March 2-3: Two Day Conference on Labor in the Age of Trump

Free Two-Day Conference

Friday March 2, 9-4: research presentations

Saturday March 3, 10-3: workshops with scholars and activists

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Campus Center

Lunch provided with registration

Register at: 


Trump era policy changes and ones proposed threaten the very core of the labor movement in the United States. We are calling together leading labor scholars and labor and community activists to document the impact of the Trump-era policy changes on workers and their union and to chart the way forward.

On Friday, March 2, 13 scholars who were commissioned to write papers for the conference will present.  Presenters include Nancy MacLean, Bill Fletcher, Jr. and Jose LaLuz, Jennifer Klein, Gordon Lafer, MaryBe McMillan, Cedric Johnson, Kyla Walters, Shannon Gleeson, Lara Skinner, Donald Cohen, Jon Shelton, Sarah Jaffe, and representatives of labor and community organizations.  

On Saturday, March 3, these scholars will meet in an all day workshop with union and community activists to explore the way forward.  


Preliminary Agenda

Friday, March 2

8:30 – 9:00 — Coffee

9:00 – 9:30 —Welcome

9:30 – 11:00 — Panel 1: Struggles over Right-Wing Policies

  • “The Privatization Agenda.” Donald Cohen
  • “The Right-Wing Agenda at the State Level.” Gordon Lafer
  • “Climate Change, Trump and Labor.” Lara Skinner
  • “Immigrant Rights and Labor.” Shannon Gleeson

11:00 – 11:30 — Break

11:30 –1:00 — Panel 2: Labor and the Rise of the Right

  • “The Right-Wing Funding Network in Historical Perspective.” Nancy MacLean
  • “Trump, Right-Wing Populism and the Labor Movement.” Bill Fletcher, Jr. and Jose La Luz
  • “Walker’s Wisconsin and the Future of the U.S.” Jon Shelton
  • “The 'white working class' and the myth of Trump" Sarah Jaffe

1:00 – 2:00 — Lunch

2:00 – 3:45 — Panel 3: Organizing the Fight-Back

  • “Fighting Back in a Right-to-Work State.” MaryBe McMillan
  • “Agency Fee: The Case of Home Care Workers.” Jennifer Klein
  • “Fighting and Defeating the Charter School Agenda.” Kyla Walters
  • “Limits of Liberal Anti-Racism.” Cedric Johnson

3:45 – 4:00 — Wrap-up

Saturday, March 3

9:30 – 10:00 — Coffee

10:00 – 10:15 — Welcome

10:15 – 12:00

  • Panel A: How the Right Wing Organizes—Nancy MacLean, Gordon Lafer, Cedric Johnson, and other labor/community activists
  • Panel B: Which Way for Working-Class Politics? — Bill Fletcher, Jr., MaryBe McMillan, and other labor/community activists

12:00 – 1:00 — Lunch

1:30 – 3:00

  • Panel C: Labor Confronts Globalization, Immigration, and Climate Change—Shannon Gleeson, Lara Skinner, and other labor/community activists
  • Panel D: Dismantling the State?: Unions Fight the Attack on the Public Sector— Jennifer Klein, Kyla Walters, Jon Shelton, Donald Cohen, and other labor/community activists


There is no fee for registration, but pre-registration is required. Your ticket will include all sessions, breaks, lunch on Friday and Saturday, and complimentary parking in the Campus Center Parking Garage. Please note that space is limited so early registration is recommended.