Cedric de Leon

Labor Center Director, Associate Professor
Thompson 730
(413) 545-4066

Cedric de Leon received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan. He also has a Master’s degree in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. in Sociology from Yale University.

Cedric got his start in the labor movement as a researcher for the Connecticut School Bus Drivers Alliance Local 76 SEIU in 1994. From 1995 to 1996 he worked on the Chateau Ste. Michelle, Bruce Church, and strawberry campaigns for the United Farm Workers in Connecticut and Salinas and Watsonville, California.  He then became an organizer for District 1199 SEIU in Providence. After a brief hiatus in England, Cedric returned to the labor movement as a rank-and-file member of Local 3550 American Federation of Teachers at the University of Michigan. He was local union president from 2000 to 2002 and, after finishing his dissertation, became lead organizer for the University of Michigan lecturers’ union, AFT Local 6244.

Cedric’s research focuses on labor, race, and party politics in the United States, India, and Turkey. He is the author of The Origins of Right to Work (Cornell/ILR Press, 2015) and Party and Society (Polity, 2014) and co-editor of Building Blocs (Stanford University Press, 2015) with Manali Desai and Cihan Tugal. His work has appeared in a variety of journals including Labor Studies Journal, Global Labour, Sociological Theory, Political Power and Social Theory, and Studies in American Political Development.

He teaches courses in social theory, the American labor movement, race, gender and labor, and political sociology.