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ILR School

Unions and Their Role in Society (LS100)

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The objective of this course is to recognize the ways in which the union as an institution, and organized labor as a movement, protect the interests of workers on the job and in society. Students will focus on Social Movement Unionism – an approach to unionism that not only looks at wages and working conditions of members, but also concerns itself with social issues affecting all working people, such as civil and human rights, the environment, and democratic processes.

Key Topics

  • Building Unions
  • Why Unions Matter
  • How to Jump-Start Your Union


Mike Konopacki, is an American political writer and cartoonist from Wisconsin, specializing in labor issues. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He began labor cartooning for the Madison Press Connection, a local daily created...