Tom Juravich is a professor of Labor Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is also the director of the UMass Amherst Labor Relations and Research Center (LRRC), and director of the LRRC's Union Leadership and Administration program.
Juravich is also a musician and labor movement activist.
Education and career
From 1984 to 1993 he was an assistant professor in the Department of Labor Studies at Penn State University. While at Penn State, he also directed a workers' education program for wage-earners in the Philadelphia area.
In 1994, Juravich obtained an appointment as a professor of labor studies at UMass Amherst.
Juravich's research interests focus on union organizing, comprehensive campaigns (also known as corporate campaigns or comprehensive campaigns), the nature of work, and labor history and culture.
Juravich is a highly regarded expert on labor union organizing and collective bargaining strategies. Along with co-author Kate Bronfenbrenner, Juravich introduced rigorous statistical methodology and survey techniques to a field which had been dominated by case studies. His most notable contribution in this regard were two papers. The first was the 1994 work 'The Promise of Union Organizing in the Public and Private Sectors,' co-authored with Bronfenbrenner. In 1995, Bronfenbrenner and Juravich co-wrote a second work, 'Union Tactics Matter: The Impact of Union Tactics on Certification Elections, First Contracts, and Membership Rates.' Based in part on Bronfenbrenner's doctoral dissertation, the two papers were widely distributed throughout the labor movement and had a significant impact in promoting union organizing as a key issue in the 1995 AFL-CIO presidential race. Both papers have been combined, updated and published, in various journals and books, a number of times since then.
Juravich is also well known for a study of anti-union tactics utilized by employers in NLRB-sponsored union organizing elections. In 1995, Bronfenbrenner and Juravich co-wrote 'The Impact of Employer Opposition on Union Certification Win Rates: A Private/Public Sector Comparison.' Previously, individual labor unions—and, to a lesser extent, the AFL-CIO—had collected anecdotal evidence on employer anti-union tactics and strategies. Much of this work was kept secret, for fear that anti-union employers would realize that unions were learning how to respond and modify and improve their anti-union tactics accordingly. This 1995 paper, however, brought this research agenda into the open and made it a topic for academic discussion. The paper grouped and categorized anti-union tactics and strategies, and used surveys and statistical analysis to judge their effectiveness. This paper also had a galvanizing effect on the American labor movement, creating a behind-the-scenes cottage industry in analyzing anti-union consultants and anti-union organizing campaign tactics. The work of the AFL-CIO-affiliated organization, American Rights at Work, and its opposite number, the employer-financed Center for Union Facts, both stem from the emphasis on opposition research engendered by Bronfenbrenner's paper.
Outside the academic setting, Juravich has shown a significant interest in labor culture, such as folk songs, music, poems, photography, folk art and stories. For several years, he has been collecting the folk songs and picket line music from the American labor movement.
Dovetailing his interest in labor culture and his academic interest in the nature of work, Juravich has been working with photographer Paul Shoul on a collection of oral history and workers' stories to be accompanied by photographs of workers and their workplaces. The project is called "Bread WithOUT Roses." The project is a play on the phrase "bread and roses," a call for dignity and workplace respect commonly associated with a 1912 textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The text and photography project is designed to showcase worsening conditions on in the American workplace.
Juravich's best-known work, however, is most likely Ravenswood: The Steelworkers' Victory and the Revival of American Labor, a book he co-authored with Kate Bronfenbrenner.
Juravich has produced three albums of labor music, spoken word and song. His first album, Rising Again, was produced by the United Auto Workers.
Juravich subsequently released two more albums. He composed a number of songs for the film Out of Darkness, a semi-documentary history of the United Mine Workers. The songs were released as a compilation soundtrack album in 1983. His third album, "A World to Win," was a collection of original labor-themed songs. Both of the these albums were released on the Flying Fish Records label.
- Chaos on the Shop Floor: A Worker's View of Quality, Productivity, and Management. Reprint ed. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-87722-561-3
- Bronfenbrenner, Kate and Juravich, Tom. 'The Impact of Employer Opposition on Union Certification Win Rates: A Private/Public Sector Comparison.' Working paper no. 113, Economic Policy Institute, Washington, D.C. 1995.
- Bronfenbrenner, Kate and Juravich, Tom. 'Introduction: Bringing the Study of Work Back to Labor Studies.' Labor Studies Journal. 30:1 (Spring 2005).
- Bronfenbrenner, Kate and Juravich, Tom. 'Out of the Ashes: The Steelworkers' Global Campaign at Bridgestone/Firestone.' In Multinational Companies and Global Human Resource Strategies. William N. Cooke, ed. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2003. ISBN 1-56720-583-6
- Bronfenbrenner, Kate and Juravich, Tom. The Promise of Union Organizing in the Public and Private Sectors. Working paper, Institute for the Study of Labor Organizations, George Meany Center for Labor Studies, Silver Spring, Md. 1994.
- Bronfenbrenner, Kate and Juravich, Tom. Ravenswood: The Steelworkers’ Victory and the Revival of American Labor. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press/ILR Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8014-8666-1
- Bronfenbrenner, Kate and Juravich, Tom. 'Significant Victories.' In Justice on the Job. Richard N. Block, Sheldon Friedman, Michelle Kaminski and Andy Levin, eds. Kalamazoo, Mich.: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2006. ISBN 0-88099-278-6
- Bronfenbrenner, Kate and Juravich, Tom. Staying Union: The Dynamics of Union Success in Public Sector Decertification Campaigns. Washington, D.C.: AFL-CIO, 1995.
- Bronfenbrenner, Kate and Juravich, Tom. Union Organizing in the Public Sector: An Analysis of State and Local Elections. Ithaca, N.Y.: ILR Press, 1995. ISBN 0-87546-347-9
- Bronfenbrenner, Kate and Juravich, Tom. 'Union Tactics Matter: The Impact of Union Tactics on Certification Elections, First Contracts, and Membership Rates.' Working paper, Institute for the Study of Labor Organizations, George Meany Center for Labor Studies, Silver Spring, Md. 1995.
- Juravich, Tom; Hartford, William; and Green, James. Commonwealth of Toil: Chapters in the History of Massachusetts Workers and Their Unions. Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996. ISBN 1-55849-046-9
- Out Of Darkness: The Mine Worker's Story. Soundtrack to the motion picture. Audio CD. Flying Fish Records, 1983.
- A World to Win. Audio CD. Flying Fish Records, 1989.
- Altar of the Bottom Line. Audio CD. Finnegan Music, 2007-
- American Rights at Work
- "Bread WithOUT Roses" Web site
- Labor Relations and Research Center, University of Massachusetts Amherst