Radical “social movement unionism” has become a trendy concept among graduate student unions. But the goals of union activists must be evaluated not just in terms of desirability or rhetorical militancy, but also in light of the concrete outcomes of their work.
Rob Ackermann is a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at UC Santa Barbara. He was an officer in UAW 2865 from 2010 to spring 2014, holding various positions including Santa Barbara Unit Chair and statewide Financial Secretary. He has remained active in the labor movement, as well as in the Santa Barbara progressive community. His dissertation is titled, "Achievable Spectral Radii of Symplectic Perron-Frobenius Matrices.”