Todd E. Vachon


Clean Air and Good Jobs cover

Clean Air
Good Jobs

U.S. Labor and the Struggle for Climate Justice

Temple University Press (April, 2023)
As we confront the climate crisis and seek environmental justice, a “jobs vs. environment” discourse often pits workers against climate activists. How can we make a “just transition” moving away from fossil fuels, while also compensating for the human cost when jobs are lost or displaced? Clean Air and Good Jobs examines the labor–climate movement and demonstrates what can be envisioned and accomplished when climate justice is on labor’s agenda and unions work together with other social movements to formulate bold solutions to the climate crisis.

Revaluing Work(ers) cover

Revaluing Work(ers):

Toward a Democratic and Sustainable Future
(with Tobias Shulze-Cleven)

Cornell University Press (2021)
Revaluing Work(ers) presents a labor studies perspective on the future of work, arguing that revaluing work is crucial to realizing the promises of democracy and improving sustainability. It emphasizes that collective political action, and the agency of workers in particular, is central to driving this agenda forward. Moreover, it maintains that reproductive work—labor efforts from care to education that sustain society—can function as a crucible of innovation for the valuation and governance of work more broadly. Purchase

Academic Articles

Vachon, Todd E., and Michael Wallace. 2023. “Unions, Democracy, and Trump: Deconstructing the COVID-19 Vaccination Crisis of 2021.” Social Science Research.

Vachon, Todd E. 2023. “Back to the Drawing Board: Opportunities and Challenges for Labor in the Current Upsurge.” Labor Studies Journal.

Stevis, Dimitris, Price, Vivian, Vachon, Todd E., and J. Mijin Cha. 2023. “Varieties of Just Transitions: Lessons from the Just Transition Listening Project.” Austrian Journal of Development Studies.

Schulze-Cleven, Tobias, and Todd E. Vachon. 2023. “Building the Future of Work Today – A Labor Studies Perspective.” Labor Studies Journal.

Wallace, Michael, Allen Hyde, Todd E. Vachon. 2022. “States of Inequality: Politics, Labor, and Rising Income Inequality in the U.S. States since 1950.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility.

Shulze-Cleven, Tobias, and Todd E. Vachon. 2022. “The Future of Work and Workers: Ten Points from a Labor Studies Perspective.” Global Labour Journal.

Cha, J. Mijin, Dimitris Stevis, Todd E. Vachon, Vivian Price, and Maria-Brescia-Weiler. 2022. “Green New Deal for All: Toward a Worker and Community-Led Just Transition in the US.” Political Geography.

Li, Angran, Simon Cheng, and Todd E. Vachon. 2022. “Too Much of a Good Thing: Parental Overinvolvement and Student Outcomes.” Social Forces.

Wallace, Michael, Todd E. Vachon, and Allen Hyde. 2021. “Two Roads Diverged: Legal Context and Changing Levels of Private and Public Sector Union Density in the U.S. States.” Economic and Industrial Democracy.

Vachon, Todd E. and Michael Wallace. 2019. “Red State, Blue State: Neoliberalism, Politics, and Public Sector Union Membership in the U.S. States.” Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society.

Hyde, Allen and Todd E. Vachon. 2019. “Running with or against the Treadmill? Unions, Institutional Contexts, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in a Comparative Perspective.” Environmental Sociology.

Vachon, Todd E. 2018. “A Big Win in Smalltown: Demanding Dignity in an Era of Neoliberal Austerity.” Qualitative Sociology Review.

Ma, Josef, Todd E. Vachon, and Simon Cheng. 2018. “Economic Development, Political Freedom, and National Investments: A Comparative Analysis of the Digital Divide among Students in 55 Countries.” Social Indicators Research.

Hyde, Allen, Todd E. Vachon, and Michael Wallace. 2017. “Financialization, Income Inequality, and Redistribution in 18 Affluent Democracies.” Social Currents.

Vachon, Todd E., Michael Wallace, and Allen Hyde. 2016. “Union Decline in a Neoliberal Age: Globalization, Financialization, Regionalization, and Union Density in Eighteen Affluent Democracies.” Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World.

Vachon, Todd E. and Jeremy Brecher. 2016. “Are Union Members More or Less Likely to Be Environmentalists? Some Evidence from Surveys.” Labor Studies Journal.

Fischer, Mary, Jennifer Lundquist, and Todd E. Vachon. 2016. “Residential Segregation: The Mitigating Effects of Past Military Experience.” Social Science Research.

Vachon, Todd E. and Josef Ma. 2015. “Bargaining for Success: Examining the Relationship between Teacher Unions and Student Achievement.” Sociological Forum.

Vachon, Todd E. and Michael Wallace. 2013. “Globalization, Labor Market Transformation, and Union Decline in U.S. Metropolitan Areas.” Labor Studies Journal.

Book Chapters

Vachon, Todd E. 2023. “Pushing for a Green New Deal for Education from Below.” In Power Lines by Jeff Ordower and Lindsay Zafir (Eds). New York: The New Press.

Vachon, Todd E. 2022. “Fancy Funeral or Radical Rebirth? Just Transition and the Future of Work(ers) in the U.S.” in The Green New Deal and the Future of Work in America by Craig Calhoun and Ben Fong (Eds).

Vachon, Todd E. 2022. “Skin in the Game: The Struggle over Climate Protection within the U.S. Labor M-ovement.” Pp. 105-126 in Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism by David Tindall, Mark Stoddart, and Riley Dunlap (Editors). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Vachon, Todd E. 2021. “Just Transition Frames in the Context of the American Labor Movement.” in Handbook of Environmental-Labour Studies by Nora Räthzel, Dimitris Stevis, and David Uzzell (Eds). New York: Palgrave Macmillan Publishing.

Vachon, Todd E. 2021. “Foreword.” in Common Preservation in a Time of Mutual Destruction by Jeremy Brecher. Oakland, CA: PM Press.

Cha, J. Mijin, and Todd E. Vachon. 2021 “Climate Change and the Future of Workers: Toward a Just Transition.” Pp. 101-118 in Revaluing Work(ers): Toward a Democratic and Sustainable Future by Tobias Shulze-Cleven and Todd E. Vachon (Eds). New York: Cornell University Press.

Vachon, Todd E. and Sean Sweeney. 2018. “Energy Democracy: A Just Transition for Social, Economic, and Climate Justice.” Pp. 63-72 in Agenda for Social Justice: Global Solutions by Glen Muschert et al. (Eds). Bristol, UK: Policy Press.

Applied Research Reports

Vachon, Todd E. 2023. “Climate Justice for All: Pursuing a Just Transition in the Education Sector.” Feature story for American Educator, magazine of the AFT, December.

Boyle, James, and Todd E. Vachon. 2022. “The State of New Jersey Labor, 2022.” Prepared for the Labor Education Action Research Network.

Vachon, Todd E, Kayla Crawley, and James Boyle. 2022. “Back to School for All: Lessons Learned.” Feature story for American Educator, magazine of the AFT, June.

Boyle, James, and Todd E. Vachon. 2022. “The State of New Jersey Labor, 2022.” Prepared for the Labor Education Action Research Network.

Vachon, Todd E., Mijin Cha, Dimitris Stevis, and Vivian Price. 2021. “Workers and Communities in Transition: Report of the Just Transition Listening Project.” Prepared for the Labor Network for Sustainability and a Congressional Briefing.

McCoy, Brandon, Janice R. Fine, and Todd E. Vachon. 2020. “Undocumented Workers in Service Sector Most Likely to be Harmed by COVID-19.” Prepared in partnership with with Rutgers Center for Innovation in Worker Organization and NJ Policy Perspective.

Vachon Todd E. 2019. “The Green Transition: Renewable Energy Technology, Climate Change Mitigation, and the Future of Work in New Jersey.” Prepared for the New Jersey Governor’s Task Force on the Future of Work.

Vachon, Todd E. 2019. “The Prevailing Wage in New Jersey: An Assessment.” Prepared for the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Merrill, Michael, and Todd E. Vachon. 2018. “The State of New Jersey Labor, 2018.” Prepared for the Labor Education Action Research Network.

Vachon, Todd E. and Mark E. Sullivan. 2013. “Connecticut Interest Arbitration: Municipal Awards in Review, 2009-2012.” Prepared for AFSCME Council 4.

Essays and Editorials

Vachon, Todd E. 2023. “More Unions Means More Vaccinations and Safer Workplaces.” Scientific American, November.

Vachon, Todd E. 2023. “Inequality is skyrocketing. Empowering local workers can help fix it.” Star Ledger, September 2.

Vachon, Todd E. 2023. “Why Clean Air AND Good Jobs.” North Philly Notes, May 17.

Vachon, Todd E. and Ayesha Qazi-Lampert. 2023. “Educators Are Standing Up for Healthy Green Schools and a Livable Climate This Earth Week.” Common Dreams, April 22.

Vachon, Todd E. 2022. “Labor is on the Offensive.” Barron’s, September 27.

Vachon, Todd E. 2022. “American Federation of Teachers Calls on TIAA and Other Retirement Funds to Divest from Fossil Fuels.” TIAADivest!, August 8.

Vachon, Todd E. 2021. “Democracy is Dying. Unions Can Help Save It.” Common Dreams, September 6.

Vachon, Todd E. 2021. “The American middle class is dead — The PRO Act would resuscitate it.” The Hill, March 13.

Vachon, Todd E. and Debra Coyle-McFadden. 2020. “Who Needs Unions, Anyway? We All Do.” Star-Ledger, September 7.

Vachon, Todd E. 2020. “Pandemic May be a Preview of our Climate Future.” Star Ledger, July 1.

Vachon, Todd E., Saket Soni, Judith LeBlanc, and Gerry Hudson. 2020. “Bargaining for Climate Justice.” The Forge: Organizing Strategy and Practice, April 1.

Lamb, Zachary B., and Todd E. Vachon. 2020. “Working for Just Adaptation: The Green New Deal, Labor, and Planning for Climate Change.” POWER: Infrastructure in America.

Wolfson, Todd, Klein, Naomi, Vachon, Todd E., et. al. 2019. “Rutgers Faculty Strike for Climate, Urge Rutgers to Lead.” Star Ledger, September 18.

Vachon, Todd E., Gerry Hudson, Judith Lebanc, and Saket Soni. 2019. “How Workers can Demand Climate Justice.” American Prospect, September 2.

Vachon, Todd E. 2019. “A Green New Voice for Workers.” Hartford Courant, March 9.

Vachon, Todd E. 2018. “Workers, Unions, Lead on Climate Change.” Star-Ledger, October 17.

Vachon, Todd E. 2018. “‘Climate Solidarity’ to Remedy Climate Alienation.” Truthout, June 13.

Brecher, Jeremy and Todd E. Vachon. 2016. “Union Members Don’t Oppose Environmental Protections. They’re Actually More Likely to Support Them.” In These Times, May 23.

Vachon, Todd E., Gayatri Phadke, and Maria Seger. 2015. “In First Contract, UConn Grad Assistants Win Raises and Much More.” Labor Notes, July 31.

Brecher, Jeremy and Todd E. Vachon. 2015. “Report on ‘Clean Energy Future’ Brings Good News for Connecticut Workers.” CT News Junkie, October 15.

Vachon, Todd E. 2014. “Toward Union Revitalization: An Assessment of the Barriers and Opportunities for Labor in the 21 St Century.” In Critical Solidarity 12:9-15.