Steven C.

Emeritus Associate Chair

Program Areas

Labor Center Leadership

Unions & Worker Organizations

Workshops & Leadership Schools

About Steven C.

Steven Pitts recently retired from the UC Berkeley Labor Center where for 19 years he focused on leadership development and Black worker issues.

Steven came to the Labor Center in August of 2001 from Houston, Texas. He received his Ph.D. in economics with an emphasis on urban economics from the University of Houston in 1994. His master’s degree is also from the University of Houston and he holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. For the 15 years prior to his arrival at the Labor Center, Steven taught economics at Houston Community College and, for 5 years, he was an adjunct lecturer in the African American Studies Program at the University of Houston. At the Labor Center, Steven focused on issues of job quality and Black workers. In this arena, he published reports on employment issues in the Black community, initiated a Black union leadership school, and shaped projects designed to build solidarity between Black and Latino immigrant workers. Especially in his later years at the Labor Center, a major area of his work involved providing technical assistance to efforts in developing Black worker centers around the country.

Since his retirement from the Labor Center, Steven created and hosts the podcast Black Work Talk, which looks at the struggles to build Black workers’ collective power and to challenge racial capitalism.

    Ken Jacobs, Steven C. Pittsand Brenda Muñoz

    Labor Center statement on the recent killings of Black people

    The Labor Center understands that workers are whole human beings whose lives go beyond their workplace and whose work lives are deeply affected by what happens in their communities. When Black people suffer racist attacks in their communities—whether the attacks come in the form of police and extrajudicial violence, or underfunded public education, or exposure to environmental degradation, or mass incarceration—these are workers’ rights issues.

    Sylvia Allegrettoand Steven C. Pitts

    To Work With Dignity: The Unfinished March Toward a Decent Minimum Wage

    Economic Policy Institute report. This paper examines the context that gave rise to demand for a national minimum wage during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, presents historical trends in the real (inflation-adjusted) value of the minimum wage and the impact on black workers, and discusses some of the contemporary issues surrounding minimum-wage policies.

    Steven C. Pitts

    Blacks in Unions: 2012

    This Data Brief presents a picture of Blacks in unions that goes beyond the data in the BLS report. Part II examines overall Black unionization disaggregated by gender. Part III presents data on Black unionization disaggregated by gender and region. Part IV examines Black unionization with a focus on the largest 10 metropolitan areas.

    Steven C. Pitts

    Black Workers and the Public Sector

    Few commentators have examined the racial implications of this reduction in government employment. This is an important question to address because often policy prescriptions that, on the surface, are race-neutral can have decidedly racial impacts.