Obituary: David R. Bloodsworth, professor of Labor Studies, active arbitrator
David R. Bloodsworth, 75, of Amherst, retired professor of Labor Studies and noted arbitrator, died Oct. 11.
Bloodsworth began his career after graduating from UMass Amherst in 1968 with a master’s degree in Labor Studies. In 1972, after working for the National Center for Dispute Settlement in Boston, he returned to the university to become assistant director of the Labor Relations and Research Center. He served in that post for 25 years and devoted much of his time to teaching.
While maintaining his academic schedule, Bloodsworth was also an active arbitrator, overseeing labor dispute cases throughout New England. During his career, he settled a number of important labor cases, including a 1994 pay dispute between the Carmen’s Union and the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, which involved ridership and the authority’s bottom line. He also volunteered his time to the town of Amherst, twice helping the town to reach accord with the teachers’ union during protracted and sometimes intense nnegotiations in the 1980s.
Bloodsworth was a keen researcher into municipal and private-sector systems, publishing his studies in academic review journals, and he was regarded as a clear, concise and fair reviewer of current books and papers in his field. In 1978, he was elected to the National Academy of Arbitrators. He was also a member of the American Arbitration Association and the Labor Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston.
After his official retirement from the University in 1997, Bloodsworth remained active in local and national labor affairs. He helped to organize labor actions on campus, including one for the United Farmworkers. He also used his expertise in serving on Amherst’s Landlord-Tenants Committee and on the UMass Parking Commission.
Born in Arlington, he was a 1956 graduate of the Belmont Hill School. After attending the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, he spent 18 months in the U.S. Army at Fort Jackson, S.C., during the Vietnam War. He then returned to school, earning a bachelor's degree from Suffolk University.
He leaves his wife, Carolyn (DiVenere) Bloodsworth of Amherst; a son, David Hayden Bloodsworth and his wife, Jocelyn, of Brockton; a daughter, Sarah Bloodsworth, of New York City; a brother, and sister, two granddaughters, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A memorial service will be held next summer on Cape Cod. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, or the Catholic Labor Guild.