Labor Center at UMass Amherst

Labor Center at UMass Amherst Students, alumni, friends of the Labor Center: this page is for us to share news and to reconnect. We'd love to hear what you are up to!
The Labor Center offers a master's degree in Labor Studies. With students, staff, and faculty from union and social justice backgrounds, the Labor Center is a vibrant space to analyze and research labor movements and worker issues. We encourage people who are passionate about economic and social justice to apply.

Coursework provides the skills necessary to work in the labor movement - expertise in organizing, collective bargaining, strategic corporate research, and union leadership. We also tackle the "big picture" issues: what are the larger theoretical and strategic issues confronting workers and their unions in the new millennium?

06/08/2020
Senator Jo Comerford

Thank you to Senator Jo Comerford for hosting this important conversation on essential workers. We were happy to share the new research from the Labor Center and to get to hear from frontline workers with the Massachusetts Nurses Association and the Pioneer Valley Workers Center.

LIVE NOW: As the Commonwealth moves to reopen, we’re discussing the nature and realities of essential work and the essential workforce with Clare Hammonds and Jasmine Kerrissey authors of two recent research studies focused on the viewpoints of essential workers, Marleny Amaya and Amabilia who are speaking directly to work in the farm and food sectors, and Danielle Smith who is a registered nurse and will speak to work on the frontlines of health care.

Thank you to the Massachusetts Nurses Association and Pioneer Valley Workers Center/Centro Obrero del Valle Pionero for your partnership in organizing today's forum.

Read this Labor Notes piece to learn about a national Facebook group for union members mobilizing for #Justice4GeorgeFlo...
05/29/2020
Twin Cities Labor Mobilizes Against George Floyd Murder

Read this Labor Notes piece to learn about a national Facebook group for union members mobilizing for #Justice4GeorgeFloyd. The Facebook group is promoting a petition “to do what we can to ensure our labor is not used to help the Minneapolis Police Department shut down calls for justice.”
https://labornotes.org/blogs/2020/05/twin-cities-labor-mobilizes-against-george-floyd-murder

The organized labor movement has begun swinging into action to support protests against the racist police murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd. Floyd was filmed being suffocated to death under the knee of police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday in a video that reverberated around the country a...

Excited that Labor Center's ULA student, Sonia Fortin, was named the 2020 ESP of the Year by Massachusetts Teachers Asso...
05/22/2020

Excited that Labor Center's ULA student, Sonia Fortin, was named the 2020 ESP of the Year by Massachusetts Teachers Association. MTA is offerings scholarships to members seeking to earn their master’s degree in Labor Studies through the ULA for Educators program.

Read more about Sonia's accomplishment and MTA scholarship opportunities for the ULA for Educators program here: https://www.umass.edu/lrrc/news/ula-student-named-mta-2020-esp-year

“You need to get the diagnosis right before you can determine the best treatment plan.”~Nancy MacLean from the UMass Lab...
05/11/2020

“You need to get the diagnosis right before you can determine the best treatment plan.”

~Nancy MacLean from the UMass Labor Center's new book LABOR IN THE TIME OF TRUMP, with contributions from Donald Cohen, Bill Fletcher, Jr, Shannon Gleeson, Sarah Jaffe, Cedric Johnson, Jennifer Klein, José Alejandro La Luz, Gordon Lafer, Nancy MacLean, MaryBe McMillan, Jon Shelton, Lara Skinner, and Kyla Walters.

Get a copy today! https://bit.ly/2KKQjTY

Congratulations to the Labor Center's graduating Class of 2020! 👨‍🎓🥳👩‍🎓🤩 We wish we could be with you in person today! R...
05/08/2020

Congratulations to the Labor Center's graduating Class of 2020! 👨‍🎓🥳👩‍🎓🤩 We wish we could be with you in person today! Read the names of the graduates on our website: https://bit.ly/2L8SaSR

Essential workers sustain our ability to live during this crisis and yet so many feel unsafe.You can read the full text ...
05/06/2020
Study finds many essential workers feeling unsafe, unprotected on the job

Essential workers sustain our ability to live during this crisis and yet so many feel unsafe.

