On July 18 and July 19, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board held an open meeting on its proposed rule changes in representation cases. These changes are designed to reduce litigation, streamline pre- and post-election procedures, and allow for the use of electronic communication and document transmission. The Board heard comments from over 60 experts, including the Kalmanovitz Initiative’s very own Joe McCartin.
Within Georgetown University’s vibrant community of distinguished faculty, many scholars pursue research relating to labor and the working poor. The Kalmanovitz Initiative sponsors summer research projects for faculty across academic disciplines, from public health to economics. In 2011, the Kalmanovitz Initiative is proud to support these faculty research projects:
Professor Robert Bednarzik, Georgetown Public Policy Institute: “Post-Training Outcomes of Displaced Steel Mill Workers.”
Professor Lindsay Oldenski, Walsh School of Foreign Service: “The Impact of Offshoring on the Occupational Structure of the U.S. Economy.”
Professor Lois Wessel, School of Nursing: “Occupational Injury Among Day Laborers: Knowledge of Risks and Access to Treatment.”
In 2010 Research Grants were awarded to:
Melissa Fischer, Department of Anthropology: “Improving the lives of Working Poor Women: A Preliminary Study of Sustainable and Responsible Investing in Gender Equity.”
Andria Wisler, Program on Justice and Peace Studies: “Raising up the Lower East Side: Ending Second-Generation Poverty in New York City through Girls’ Education.”
John M. Kline, Landeggar Program in International Business Diplomacy: “Local Stakeholder Impacts of a ‘Living Wage’ Employer.” Professor Kline’s research resulted in a publication profiled in the New York Times.
Thank you to Graham Robertson, Sarah Vazquez, and Rocio Hernandez for their outstanding independent research projects this year!
|Graham RobertsonGrowing up in Winter Park, Florida, Alistair “Graham” Robertson (SFS ’11) spent most of his childhood cultivating intense passions for the outdoors, marine life, and music. At Georgetown, he majored in Culture and Politics with a certificate in Latin American Studies and synthesized his interests in music, politics, and marginalized populations. Graham spent his fellowship studying DC’s street musicians. The fellowship complemented his senior thesis work on “The Role of Argentine Rock’s Progressive Musical Features in Crafting an Antiauthoritarian Social Movement (1976 – 1983).” For his fellowship, Graham studied the culture, music, and role in the broader community of DC’s street musicians. For his final project, he produced a film featuring several musicians. Watch a clip of the film here.|
|Sarah VazquezSarah Vazquez (COL ’13) is majoring in American Studies. She is from both California and Chicago. She works as a student EMT and is a member of Georgetown Solidarity Committee. Sarah has participated in campaigns supporting agricultural workers in the United States and their student ally groups. For her fellowship, she created a photo book reflecting on and sharing her experience in the Coalition of Immokalee’s spring 2011 campaign. She participated in several mass mobilizations, conducted interviews with coalition members, experts and Student Farmworker Alliance members, and took all of the photos featured in her self-published book.|
|Rocio HernandezRocio Hernandez (SFS ’11) is from Los Angeles, California. At Georgetown, Rocio majored in Culture and Politics with a concentration in social movements. She studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. During her time at Georgetown she was involved in Georgetown Solidarity Committee, MeChA, and Students for a New Democratic Society and has previously interned with Codepink: Women for Peace. Rocio is currently working at the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment on a campaign to highlight the companies that caused the financial crisis and to help shift the public debate away from austerity to having those that caused the crisis pay their fair share in fixing it. Rocio’s fellowship focused on the benefits that union membership brings to women, specifically the reduction of wage gaps between genders in unionized workplaces.|
During the week of March 25, 2011, the Kalmanovitz Initiative and Office of Campus Ministry sponsored an exploration and a celebration of the sacred link between faith work and justice. That weekend, Muslim Jummah, Jewish Shabbat, Catholic Masses, Protestant services, and Orthodox Christian vespers featured readings and reflections illuminating how different faith traditions honor the dignity of work and working people.
Then, on the evening of Tuesday March 29, students, faculty and staff gathered for an evening of interfaith discussion moderated by Phil Tom, Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Labor, which highlighted recently-unionized workers from Georgetown’s cafeteria and student allies. The discussion explored how each faith tradition handles issues of labor and the working poor and how we can use these scriptures to interpret modern-day labor struggles.
The KI’s Executive Director, Joe McCartin, comments on the assault on public sector unions for a Stateline article by Daniel C. Vock.
ResetDoc’s Martina Toti interviews Joe McCartin about state workers. Click on the link or read the interview below:
Q: Professor McCartin, in USA there is a growing bipartisan consensus concerning public employees benefits and union contracts: why do so many politicians believe – or try to persuade people to believe – that those are a prime cause of government budget deficits?
Politicians from both parties have pressured public employees to accepts less pay and reduced benefits as a way of dealing with budget deficits. Public worker pay and benefits are not the prime cause of the current deficits. These are primarily the results of an economic crash. Politicians find it easier to put pressure on workers than to muster the political will to stimulate the economy or raise taxes on the wealthy. The differences between the parties come on the issue of public sector unions. Republicans are trying to use the crisis not only to pressure workers for concessions but to go after their rights to union representation under the guise of trying to deal with budget deficits. [Read more…]