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Jasmine Kerrissey - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Jasmine Kerrissey

Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Labor Center | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Jasmine Kerrissey is an expert on labor movements, work and inequality

Expertise (7)

Worker Strikes

Labor Studies

Labor Movements

Social Movements and Collective Behavior

Political Sociology of Health

Gig Economy

Worker Rights


Jasmine Kerrissey's research focuses on labor movements, work and inequality.

Much of her work asks how workers' organizations have mattered, and what their decline means for workplace, economic, social and political outcomes.

She is regularly sought after by national media to discuss current issues related to labor and worker issues including by NPR, the Boston Globe and Time Magazine.

Social Media






LRAN Webinar: Strike Surge! U.S. Union Strike Activity Today and Throughout History


Education (3)

University of California, Irvine: Ph.D., Sociology

University of California, Irvine: M.A., Sociology

Cornell University: B.A., Industrial and Labor Relations

Select Media Coverage (3)

Union Escalates Strike at Two Major US Automakers

VOA  online


Jasmine Kerrissey, director of the Labor Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, told VOA that one benefit of the UAW’s strategy of gradual escalation is that it focuses public attention on its efforts. “It keeps the strike in the news cycle,” said Kerrissey, co-author of Union Booms and Busts: The Ongoing Fight over the U.S. Labor Movement. She noted that public opinion polling shows that the strikers currently enjoy broad public approval, adding, “Historically, public support has been very important in resolving strikes in unions’ favor.”

striking worker

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What It Would Take to Avoid a Rail Strike This Holiday Season

TIME Magazine  


“A hundred-plus years ago there were strikes over similar issues,” says Jasmine Kerrissey, an associate professor and director of the Labor Center at UMass Amherst. “Their slogan was ‘8 hours for work, 8 hours for rest, and 8 hours for what we will.’ And, while quality of life and the ability to take time off has always been a key issue for the labor movement, COVID has certainly shined a light on the importance of sick days and health.”

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The factors driving 'Striketober'

NPR  radio


NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Jasmine Kerrissey, professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, about the recent wave of strikes and what it says about labor in America.

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Select Publications (5)

2023’s historic Hollywood and UAW strikes aren’t labor’s whole story – the total number of Americans walking off the job remained relatively low

The Conversation

Judith Stepan-Norris and Jasmine Kerrissey


UMass Labor Center Director Jasmine Kerrissey has co-authored an article on strikes by labor unions in 2023. “This crescendo of labor actions follows a relative lull in U.S. strikes and a decline in union membership that began in the 1970s,” the article notes. “Today’s strikes may seem unprecedented, especially if you’re under 50. While this wave constitutes a significant change following decades of unions’ losing ground, it’s far from unprecedented.”

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Opinion—Uber and Lyft should be made to pay their fair share

Dorchester Reporter

Elizabeth Pellerito, Jasmine Kerrissey, Steve Striffler, and Camilo Viveiros, Jr.,


"If companies like Uber and Lyft are allowed to carve themselves out as employers, they also reduce their responsibility to the Commonwealth by reducing their tax burden and their investment in social programs like unemployment insurance, Paid Family Medical Leave, and Social Security. Just as voters passed the Fair Share Act for individuals in 2022, we need to make sure we don’t let these companies off the hook for paying their fair share. "

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Union Booms and Busts The Ongoing Fight Over the U.S. Labor Movement

Book – Oxford University Press

Judith Stepan-Norris and Jasmine Kerrissey


Union Booms and Busts takes a bird's eye view of the shifting fortunes of U.S. workers and their unions on the one hand, and employers and their organizations on the other. Using detailed data, this book analyses union density across 11 industries and 115 years, contrasting the organizing and union building successes and failures across decades.

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Waves of strikes rippling across the US seem big, but the total number of Americans walking off the job remains historically low

The Conversation

Judith Stepan-Norris and Jasmine Kerrissey


"More than 323,000 workers – including nurses, actors, screenwriters, hotel cleaners and restaurant servers – walked off their jobs during the first eight months of 2023. ... We see the rising number of strikes today as a sign that the balance of power between workers and employers, which has been tilted toward employers for nearly a half-century, is beginning to shift."

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This Labor Day comes amid the biggest jump in union activity in decades

The Washington Post

Jasmine Kerrissey and Judith Stepan-Norris


It was 1894, the Gilded Age — a time of extreme inequality, foul working conditions, worker unrest and violent strikes. Congress created Labor Day, a national holiday celebrating workers and labor unions. Labor Day alone didn’t change much. But from the 1930s through 1950s, labor unions were on the rise. ... Today, only 1 in 10 workers are organized, and one-third of the country’s workers earn less than $15 an hour. Research suggests that union decline has contributed significantly to the rise in inequality.

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