Other Group

Wayne State University Labor Studies Center

Website:

www.laborstudies.wayne.edu

Location:

Detroit, MI

Formation:

1966

Director:

Marick Masters

The Wayne State University Labor Studies Center is a state university division that trains labor union activists and advocates labor-union-aligned employment policy. It was established in 1966 and helped train more than 4,000 union members, union leaders and activists. [1]

Critics have accused the Labor Studies Center of being a “wholly owned subsidiary of Big Labor” for endorsing successful left-of-center political efforts, providing assistance to union-backed “living wage” efforts, and supporting union-backed legislation. [2]

Background

The Wayne State University Labor Studies Center, established in 1966, is based at the Detroit, Michigan campus. The center conducts labor and employment workshops. [3]

The Labor Studies Center is affiliated with [email protected] The organization sponsors conferences to with labor unions, business leaders, and government leaders about what it calls “the workplace challenges of our times.” [4]

The Labor Studies Center has an employment and labor relations program for Wayne State students that examines the social and political dimensions of labor unions. Students are taught labor law, human resource management, and compensation and benefits. [5]

Associations with Labor Unions

Critics and supporters of the labor union movement have noted the close alignment between organized labor and the Wayne State Labor Studies Center. The right-leaning Mackinac Center noted the Center’s 2010 mission statement called the Center a “labor education center committed to strengthening the capacity of organized labor to represent the needs and interests of workers” and a statement by a former Michigan Chamber of Commerce official suggesting the Center was viewed as “a wholly owned subsidiary of the UAW.” [6]

The union-aligned United Association for Labor Education characterized the “primary areas of research and practice” for Wayne State Labor Center as including “training and technical assistance to unions on labor relations and workplace issues.” [7]

According to Department of Labor reports, some unions have provided funding to the Labor Studies Center and its parent entity, [email protected], with Operating Engineers Local 324 and Food and Commercial Workers Local 876 reporting specific expenditures. [8]

Labor School

The Labor Studies Center set up the Labor School as a multidisciplinary leadership development program for union leaders and activists with non-credit training courses. [9]

The Labor School has a labor leadership development certificate program that has 10 non-credit courses for five weeks on labor relations taken at Wayne State University. Each course costs $200. After completing the 10 courses, students get a Labor Studies Center certificate and participate in a graduation ceremony. United Auto Workers-General Motors-affiliated persons are eligible for tuition assistance through the union. [10]

Courses offered include “U.S. Labor History,” “Basic Grievance Handling,” “State of Labor and Your Rights in the Workplace,” “Economics for the Workers,” “Collective Bargaining, Power and Politics,” “Effective Leadership,” “Leading a Diverse Organization,” and “Building the Union.” [11]

[email protected]

[email protected] was established in January 2009. In addition to the Labor Studies Center, it also includes the Douglas A. Fraser Center for Workplace Issues, undergraduate labor studies program, and the Master’s degree program in Industrial Relations. [12]

Marick F. Masters is the director of the [email protected] Masters is a professor of business and an adjunct professor in political science. Masters earned a Ph.D. in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois in 1983. Masters previously served on the faculty at Texas A&M University and the University of Pittsburgh. [13]

Masters wrote two books on unionism, The Complete Guide to Conflict Resolution in the Workplace published by AMACOM in 2002 and Unions at the Crossroads, published by Quorum 1997. He is working on two more books concurrently. [14]

[email protected] touts itself as wanting to “promote high-standard workplaces through effective union representation.” [15]

The organization established a new strategic plan in 2017 after budget cuts and layoffs. It also shifted the focus in how it dealt with labor-management relations. The organization is offering more courses and workshops online to cut costs. Also, there is a new focus on helping to train labor unions to “modernize and professionalize their operations” to better serve members. To address diversity in the workforce, the organization is looking more closely at niche markets for skilled labor. [16]

References

  1. Wayne State University Labor Studies Center. Accessed September 27, 2019. https://community-wealth.org/content/wayne-state-university-labor-studies-center ^
  2. Braun, Ken. “Wayne State’s ‘Wholly Owned Subsidiary’ of Big Labor.” Wayne State’s Labor Studies Center, ‘Wholly Owned Subsidiary’ of Big Labor – Michigan Capitol Confidential, February 8, 2010. https://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/12070. ^
  3. Wayne State University Labor Studies Center. Accessed September 27, 2019. https://uaw2209.org/community/wayne-state-university-labor-studies-center ^
  4. About. Accessed September 27, 2019. https://labor.wayne.edu/about ^
  5. Employment and Labor Relations Program. Wayne State University. Accessed September 27, 2019. https://clas.wayne.edu/labor-studies ^
  6. Quoted in Braun, Ken. “Wayne State’s ‘Wholly Owned Subsidiary’ of Big Labor.” Wayne State’s Labor Studies Center, ‘Wholly Owned Subsidiary’ of Big Labor – Michigan Capitol Confidential, February 8, 2010. https://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/12070. ^
  7. “Wayne State University Labor Studies Center.” United Association for Labor Education (UALE). Accessed October 7, 2019. https://uale.org/about/2016-03-04-20-58-03/universitycollege-programs/165-wayne-state-university-labor-studies-center. ^
  8. Data compiled by Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards from Annual Reports filed by labor organizations. Queries conducted October 7, 2019. ^
  9. Wayne State University Labor Studies Center. Accessed September 27, 2019. https://uaw2209.org/community/wayne-state-university-labor-studies-center ^
  10. Wayne State University Labor Studies Center. Accessed September 27, 2019. https://uaw2209.org/community/wayne-state-university-labor-studies-center ^
  11. Wayne State University Labor Studies Center. Accessed September 27, 2019. https://uaw2209.org/community/wayne-state-university-labor-studies-center ^
  12. About. Accessed September 27, 2019. https://labor.wayne.edu/about ^
  13. About. Accessed September 27, 2019. https://labor.wayne.edu/about ^
  14. Mission. Accessed September 27, 2019. https://labor.wayne.edu/about/mission ^
  15. [email protected] Accessed September 27, 2019. https://labor.wayne.edu/ ^
  16. Mission. Accessed September 27, 2019. https://labor.wayne.edu/about/mission ^
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Wayne State University Labor Studies Center

656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202