UMass Labor Center Saved from Shutdown


In a September post to this blog [], I reported on the efforts to keep the UMass Labor Center from being closed.

Earlier this month, the Amherst Bulletin included a story by Jack Suntrup titled “UMass Labor Center Saved from Shutdown and New Scholarships to Center Available”:

“After months of upheaval concerning the future of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Labor Center, stakeholders announced Tuesday plans to restore teaching assistant positions and revamp efforts to boost enrollment.

“In a news release, university leaders said they would aim to “revitalize” the Labor Center, which got its start after a 1964 commencement address by then­ AFL­CIO President George Meany. The center is a nationally recognized program that trains students in matters such as workers’ rights and collective bargaining.

“’The steps we are announcing today reaffirm our commitment to this eminent program,’ Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in the statement.

“Tom Juravich…

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Statistics of the Day: Labor-Related



This news report is from CNN:

General Motors is cutting almost half the jobs at its only plant inside Detroit city limits.

In another sign of slowing auto sales, the Detroit-Hamtramck plant will eliminate its second shift and about 1,300 of its 3,000 jobs. The layoffs will take place in March. GM said it will try to find jobs for the employees at other plants.

The Detroit facility is the third GM plant to eliminate the second shift. Plants in Lansing, Michigan, and Lordstown, Ohio, announced layoffs in November, the first permanent cuts by GM at its U.S. plants since 2010. Those cuts take effect early next year.

In all, GM will cut about 3,300 jobs at the three plants.

GM (GM) has enjoyed a sustained recovery since its 2009 bankruptcy and federal bailout, posting record earnings and steadily increasing sales. But sales are expected…

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Statistics of the Day: Labor-Related


What follows are excerpts from an article on the recent Teamsters election, written by Alexandra Bradbury for Labor Notes:

For the first time in nearly two decades, reformers have won seats on the Teamsters’ international executive board—and come within a hair’s breadth of unseating the incumbent administration led by President James P. Hoffa.

The Teamsters United coalition slate, headed by Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman and backed by the longtime reform group Teamsters for a Democratic Union, contested all 12 at-large seats and nine of the 15 regional seats. They ran on a platform of refusing concessions, reviving contract enforcement, defending pensions, rooting out corruption, and organizing in the union’s core industries.

The challengers scored 49 percent of the vote. A swing of about 3,000 votes would have put new leaders in charge of the union.

Buoyed by the strong showing, candidates and supporters plan to keep building…

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Exactly Who Is Working Fewer Hours, Earning More, and Enjoying More Leisure?


These are the opening paragraphs of a brief article by Marian Tupy for Reason

“One of my favorite Human Progress datasets comes from the Conference Board and deals with the decline in the amount of work over time. Globally, a worker could expect to work 2,227 hours in 1950. By 2016, however, he or she worked only 1,855 hours. That’s a decline of 17 percent.

“Over the same time period, global inflation-adjusted income per capita per year rose from $11,578 to $24,400, or 111 percent. Put differently, we are working less while making more money.”

Notwithstanding the assertions of the family time and sleep sacrificed by successful workaholics, I am fairly certain that this trend may be true of many earners in the top quarter to third of the American workforce.

But I am even more certain that a great many American workers would be taken aback reading those…

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Statistic of the Day: Labor-Related

Events in India and the Future of Organized Labor


In an article published by AlterNet, Vijay Prashad reports on the latest and most massive general strike that occurred in India in early September. Although the article has a Marxist slant that may make it seem more op-ed than news report, Prashad gets several things undeniably right: (1) the corporate media has largely ignored labor unrest; (2) the decline in union membership does not mean that labor issues have become anachronistic; (3) the number of exploited, low-income workers is increasing, rather than declining; (4) in many ways, the exploitation of those workers has not just been an unfortunate consequence of economic change and an unfortunate anomaly of recent economic growth, but, instead, a major factor in both; and (5) if labor unions are to have renewed purpose and renewed vitality in the post-industrial economy, they need to serve such exploited workers, even if doing so requires new structures and…

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Statistic of the Day


$933 million

Wage theft recovered for workers by federal and state agencies in 2012.

$341 million

Estimated value of all of the property taken in all reported robberies in 2012.

Jeff Spross, The Week, 15 Aug. 2016

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The Self-Declared “Voice of the Working Man” on the Workers’ Holiday

Saving the Labor Center at UMass-Amherst


This post originally appeared on the blog Talking Union. Paul Garver, the editor of that blog, on which some of my labor-related posts to this blog have been re-posted, has asked that I disseminate it as widely as possible. As the note at the bottom makes clear, it had already been recycled several times before it made it onto the Talking Union blog.


This letter is from Eve Weinbaum, Director of the Labor Center at UMass-Amherst. She writes about the abominable efforts of the university administration to get rid of the Labor Center and its despicable treatment of her. Eve is an outstanding champion of workers, at her own university and across the country. And the Labor Center is outstanding. Please consider writing to the persons she notes at the end of her letter, protesting what the university is doing. I taught in the Union Leadership and Administration…

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“Right to Work,” By the Numbers: Part 14

Job Growth and Good-Paying Job Growth in U.S. Urban Areas

The “right-to-work” states are indicated in red, and the pro-labor states in white:

Pro-Labor and RtW States

If you compare that map with the following map, showing the raw job growth in U.S. urban areas, you’ll see that the greatest raw job growth is in the Sun Belt states, including the “right-to-work” states in the southeastern and south-central regions of the country:

1 Raw Job Growth

But this next three maps, differentiating growth in low-wage jobs (paying less than $14.00/hour), mid-wage jobs (paying between $14.00 and $21.00/hour) and high-wage jobs (paying more than $21.000/hour), the “right-to-work” states look much less attractive to workers, even taking into account differences in cost of living:

2 Low-Wage Job Growth

3 Middle-Wage Job Growth

4 High-Wage Job Growth


Previous posts in this series have included:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 1: Population Growth and Movement:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 2: Immigration:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 3: Unemployment Rates, by State:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 4: Historic Highs and Lows in Unemployment, by State:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 5: Employment in Manufacturing:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 6: Loss of Employment in Manufacturing, before and during the Great Recession:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 7: GDP by State and GDP per Capita by State:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 8: GDP in Urban and Rural Areas:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 9: Previously Uninsured Americans Who Now Receive Health Insurance through the Federal Exchanges Established under the Affordable Care Act:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 10: Unemployment Rates in August 2015:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 11: Adult Obesity Rates:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 12: Adult Obesity Rates: Unemployment Rates in Mid-December 2015:

“Right to Work,” by the Numbers: Part 13: Poverty Rates in 2014:

“Right to Work,” by the Numbers: Part 14: Workers Earning Federal Minimum Wage or Less: