Boston College Law School student Gabe Frumkin’s involvement within the labor union movement dates back to high school.
That’s when the Atlanta native began exploring the various ways people work together to improve their workplaces.
Through internships and volunteering with local unions in efforts to organize workers, Frumkin gained invaluable experience that put him into position to continue his efforts as an undergrad at Tufts University.
“I believe in the power of workers organizing and I think there’s an intrinsic benefit to our democracy when we allow and encourage workers to come together and bargain as one,” said Frumkin. “From a young age, I thought that the power of a union was one of the best ways to accomplish that.”
As one of five recipients of a 2018 Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies, Frumkin views the accomplishments of the late Michael Weiner and the Major League Baseball Players Association, a model for labor unions around the world.
“The players union has been able to negotiate great healthcare and wellness provisions and that’s such a great example of one of the many powers of a union,” he said. “Those types of wellness initiatives aren’t things that appear out of nowhere, it takes a lot of work and creativity to get those within an agreement.”
As Frumkin’s goal is to become a labor lawyer, the valuable experiences have taught him that organizing and unity are the keys to fairness in the workplace.
“I would like to think I’ve learned every step of the way. I’ve learned a lot about organizing and what it means for members,” said Frumkin. “That’s going to be something that I take with me as a lawyer. The most important part of my education will be being able to put on my organizer hat.”
Over the years as a student to many teachers within labor relations, Frumkin acknowledged the influences Michael Weiner had on not only his efforts but on those of his mentors.
“Every mentor I’ve had within labor law has had a personal story about Mr. Weiner, about how much of a tireless advocate he was for the players,” he said. “That speaks so well to his legacy. He and the players are inspiring because they show that they believe the labor movement will be around for a long time.”
He continued by expressing his gratitude and appreciation for the scholarship honoring Michael Weiner because it ensures a next wave of labor lawyers the opportunity to pursue their passion of fighting for workers and justice.
With sights set on working as a labor lawyer at the conclusion of law school, Frumkin sees himself tasked with the duty of getting workers to a point where they can advocate on their own behalf.
“This is about workers getting power, not lawyers getting power. It’s about enabling others to share within the power distribution,” he said. “Like Mr. Weiner, I’m going to try to emulate that in my practice as well.”
To be eligible for the Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies, individuals must be Graduate or Law Students enrolled in accredited educational institutions in the United States or Canada and must have a demonstrated interest and aspire to a career working in the labor movement and on behalf of workers’ rights.
To receive an award, eligible candidates must meet a combination of criteria including a superior academic record, a demonstrated commitment to the labor movement, a strong recommendation from an academic or a labor/worker’s rights practitioner, and an excellent display of written and oral communication skills.
Preference also is given to those who can demonstrate financial need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) scores or otherwise.
The scholarship application for the 2018 Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies will be posted here in July 2018.
To read Aaron Bibb’s scholarship feature, click here
To read David Huang’s scholarship feature, click here
To read Benjamin Mantle’s scholarship feature, click here
To read Joaquin Recinos’ scholarship feature, click here