[URPE] [NYC] NYC URPE at the Brecht Forum, Spring 2006
soapbox at comcast.net
Thu Apr 20 06:26:23 MDT 2006
To URPE Members and Friends:
Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested.
Please download and post this flyer at your school, job or organization:
For our first event on retail organizing, you can choose a flyer to
http://urpe.org/RetailBW.pdf (print with black ink) or
http://urpe.org/RetailColor.pdf (full color)
Our series will take place at the Brecht Forum:
Brecht Forum, 451 West St.
(West Side Highway between Bank and Bethune)
See website for directions
$6/$10/$15 suggested donation
NYC Union for Radical Political Economics and the Brecht Forum present:
ORGANIZING POTENTIAL OF THE RETAIL SECTOR
Date: Tuesday, May 2, 7:30pm
Speakers: DAVID BENSMAN, MATHIAS BOLTON, JEFFREY EICHLER, LIZA FEATHERSTONE
Moderator: EDAN DHANRAJ
U.S. manufacturing employment is declining, and jobs in many other
sectors are being outsourced to countries with cheaper labor costs and
eliminated through "lean and mean" technological change. In this
climate, union organizers are asking themselves where to organize next.
Our panelists feel there is great potential for organizing workers in
the retail sector, which includes massive distribution centers as well
as stores. Edan Dhanraj, our panel's organizer and chair, and RWDSU
research director Mathias Bolton have both worked in these distribution
centers, and Mathias has been involved in organizing drives in both
distribution centers and retail stores. RWDSU organizer Jeffrey Eichler
led a recently-successful drive to unionize immigrant workers in a chain
of Brooklyn sneaker stores. David Bensman has done extensive research on
the retail sector and will describe how it functions and how it has
changed over the years. Where Wal-Mart goes, others will follow -- it is
the largest employer (and retail employer) in the U.S. Liza Featherstone
will talk about the experiences of people who have been organizing
workers at Wal-Mart.
About the Speakers:
David Bensman is a professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations
at Rutgers University, and author of several books about labor,
education, and social policy.
Mathias Bolton is the Director of Research for the RWDSU (Retail,
Wholesale and Department Store Union). For 10 years he worked at a
unionized retail distribution center where he was a rank and file
activist and elected union representative.
Jeffrey Eichler is the coordinator of Retail Organizing in NY for the RWDSU.
Liza Featherstone is a journalist who writes frequently on labor and
student activism for The Nation, as well as many other publications. She
is the co-author of Students Against Sweatshops: The Making of a
Movement (2002). In 2004, she published Selling Women Short: The
Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights at Wal-Mart, a history of Dukes vs.
Wal-Mart, the largest civil rights class-action suit in history.
OIL, NUKES, MULLAHS, DEMOCRACY AND U.S. HEGEMONY:
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE IRAN CRISIS
Date: Tuesday, May 16, 7:30pm
Speakers: FARAMARZ FARBOD, REZA GHORASHI, FATEMEH MOGHADAM, TOM O'DONNELL
The long-suffering Iranian people face dual burdens: the constant
prospect of a bloody U.S.-led intervention, and the continued internal
rule of the mullahs. This panel examines the motivations of both sides,
and addresses a number of questions: What is the political-economic
basis for the persistent hostility towards Iran by the U.S. and its
allies: Britain, France and Germany? What is the role of their long-term
quest for oil? What are the real issues involved in the nuclear power
dispute? What is the political economy of the present clerical regime,
and what are the prospects for internal social and democratic
transformation? What is the current status of women in Iran, and how are
policies towards women used to maintain overall social control? Our
panelists will cut through the abundance of official misinformation on
Iran, and seek effective ways to express our solidarity with the just
struggles of the Iranian people.
About the Speakers:
Faramarz Farbod is an Iranian-American (a native of Iran). He taught
politics in Iran for several years in the 1990s, and has been teaching
politics in the US (Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA) since 1998. He is
pursuing his PhD in comparative politics at Rutgers University. His
primary areas of interest are: American foreign policy in the Third
World (especially in the Middle East); issues related to globalization,
empire, capitalism, and development; politics of dissent here in
America; and issues related to the US media.
Reza Ghorashi has a Ph.D. in economics from Fordham University and
teaches at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. His areas of research
and interest are international trade, globalization, and the Middle
East, particularly Iran. He has published articles in both English and
Farsi on the listed subject matters.
Fatemeh Moghadam teaches courses at Hofstra on Economic Development,
Women and Development in the Middle East, Economic Development in the
Middle East, and International Economics. She has published extensively
on economic history, agricultural development, and women and
development, including a book, From Land Reform to The Revolution: The
Political Economy of Agricultural Development in Iran (1960-1979)
(Tauris Academic Studies, London, February 1996). Her research work
includes several field studies in Iran. Her most recent publications
include entries in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History (New
York, 2003), entries in Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures (to
appear 2006), as well as articles on women and work in Iran.
Tom O'Donnell (PhD, nuclear physics) is Lecturer at the University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor in the Science, Technology and Science Program (STS)
and the Center for Middle East and North African Studies (CMENAS), and
the Residential College. He lectured on "The Global Oil System and the
Middle East" in graduate economics at The University of Algiers and, as
visiting professor, at The New School for Social Research in New York
City in spring-summer of 2005. He is currently writing a book on "The
New Globalized Oil Order." He is also Associate Member of the Michigan
Center for Theoretical Physics (MCTP). He previously spent a decade as
an industrial worker and organizer-activist in Detroit auto plants and
on Chicago railways.
THE POLITICAL ECONOMIES OF PALESTINE AND ISRAEL:
UNDER-EXPLORED ASPECTS OF THE CONFLICT
Date: Thursday, June 1, 7:30pm
Speakers: JEROME JOFFE, KAREN PFEIFER
Last summer Jerry Joffe participated in a fact-finding tour of
Palestine, sponsored by Faculty For Israeli-Palestinian Peace. He
traveled extensively throughout the West Bank in search of a deeper
understanding of how the economy of Palestine works, and of how economic
circumstances frame the political prospects for peace between Israel and
Palestine. Jerry will report on what he learned about the many obstacles
to economic development in Palestine during the years of the Israeli
Because the economies of Israel and Palestine are so closely
intertwined, economic policies and circumstances in Israel have a strong
effect on Palestine, above and beyond whatever is going on politically.
Karen Pfeifer, who has studied and taught about the economies of many
countries in the Middle East, will talk about Israel's economy: its
strengths, its vulnerabilities, and their dialectic.
About the Speakers:
Jerome Joffe teaches at St. John's University, Division of Social
Science, Program in Health Care Administration. His publications include
"The U.S. Health Care System, A Reproduction Crisis" in Political
Economy and Contemporary Capitalism (M.E. Sharpe) and articles on Long
Term Care (Home Health Care Services Quarterly), Health Care Costs
(Journal of Economic Issues), Physician Productivity (Public Health
Reports) and Health Utilization (Inquiry). Jerry recently joined a tour
of Palestine sponsored by Faculty For Israeli-Palestinian Peace and has
written a report which is on their website.
Karen Pfeifer is a Professor of Economics at Smith College and has
taught there since 1979. She has served as an editor of Research in
Middle East Economics and of Middle East Report. Pfeifer's main teaching
fields are alternative economic theory and comparative economic systems,
with research focused on economic development and social change in the
Middle East and North Africa. She has done research in Algeria, Egypt,
Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Turkey, and the Palestinian Territories. Her
most recent scholarly projects concern rebuilding devastated economies
in the Middle East and the Euro-Med Partnership Initiative.
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