Author Archives

Jasmine Kerrissey

Research Findings

Public Sector and Politically Engaged: The Role of Unions

, and
May 14, 2021

Research finds that public sector workers are more politically active and civically engaged than the broader public. Our work investigates the role of labor unions in amplifying and shaping this participation. 

With one in three public sector workers unionized, unionization has widespread implications. Public workers make up nearly half of all union members in the United States, including large numbers of women and people of color. However, the political terrain of public unions is shifting with the passage of restrictive laws and increased political opposition, especially over the past decade. This opposition threatens to erode public union membership, potentially undermining political and civic participation.

Continue Reading…
Research Findings

Who gets to feel safe? In-person workers during the pandemic

April 22, 2021

In-person workers have faced intense health and safety issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research examines in-person workers’ experiences on the job. Far from the early cries of COVID as the “great equalizer,” we find that in-person work during the pandemic has heightened the class, race, and gender inequalities that already permeate the workplace. 

We began surveying essential workers in Massachusetts at the start of the pandemic, as part of the COVID-19 Workplace Project run by the Labor Center at the University of Massachusetts. Since July, we expanded the survey to include in-person workers from multiple states. We used paid Facebook advertisements to target in-person workers in specific geographic area. Each survey ran for one week. In total, we have conducted five surveys between April and December 2020, hearing from over 8,500 in-person workers. 

Continue Reading…