The Center was created in 1988 to honor Douglas A. Fraser, the former President of the United Auto Workers and also University Professor of Labor Studies at Wayne State University. The Center provides a forum to promote education and research on topics of interest to workers, employers, and unions.
The mission of the Center is to “provide the best in research and learning for creating the best workplaces of tomorrow.” To achieve this purpose, the Center sponsors research, holds conferences, and convenes relevant parties to discuss issues affecting workers and their union representatives. It is aligned with the mission of Labor@Wayne to promote better workplaces through effective union representation.
The Center has organized its activities around several key industries, including manufacturing, health care, public sector, federal sector, transportation, construction, and service. It provides a venue for a council of unions in each industry to form a common agenda and discuss common economic, bargaining, and public-policy issues.
The Center sponsors the annual “Labor Leaders on Labor” event at Wayne State University where a prominent union leader is invited to talk about the state of labor. It also sponsors the periodic surveys on labor, employment, and workplace.