent electoral strategy. On the one hand, many committed activists continue to feel they must vote for 'progressive' Democrats. On the other, a huge segment of newly radicalized fighters for social change have become totally disillusioned from electoral politics altogether. Perhaps there is a third way. Hear different perspectives from activists who have run or are running electoral campaigns independent of the Democrats and join a discussion on how the movement can make a definite break with the parties of big business.
Description: 
Join rank-and-file labor activists from CUNY, UMass Boston, Columbia, and Barnard, for an open discussion on the way forward for rank-and-file academic organizing. This panel will emphasize dialogue between panelists and attendees. Please come and share your experiences!
Description: 
This panel/workshop movement building discussion, is based on various ways to build a community based but to City Wide and Mass Movement that will take on various local issues that connect cities to states to national actions.