The Labor Studies program at University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass) is essential for fostering new leaders among working people. This discipline documents and examines the impacts workers have on their communities, and for exposes younger students to a worker-centered analysis of our social and economic systems.
This UMass program is the only bachelor's degree Labor Studies program in New England. It is an important resource for working families in Massachusetts, neighboring areas, and nationwide. Some of Massachusetts' premier labor and civic leaders have been graduates of this program.
Please reconsider your decision and reinstate the Labor Studies bachelor's program immediately.
This petition closed almost 3 years ago
What is Labor Studies?"
Labor Studies is an interdisciplinary field focused on issues of work, workers and their organizations (unions, etc.). It draws from such disciplines as history, sociology, economics, political science, law, communications, organizational development, industrial relations and more. It prepares current and future members of the workforce, union leaders, community activists, public servants, scholars and others to understand and confront the challenges of the increasingly complex and globalized economy of today, and to effectively advocate for working people in this context.
Why is Labor Studies important?
The Labor Studies BA degree gives working people an opportunity not only to better their own situation in life—as would any college degree–– but also to give back to their communities by becoming stronger, more knowledgeable and capable advocates for the rights of their fellow workers. Our graduates go on to become committed union leaders, public servants and others who dedicate their lives to making a better world. Many of our students are adults returning to school after years in the workforce as union or community activists, who are looking for additional knowledge and skills to enhance their activism.
Whether fighting for fire safety in Bangladesh factories, smaller classroom size in US public schools, or better pay in South African mines, unions around the world are struggling desperately to protect the rights of regular working people against the corporate behemoths of the global economy. Labor education gives these brave people the tools they need to survive and carry on the fight.