You can read the full text of the Labor Center report here: https://bit.ly/2W9WW7q

AMHERST — As COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Massachusetts, praise for the essential workers still going to their jobs is ubiquitous. Residents celebrate health care workers at the end of their shifts and on Wednesday the Westfield-based 104th...

In case you missed it: Catch Sarah Jaffe's Belabored podcast featuring veteran labor activist Bill Fletcher Jr discussin...
05/06/2020
Belabored Podcast #196: How the Pandemic Will Change Labor, with Bill Fletcher, Jr. | Dissent Magazine

In case you missed it: Catch Sarah Jaffe's Belabored podcast featuring veteran labor activist Bill Fletcher Jr discussing how the labor movement can cope with the crisis and salvage itself.

Sarah Jaffe and Bill Fletcher, Jr. are both contributors to the Labor Center's new book Labor in the Time of Trump. Get a copy here: https://bit.ly/2KKQjTY

Veteran labor activist Bill Fletcher, Jr. on how the labor movement can cope with the crisis and salvage itself.

“The only way we move this country forward is by uniting and building a bigger, bolder labor movement.” ~MaryBe McMillan...
05/01/2020

“The only way we move this country forward is by uniting and building a bigger, bolder labor movement.” ~MaryBe McMillan from the UMass Labor Center's new book LABOR IN THE TIME OF TRUMP. Buy the book here: https://bit.ly/2KKQjTY

Contributions from Donald Cohen, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Shannon Gleeson, Sarah Jaffe, Cedric Johnson, Jennifer Klein, José Alejandro La Luz, Gordon Lafer, Nancy MacLean, MaryBe McMillan, Jon Shelton, Lara Skinner, and Kyla Waters.

“The only way we move this country forward is by uniting and building a bigger, bolder labor movement.” ~MaryBe McMillan...
05/01/2020

“The only way we move this country forward is by uniting and building a bigger, bolder labor movement.” ~MaryBe McMillan from the UMass Labor Center's new book LABOR IN THE TIME OF TRUMP. Buy the book here: https://bit.ly/2KKQjTY

Contributors include: Donald Cohen, Bill Fletcher, Jr, Shannon Gleeson, Sarah Jaffe, Cedric Johnson, Jennifer Klein, José Alejandro La Luz, Gordon Lafer, Nancy MacLean, MaryBe McMillan, Jon Shelton, Lara Skinner, and Kyla Waters.

On May Day, in honor of the essential workers who provide critical food, shelter, transportation, health and safety duri...
05/01/2020

On May Day, in honor of the essential workers who provide critical food, shelter, transportation, health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Labor Center has released a report on workers' safety and security.

"We are not heroes because it is not a choice”: A Survey of Essential Workers’ Safety and Security During COVID-19

Read the full text here: https://bit.ly/2W9WW7q

cc: UMass Amherst College of Social & Behavioral Sciences UMass Amherst Social Thought and Political Economy Program (STPEC) Massachusetts Labor Communicators Western Mass Area Labor Federation Massachusetts AFL-CIO State Fed Massachusetts Nurses Association Community Labor United Clare Hammonds Jasmine Kerrissey

Labor Center graduate and senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, Michele Evermore , talks to host...
04/29/2020
Coronavirus Exacerbates Already Broken Unemployment Systems

Labor Center graduate and senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, Michele Evermore , talks to host Tonya Mosley about the country's unemployment system in the wake of a pandemic. Check it out!

In states where unemployment programs were already stretched thin, few workers are able to get their hands on benefits.

Reminder: The deadline for the Union Leadership & Activism program is this Friday, May 1. Want to learn more about the a...
04/29/2020

Reminder: The deadline for the Union Leadership & Activism program is this Friday, May 1. Want to learn more about the application process and scholarship opportunities?
Let's talk: https://bit.ly/35gjEPp

#Repost #StrongerTogether*By donating to the Feed the Frontlines projects, you will help fuel the extraordinary efforts ...
04/21/2020
Feed the Frontlines - Western Mass

#Repost #StrongerTogether

*By donating to the Feed the Frontlines projects, you will help fuel the extraordinary efforts of our region’s essential workers while also supporting our local restaurants and their employees. All donations go directly to purchasing meals from local restaurants to be delivered to workers on the frontlines in hospitals, nursing homes, and more. *

WE are stronger together.

04/17/2020
Western Mass COVID-19 Essential Worker Survey

The Labor Center is doing a survey to learn more about the conditions and needs of essential workers in Western Massachusetts.

If you are currently at work, we want to hear from you!

Qualtrics sophisticated online survey software solutions make creating online surveys easy. Learn more about Research Suite and get a free account today.

04/14/2020
AFL-CIO

#repost

*Certified IATSE Local 8 Stagecraft Technicians created and implemented a design that brings life saving utilities including lighting, power, and oxygen directly to the beds in temporary hospitals.*

Certified IATSE Local 8 Stagecraft Technicians created and implemented a design that brings life saving utilities including lighting, power, and oxygen directly to the beds in temporary hospitals.

#Repost #JobOpening*The Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs seeks an Executive Director / Lead Organizer*
04/10/2020

#Repost #JobOpening

*The Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs seeks an Executive Director / Lead Organizer*

The Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs seeks an Executive Director / Lead Organizer to be based in Hartford, CT. Details can be found at: http://unionjobs.com/listing.php?id=17197 #1u #unionjobs #unions #UnionStrong #p2 #ctclimatejobs CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs

#Repost*The spirit of activism, though, is growing in his store. “Coworkers who never would’ve thought about the idea of...
04/08/2020
Belabored Stories: Will Workers' Gains Outlive the Crisis? | Dissent Magazine

#Repost

*The spirit of activism, though, is growing in his store. “Coworkers who never would’ve thought about the idea of refusing work or potential strike actions have been saying to me, ‘What do we have to lose? They need us. We’re essential, we’re necessary. Their profits don’t exist without us showing up to work,’” he said. “I think it’s definitely changed the consciousness of working people within this company, at least, and I’m sure that holds true across the board as we see as workers are staging actions, you know, at Whole Foods or Instacart.”*

Grocery store workers at Kroger in West Virginia won extra pay and benefits during the pandemic. “I see this as a truce, and not a victory,” said one. “We can’t settle for anything less than what we actually deserve.”

Undergraduate enrollment for Fall 2020 begins tomorrow. Make sure to check out the courses that the Labor Center is offe...
04/07/2020

Undergraduate enrollment for Fall 2020 begins tomorrow. Make sure to check out the courses that the Labor Center is offering!

Hello Undergrads,

Interested in taking a course in Labor Studies (cross-listed with UMass Amherst Sociology)? Make sure to check out the Labor Center at UMass Amherst's Fall 2020 offerings.

***Sports, Labor & Social Justice***

Semester: Fall 2020
Subject Name: Labor Studies
Course Number: Sociology/Labor 297S
Day/Time: T&TH 1:00-2:15
Faculty: Jerry Levinsky

Protests by professional and amateur athletes against racial and gender discrimination are not new or isolated events in U.S. history. In fact, sports have long been connected to the social, economic, and political issues of the day. With a particular focus on labor and civil rights struggle, our goal is to better understand the history of sports as it relates to social class, race, and gender. Students will analyze current controversies through this critical approach to sports and society.

***Labor & The Global Economy***

Semester: Fall 2020
Subject Name: Labor Studies
Course Number: Sociology/Labor 204
Day/Time: T&TH 2:30-3:20
Faculty: Liana Foxvog
Gen Ed: SB

An introduction to basic concepts about globalization and its impact on workers in the U.S. and internationally, focusing on the impacts of recent trends in economic and political globalization on workers in the U.S. and abroad. Students will gain a working understanding of major international institutions' effects on the working people and labor markets from a labor perspective. The course also provides an examination of ways in which workers, their unions, social movements, and solidarity activists are resisting the degradation of local economies and working for change in the global economy.

CC: Residential Students | UMass Labor Center UMass Amherst Social and Digital Communicators College of Social & Behavioral Sciences UMass Amherst Social Thought and Political Economy Program (STPEC)

*UPDATE: A Detroit bus driver, Jason Hargrove, has died: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2020/04...
04/07/2020
Driver who said woman coughed on his bus has died of coronavirus

*UPDATE: A Detroit bus driver, Jason Hargrove, has died: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2020/04/02/detroit-bus-drivers-dead-covid-19/5115450002/

Glenn Tolbert, president of the Detroit bus drivers local and quoted below, has tested positive for the coronavirus. See Glenn Tolbert speaking about his members' working conditions and their job action here: https://labornotes.org/2020/03/video-dont-die-wall-street-essential-workers-why-everyone-else-should-stay-home

On April 3 Tolbert told Labor Notes, "I do not want Jason Hargrove to have died in vain. More has to be done in the way of PPE for transit workers all around the nation and Canada."*

Last month, drivers shut down public buses as a result of fears of this very scenario, and the news has reignited fears.

“A must-read,” says Sara Nelson, President, Flight Attendants Union. In this perilous moment, get your copy of this prac...
04/01/2020

“A must-read,” says Sara Nelson, President, Flight Attendants Union. In this perilous moment, get your copy of this practical political analysis today! https://amzn.to/3avvBmk

*we can move quickly to ease the burden and rebuild, and be prepared for the next pandemic and the climate crisis which ...
03/31/2020
It Didn’t Have to Be Like This

*we can move quickly to ease the burden and rebuild, and be prepared for the next pandemic and the climate crisis which is sure to come*

We have been forced to choose between two terrible options: 1. Lock ourselves down to prevent the spread of the virus, resulting in massive job loss—while many vulnerable workers are still forced to work in unsafe conditions, or 2. Maintain some business as usual, stemming the economic impact but ...

#Repost #ShutItDown*Amazon workers are taking matters into their own hands and walking out of JFK8 on Staten Island toda...
03/30/2020
Labor Notes

#Repost #ShutItDown

*Amazon workers are taking matters into their own hands and walking out of JFK8 on Staten Island today at noon*

"These Amazon buildings need to be shut down immediately. We have almost 5,000 people at JFK8. You do the math. If they don’t shut it down, this is the epicenter of the next coronavirus wave right here."

Amazon workers are taking matters into their own hands and walking out of JFK8 on Staten Island today at noon.

Queer Communism in the Days of Covid-19 with PINKO Magazine | Thurs, Apr 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.https://umass-amherst.z...
03/30/2020

Queer Communism in the Days of Covid-19 with PINKO Magazine | Thurs, Apr 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/j/784846312

Sponsored by the Social Thought and Political Economy Program (STPEC). Co-Sponsored by the UMass Amherst Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Department, UMass Amherst English Department, the Feinberg Series: Another World is Possible & the Trans Asylum Seeker Solidarity Network.

#repost
03/27/2020
Labor Notes

#repost

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest workplace issue of our lives. The success or failure of our organizing at work today could be a question of life and death for hundreds of thousands. The outcome of our organizing today is also potentially a question of life and death for the labor movement.

*Don't Die for Wall Street: Essential Workers on Why Everyone Else Should Stay Home**Join Labor Notes this Monday, Mar 3...
03/27/2020
Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Don't Die for Wall Street: Essential Workers on Why Everyone Else Should Stay Home. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

*Don't Die for Wall Street: Essential Workers on Why Everyone Else Should Stay Home*

*Join Labor Notes this Monday, Mar 30 at 7 PM EDT to hear from frontline workers on the coronavirus crisis and why non-essential work needs to stop.*

Register for webinar here:
➡️ https://bit.ly/2R59RpR

Defying health experts who say we need a five-week national lockdown, Republicans and employers are pushing for workers to endanger themselves and everyone around them by returning to work in April. The Denier in Chief is leading the charge to get everyone back on the job. Essential workers are livi...

