Todd E. Vachon, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations (LSER) and the Director of the Labor Education Action Research Network (LEARN) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. As the Director of LEARN, Todd oversees the University’s labor education programs, including classes and workshops for workers, unions, and other organizations and public programming designed to: (a) strengthen the community at work, (b) facilitate its organization on a more democratic basis, and (c) address unjustified inequalities of power and wealth in society.
Todd’s teaching interests include classes on capitalism and democracy; inequality and social movements to reduce inequality; and climate change, labor, and sustainability. In the LSER department, he regularly teaches U.S. Labor History, Perspectives on Labor Studies, Youth and Work, and Sustainability, Jobs and Justice. Other classes he has taught include Social Problems of American Capitalism, Race, Class and Gender, and Jobs, Work, and Globalization. Through the LEARN program, Todd runs non-credit classes on organizing, collective bargaining, shop stewarding, and more.
Todd’s research agenda is a theoretically and empirically driven effort to understand the structural origins and consequences of inequality and the struggles of ordinary people to achieve greater equality and dignity through education, organizations, and movements. To this end, he has published widely on labor and social movements, social stratification, and the intersection of work and environmental issues in journals such as Socius, Social Science Research, Labor Studies Journal, Sociological Forum, Industrial and Economic Democracy, Global Labor Journal and the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. Todd is the co-editor, along with Tobias Schulze-Cleven of the book Revaluing Work(ers): Toward a Democratic and Sustainable Future, which makes the case for a labor studies perspective on the future of work and workers. His next book, Clean Air and Good Jobs: U.S. Labor and the Struggle for Climate Justice, about the emerging labor-climate movement within the U.S. labor movement, will be released in early 2023.