16 Mar

LERA logoChicago, Ill.—On January 5, 2012, four National Labor College alumni presented at the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA) Conference. This annual event now in its 64th year provides an opportunity for professionals from academia, labor, and management to share ideas, discuss current research and highlight innovative practices in labor and employment relations.

Held at the unionized Palmer House Hilton, the international conference was a three-day event filled with presentations and panel discussions aimed at gaining a better understanding of the current issues confronting workers and employers. This year’s event focused on “Employment Relations and Workplace Representation in the Recovering Economy.”

The following alumni presented their senior research projects at the event:

  • Frank Cunningham, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers:  “IBEW System Council T-4 vs. Illinois Bell Telephone Company: The Strike of 1968 and Its Lasting Effects.”  Cunningham presented the paper of his brother, the late Peter Cunningham (Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies, ’05).
  • Russell Dittmer (Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies, ’10), Transport Workers Union of America: “The Craft or Class of ‘Mechanic and Related': Are They Really All Related?”
  • Peter Kennedy (Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy of Labor and Union Leadership and Administration, ’10), Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees: “Proposal of New Curriculum: What a Labor Union is and Why It is So Important.”
  • Krystyna Rozwadowski (Bachelor of Arts in Union Leadership and Administration, ’08), Service Employees International Union, “The Member Resource Center: A New Phase of a Union.”

Symposium chair and NLC professor Ruth Ruttenberg noted, “Typical of conferences where our students present, the attendees were enormously impressed by the high quality of academic, intellectual, and hands-on work that undergraduates accomplish in doing their projects.”

President Paula Peinovich said, “I want to congratulate our students and all the students presenting at the conference for their commitment to their educations and to the labor movement. Our students’ work will benefit both the workers of today and of the future.”

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