COVID-19 Recession: An Opportunity to Reform our Low Wage Economy?*Not surprisingly, women, and particularly women of co...
03/26/2020

COVID-19 Recession: An Opportunity to Reform our Low Wage Economy?

*Not surprisingly, women, and particularly women of color, are the most vulnerable to the effects of the coming recession. Nationally, 32% of male workers make less than $15 an hour, a shockingly high proportion. However, 42% of women workers are in the same situation. By race, 38% of white women, 49% of black women, and a staggering 57% of Hispanic women are low wage earners. In nine states, more than half of all women are low wage workers. The majority of Latina women are low wage earners in 43 states and of Black women in 28 states.

Men of color are also disproportionately vulnerable: 49% of Latino men and 45% of black men make less than $15 an hour, compared to 28% of white men. The majority of Latinos and the majority of black men make less than $15 an hour in 24 and 19 states respectively.*

More here: https://www.umass.edu/employmentequity/covid-19-recession-opportunity-reform-our-low-wage-economy

*In these unsettling times, we want to express our full support for the safety and well-being of all workers, especially...
03/25/2020

*In these unsettling times, we want to express our full support for the safety and well-being of all workers, especially front-line workers in sectors severely affected by this pandemic. We hope that you and yours are healthy and safe.*

To address the challenges of the current crisis, we have made the following changes to our upcoming programming:
👉 July ULA application deadline extended to May 1.
👉 Classes move online for Spring & Summer 2020.
👉 May 2020 graduation ceremony canceled.

Read more here: https://conta.cc/2WJq6fC
#Covid-19 #FrontLineHeroes #StayHome #TakeGoodCare

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Amherst, MA
01003

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Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

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+14135454875

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Earning your master’s degree in Labor Studies at the UMass Labor Center puts you right at the center of the issues and debates around labor, work, and social justice. https://www.umass.edu/lrrc/graduate

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Wanna Learn More About the SHARE Model of Organizing? We're really interested in meeting new organizers and having you shadow us in our work. We're based in Worcester, just finished bargaining a new contract at a community hospital, and are probing at another hospital. If you haven't heard of this union, it's affiliated with the Harvard Clerical Worker's Union. SHARE believes in non-traditional, relational organizing (building a legit/sustained relationship w every single member), interest-based bargaining, joint process-improvement, a non hierarchical staff environment (norms instead of rules), relatively small turf, and they love organizers who have little to no experience. Interested in learning more? PM me or text me at 617-934-9112.
Organizer Vacancy at CIR I think this is a fantastic role for the right person. Would be happy to answer any questions you have about CIR and the job itself.
"As Rafael Espinal prepares to take the helm of the Freelancers Union as executive director on March 2, he expects to give immediate attention to California’s gig worker law AB5 and the similar bills under consideration in New York and New Jersey."
Spicey is coming to campus today. This is the UMass Labor Center's response: Sean Spicer represents a white nationalist vision of America and the world that we reject. The UMass Labor Center offers an alternative vision of solidarity that sees the struggle for economic justice as inseparable from the fight for racial justice and gender equity. We will demonstrate our displeasure with Mr. Spicer, but we do that every day. The Labor Center will continue to educate and place a new generation of progressive union activists throughout the labor movement. That is what we do. And in the end building a mass movement is the only way to defeat those who seek to divide us in their thirst for power.
Hi Friends! The Labor Center at UMass Amherst is co-hosting an event with the Feinberg Series today. We'll be out at our table by 5 p.m. Please drop by to say hello and to save a good seat for yourself, so that when the Domestic Workers Building Dignity and Power, Past and Present event begins at 5:30 you'll be front and center. If you can't make it but can help spread the word, please tag folks in the comments below or invite them using the invite section of the FB event.