School Blog Post

Course Reflection- The American Labor Relations System: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Each week, as part of our School Blog, we’ll hear from a student enrolled in the course about the topics being covered, what they’re learning, and more! This week’s reflection is written by Steve Izzo, Teamsters Local 25.

I am very grateful to have attended this year’s Labor Guild Spring Term. This has been my first time attending the Guild, as I have been looking to further my knowledge in the labor field so I can be more in touch with my union, its history, and current events. I have taken two classes this semester, the “Next Step for Stewards” class, where we were taught how to organize around the grievance process and effectively mobilize the members around issues; and the “Labor Relations” class, where we learned all about labor history, labor movements, labor laws and more.

What I enjoyed about the Labor Relations class is that Ken is so knowledgeable on the ins and outs of the history of labor. He taught us the structure of unions and where they came from, and informed us of past and present laws that have been put into place. He also ran lessons on famous struggles in labor movements such as the Bread and Roses Strike and the Patco (Air Traffic Controllers) Strike.

Ken ran very effective classes by having us engage in group discussions, and role playing activities where we had to come up with plans on how to organize members around a strike (keeping in mind what the company will do in the event of a strike). We also played the roles of stewards and management to act out grievance cases. There were also some awesome guest speakers.

I am very glad I chose the Labor Relations course, and if I had to rate Ken and his course on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give him a 20.

Check out all the posts in this week’s school blog here.

Steve Izzo, second from left, with Craig Simpson, USW Local 9360, and Teamsters Local 25 brothers Ross McDonagh and Chris Smolinsky

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