Southeast Michigan has long been on the forefront of labor and education. CLCS brings the whole movement into one room. 

The Center for Labor and Community Studies at University of Michigan - Dearborn enhances the broad array of leadership and engagement programs already taking place here by connecting the University of Michigan to working people in Michigan and beyond. CLCS started as the Labor Studies Center in 1957. With nearly 70 years of experience in unionism, labor relations, and workers rights, we're dedicated to education, research, and programming that empowers Michiganders to keep pace with the changing global economy by making our rights accessible. 



CLCS offers six yearly conferences, most of which run from a Thursday through Saturday. Our conferences offer a variety of weekend-long workshops, keynote speakers who are leaders in the communities they represent, and opportunities for networking. All our conferences are eligible for TAP.


Symposiums are free, two-hour courses offered throughout the year on a wide variety of topics, including things beyond the realm of workers rights. They are offered via Zoom and they are also recorded and archived so you can learn even if you miss the event.


Short courses meet once a week for six weeks, with each class being 2-3 hours depending on your course. These courses are a great way to get in-depth knowledge on a specific topic. They're usually taught in-person or hybrid with a limited number of slots, so make sure to register. Short courses are eligible for TAP.


CLCS is happy to provide in-office trainings on many topics. To schedule a training, please email clcs.info@umich.edu.


The Organizer Network is a community of and for union organizers. The network provides support, educational opportunities, and a peer network for those building the labor movement through external and internal campaigns. 

The Organizer Network is open to union staff and workers who are engaging others to form unions for the first time, or to strengthen existing unions covered by a collective bargaining agreement.


Young Workers Conference

June 6-8, 2024

The Young Worker Conference invites all workers, union or non-union, and activists from allied organizations to share ideas and grow skills for responding to the challenges facing working persons. Conference is led by workers 35 years or younger, but is open to all ages. You need only be young in spirit!  We welcome participants from all genders and all cultural or ethnic backgrounds. 

Michigan School of Women Workers (50th)

April 18-20, 2024

Young Workers 


June 6-8, 2024

Workers Pride 


October 12, 2024

Latina/o Worker Leadership Institute

September 2024

Fall Leadership 


November 2024

Black Men in Unions 


February 2025


Safety in the Workplace

March 7 - April 11, 2024

This online short course by EHS Specialist B.M. Folks will cover different aspects of safety in the workplace. You'll deep-dive into your rights as a worker to remain safe, the laws and union regulations that pertain to workplace safety, what an unsafe work environment looks like, what to do if you experience harm, including understanding workers compensation and disability rights. 

UPCOMING: Grievance & Intro to Arbitration

Date TBD

This comprehensive short course by Greg Drudi will provide participants with a foundation of grievance and arbitration procedures and how employee rights have evolved via legal, contractual, judicial, and political interventions. You'll deep-dive into the grievance machinery and gain knowledge to determine and  justify whether a grievance should proceed to arbitration.


Symposium on Reversing Runaway Inequality

Happening Saturday, June 1, 2024 @ 10AM-12PM EST

In the richest country in the world, millions of working class Americans are struggling to get by while CEOs and corporations continue to rake in record profits.  This symposium, provided by Jobs with Justice, will explore the reality of inequality in our daily lives and what we can do about it.

Click HERE to access a workbook, the zoom link, and to bring the program to your local.

Click on the past events graphics below to access recordings and other materials from each symposium

Union Organizing & the Law: Recent NLRB Decisions

The State of Education: the Impact of New Legislation

Financial Planning for Workers

Getting Workers Comp (& Avoiding Litigation)



Calling all labor organizers and activists! Do you want to meet other labor activist and union organizers, learn tricks of the trade, and brainstorm new and improved organizing strategies? Come to the Organizer Network meeting. The Network is meant for both new and seasoned organizers, so don't be shy. We'd love to have you!

Click HERE to access the May 2024 presentation and materials from Sugar Law Center's Tony Parish on Your Rights to Political Speech in the Workplace and Your Right to Protest.