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Campaign for Peace and Democracy 2012 Left Forum Panel:

"Should Labor and the Left Propose
a Global Green Jobs Alternative to Austerity and Climate Change?"

The Campaign for Peace and Democracy believes that peace, global justice and ecology are intertwined, and has organized a panel entitled "Should Labor and the Left Propose a Global Green Jobs Alternative to Austerity and Climate Change?" at this year's Left Forum, which will be held at Pace University in Manhattan at 3pm on Saturday March 17 in Room W511.

We have an outstanding group of panelists:

  • Jeremy Brecher of the Labor Network for Sustainability
  • Greg Albo, who teaches political economy at the Department of Political Science, York University, Toronto and is co-editor of the Socialist Register
  • Elaine Bernard, Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Trade Union Program
  • Robert Pollin, Professor of Economics and Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute, Univ of Massachusetts
  • Chair: Joanne Landy, Co-Director, Campaign for Peace and Democracy

(brief panelist bios at the end of this message)


The aim of this panel is to explore and debate the question of whether it is productive for labor and the left to propose "transitional programs" to address the growing global ecological and economic crises. What types of proposals can move the agenda in the right direction? In particular, we will talk about how a global green jobs alternative might be defined and presented in a way that is convincing and attractive to ordinary people around the world. Is there a danger that such a proposal could end up reinforcing rather than weakening the power of elites and their institutions? If so, can this pitfall be avoided?

We will discuss what a progressive global green jobs proposal might actually look like. Can and should a jobs program be international? How can such a program be paid for? How would it realistically address the issues of climate change, pollution, development and conservation of energy resources, migration, poverty, inequality, democracy, and the world-wide race to the bottom in wages and working conditions? Furthermore, we will ask how, if at all, a movement for this kind of reform relates to achieving the goal of socialism.

For more information about the Left Forum, please go to . Further details about this panel can be seen at For more information about the Campaign for Peace and Democracy, where you will read about CPD's opposition to U.S. wars against Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere, and our support for democratic struggles in Bahrain, Iran, Syria, Egypt and around the globe, see our website


Jeremy Brecher's new book Save the Humans? Common Preservation in Action, just published by Paradigm Publishers, addresses how social movements make social change. Brecher is the author of more than a dozen books on labor and social movements, including Strike! and Global Village or Global Pillage and the winner of five regional Emmy awards for his documentary movie work. He currently works with the Labor Network for Sustainability.

Greg Albo teaches political economy at the Department of Political Science, York University, Toronto. He is co-editor of the Socialist Register, and on the editorial boards of Studies in Political Economy, Relay, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, Canadian Dimension, The Bullet and Historical Materialism. He teaches courses on the foundations of political economy, Canadian political economy, alternatives to capitalism, and democratic administration.

Elaine Bernard is a life long union member and activist who has conducted courses for unions, community groups, universities and government departments. Research and teaching interests are international comparative labor movements, union leadership and governance, and the role of unions in promoting civil society, democracy and economic justice. Talks and publications include: "From Heroes to Zeros: the War on Unions and the Public Sector" and "Social Unionism: Labor as a Political Force."

Robert Pollin's research centers on macroeconomics, conditions for low-wage workers in the US and globally, analysis of financial markets, and the economics of building a clean-energy economy in the US.His books include Back to Full Employment (forthcoming 2012); A Measure of Fairness: The Economics of Living Wages and Minimum Wages in the United States; and Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity. He co-authored the recent studies Green Recovery and Green Prosperity.