Academics

Course Catalog

UGRD > LABCTR

Labor

  • LABCTR 210  Assessing Workers' Power: Are Unions Necessary? Labor & Econ Transformations in US since 1945.

    Description:
    In this course, we study the decline in the strength of U.S. labor unions throughout the 20th century. In particular, we will examine the actions and fates of unions and workers since the end of World War II beginning with the "social contact" by which unions exchanged job security and a "family wage" for labor peace and support for the existing two political parties and anti-communism during the Cold War era. Next we take a look at the breaking of that social contract by business resulting in the decline of unionization rates and real earnings and benefits for workers in and out of unions. Finally, we will examine future trends and possibilities including the problems and potential for transforming the union ideals of solidarity and loyalty in a society where lifetime employment is a relic and tomorrow's workers can expect to have three times as many jobs as their parents did.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • LABCTR 230  Legislative Labyrinth Legislative Structure, Power, and Process

    Description:
    In this course students are introduced to the legislative process at the national and state levels of government. Topics covered include policy issue formation, shaping the political agenda; legislative membership, roles and functions; legislative functions, structure, procedures, and strategies. Students are required to research and answer questions about how issues are moved from the background to the forefront of political discussion; to explain the structure and function of the legislature in this process; and to examine the impact of citizens and interest groups in legislative decision making.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • LABCTR 315  Leading and Strengthening Workers' Organizations

    Description:
    In this course, students are introduced to the history of worker leadership in the US with a focus on critically examining the strategies, strengths and weaknesses of individual leaders and their most critical decisions. Students will analyze how leadership has influenced the course of unions in US political and economic history; the interaction of leadership, unions and democracy and possibilities for strengthening unions and other worker organizations in the future. Course themes include biography and history; how leaders are shaped by and have resisted the imperatives of their times; American exceptionalism; worker leadership around the globe; and leadership and the future of US labor.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • LABCTR 320  Union Administration

    Description:
    The purpose of unions is to represent the immediate interest of its members and broader interests of working people in society. These social goals require the effective use of administrative functions. In this course, students will explore what the administrative functions of unions have been, how administration is changing as more unions move beyond the limits of business unionism and how the operations of unions can best be carried out to support the labor movements social justice mission. We will use a case study approach to investigate the range of administrative functions through the lens of the classical management and bureaucracy theories of Taylor, Fayol and Weber. We will move on to more to a secondary and more in-depth examination of those functions as they are perceived in more current adaptive theories of Crozier, Deming and Lewin. Finally, we will explore the ideal union organization using theories of transformational organizations and sustainably.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • LABCTR 325  Workers' Rights

    Description:
    In this course students examine the rights of workers- both unionized and non-union; the history and sources of those rights; the basic institutions and structures for enforcing those rights; several curretn frontier areas in which the rights are not clear or are in transition.   More Info

    Offered in:
  • LABCTR 330  Division of Labor: Debating Policy Issues

    Description:
    In this course, we will study the historical progression from the standard industrial model of work relationships to the nonstandard model in the "new workplace." We will also read and analyze a range of case studies that, together, illustrate the scope and variety of contingent work arrangements examining the various ways in which nonstandard work changes the legal and social foundations of employment. We will consider the problems that contingency creates for many workers; the implications of these changes for workplace justice; the likely reasons for the growth of the contingent work force. We will also consider possible responses to current trends.   More Info

    Offered in:
  • LABCTR 335  Workers of the World Unite: Critical Practice

    Description:
    This course examines a number of global dynamics that have prevented trade unions and workers from developing world-wide solidarity; the negative impact these dynamics have had on the power, rights, and living conditions of workers; and current strategies to overcome these dynamics. In particular, the course focuses on critiquing and developing strategies whereby US workers can work to strengthen the rights of workers and unions outside of the United States, the importance of such strategies, and the difficulties of undertaking them.   More Info

    Offered in:
  • LABCTR 340  Field Placements in Workers' Organizations

    Description:
    Students majoring or minoring in Labor Studies may elect, with advisor approval, to complete a field placement with a labor union or worker organization. Applicants for Field Placement must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 2.5 or better. Union placements may include the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, the state federation of many Mass. Unions; regional associations such as the Greater Boston, Merrimack Valley or North Shore Labor Councils; SEIU Local 615, representing service workers; Teamsters Local 25, representing transportation and warehouse workers; or others. Examples of worker organizations offering placements include the Massachusetts coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), Jobs with Justice and Community Labor United. A field Placement is an opportunity for students who are considering the field as a career to apply classroom knowledge in practice while gaining experience and networking within the labor movement.   More Info

    Offered in:
  • LABCTR 405  Analyzing Organizing Strategy

    Description:
    Communities across the US and the world are struggling with growing inequality and distribution of resources, ineffective political systems, and environmental degradation. Organizing is the process of bringing people together and challenging them to act on behalf of their shared values and interests. Organizers develop the relationships, motivate participation, facilitate strategy and enable people to gain new appreciation of their values, the resources, and interests and a new capacity to use their resources on behalf of their interests. In this course, students will use case study methods to explore the various applications of organizing, methods of organizing and strategic approaches to organizing campaigns. The primary focus will be labor and labor/community organizing, but the course will be useful to any student who wishes to pursue organizing approaches to social justice.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • LABCTR 410  Action Research for Strategic Organizing

    Description:
    Action research is a systematic form of inquiry that is collaborative, self-reflective, critical, and undertaken as a partnership between researchers and participants. Sometimes called "practitioners research," action research is a reflective investigation of a problem or challenge that results in proposals for action. The process begins with the development of questions, which may be answered by the collection of data. Action implies that the practitioner will be acting as the collector of data, the analyst, and the interpreter of results. In this course, students will learn the purposes, theories and methods of action research for strategic organizing and they will conduct and action research project.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • LABCTR 425  Bargaining Strategies

    Description:
    This course examines the accumulated experience of the past collective bargaining situations; looks at the conclusions that can be drawn from them; and devises new strategies that will make an organization stronger at the bargaining table. This is achieved by using recent strategic literature on bargaining theory and practice; and through analysis of a series of contract campaigns and the contract outcomes within a variety of industries and unions. Subjects to be addressed include: bargaining theory, changes and variations in bargaining structure and practice, analyzing and changing the bargaining climate; doing power analysis; examining the role of the membership in bargaining; interest based win-win strategic coordinated campaigns; use of strikes and avoiding /reacting to lockouts; bargaining in a global economy; creating community labor coalitions; concession bargaining; job security; settlement; and defining victory.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • LABCTR 490  Capstone: Strategic Analysis for Workers' Organizations

    Description:
    This course is the capstone requirement for all students completing the B.A. in Labor Studies. It is intended to serve as the culminating experience of the student's work and to demonstrate the student's excellence in research and analysis. The capstone provides an opportunity for students to integrate the theory and methods of analysis they have learned in Labor Studies and apply them to a substantial research project. The project will encompass examination of a current critical issue in the local, regional, national or international labor movement; an in depth description of the current status of the issue including the various positions by major stakeholders; historical analysis of the issue; and the presentation of several alternative approaches to future problem solving.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA