Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies


Two UW Events to Recognize Worker Safety, April 23-24

Next week, the Bridges Center is proud to sponsor two events devoted to underscoring the importance of worker safety.

The first, on Tuesday, April 23, is a forum featuring workers from Bangladesh. Since 2000, over 800 workers have died in factory fires. What can we do in the U.S. to assist workers there as they fight for increased worker safety?

On Wednesday, April 24, we invite you to a memorial for workers that died in King County in 2012. A special ceremony will raise awareness about making jobs safer, with special messages from Senator Patty Murray, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and more.

Now Accepting Applications for UW Labor Studies Scholarships & Research Grants

Applications are now being accepted for the Bridges Center's annual scholarships and grants. Awards include:

This year, the Bridges Center will award over $35,000 in grants and scholarships to UW students and faculty in Labor Studies. | Read more


Tuesday, April 23

Forum: "End Death Trap Factories" Worker Tour

6:30-8:00pm. Savery Hall, Room 260, UW Seattle.

Since 2006, preventable factory fires have killed over 600 workers in Bangladesh as they produce for markets in the US and Europe.

April 23rd and 24th, Bangladesh Garment Workers are coming to Washington State as part of the "End Death Trap Factories" 10 city nationwide tour, to demand that Walmart and the GAP join a fire safety agreement requiring independent fire inspections, workers' voice in fire safety measures, and making retailers financially responsible for the necessary measures to prevent factory fires.

Sponsored by the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, United Students Against Sweatshops, Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, OUR Walmart, and UFCW Local 21.

To request disability accommodations, contact the UW Disability Services Office, 206‐543‐6450; 206‐543‐6452 (TTY); or e‐mail dso@u.washington.edu.

Wednesday, April 24

Event: Worker Memorial Day

11:30am-12:30pm. Husky Union Building, Lyceum, UW Seattle.

Each year thousands of workers are killed and millions more injured or diseased because of their jobs.

Please join us on Worker Memorial Day to honor those who died in 2012 from a work-related injury or illness in King County.

This special ceremony will also raise awareness about how we can strengthen our commitment to make jobs safer and save lives in Washington state.

For more information, contact Nancy Simcox at 206-221-7107, UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.

To request disability accommodations, contact the UW Disability Services Office, 206‐543‐6450; 206‐543‐6452 (TTY); or e‐mail dso@u.washington.edu.

Wednesday, May 1

Book Talk: Silencing Race: Disentangling Blackness, Colonialism, and National Identities in Puerto Rico

Ileana Rodríguez-Silva, UW History

4:00 pm. Communications,Room 202, UW Seattle. FREE.

Ileana Rodríguez-Silva (Latin American & Caribbean History) discusses her new book Silencing Race: Disentangling Blackness, Colonialism, and National Identities in Puerto Rico (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), which explores the ongoing, constant racialization of Puerto Rican workers to explore the "class-making" of race. In their quest for greater political participation within shifting imperial fields — from Spanish (1850s1898) to US rule (1898-present)— Puerto Ricans struggled to shape and contain conversations about race. In so doing, they crafted, negotiated, and imposed on others multiple forms of silences while reproducing the idea of a unified, racially mixed, harmonious nation. Hence, both upper and working classes participated, although with different agendas, in the construction of a wide array of silences that together have prevented serious debate about racialized domination.

Friday, May 3 - Sunday, May 5

Conference: Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future

Pacific Northwest Labor History Association

Times, locations vary. Portland, OR.

The annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association, a non-profit association dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of workers in the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Oregon and Washington). Members are trade unionists, students, academics, and others who share an interest in the history and heritage of workers in this region.

Several sessions will feature Bridges Center faculty and students:

  • James Gregory, former Bridges Chair and professor of History, will take part in a roundtable discussion on "Oral History and the PNLHA"
  • Conor Casey, UW labor archivist, will present on "Doing Research in the UW Labor Archives"
  • Leo Baunach, former Bridges Center student assistant, will present his research paper, "Organizing Precarious Workers in the CIO Era: The International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America

For specific dates, times, and locations visit the PNLHA website.

Tuesday, May 14

Talk: The Situation and Struggles of the iSlaves in China


4:00pm-6:00pm. Dempsey Hall, Room 4, UW Seattle.

The company Foxconn employs more than one million people in China alone. As the world's biggest contract manufacturer it works for Apple and many other electronics brands. Foxconn's workers are the "iSlaves" who face horrendous working conditions while producing communication tools like iPhones and iPads.

Based on Gongchao.org's research and activity around the struggles of Chinese migrant workers, this talk will use words, photos, and films to present the situation at Foxconn. The discussion will focus on ways to support the iSlaves and to relate their struggles to our own.

Gongchao.org was formed in September 2008 as a project for the documentation of labor unrest and social movements in China from the perspective of class struggle, migration and gender. The website offers a selection of analytical texts and workers' stories in English and German.

For more information, call 206‐543‐7946, or e‐mail hbcls@u.washington.edu.

To request disability accommodations, contact the UW Disability Services Office, 206‐543‐6450; 206‐543‐6452 (TTY); or e‐mail dso@u.washington.edu.

Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27

Northwest Folklife: Washington Works

Times, dates, locations to be announced.

The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies is collaborating with the NW Folklife Festival and the Washington State Labor Council's Mayworks program to make labor studies part of this year's cultural focus, titled "Washington Works."

Events will include presentations by Conor Casey (Labor Archives of Washington), James Gregory (UW History), Moon-Ho Jung (UW History), George Lovell (Harry Bridges Chair), Carolyn Pinedo-Turnovsky (UW American Ethnic Studies), and more.


Thursday, April 18

Reading and Panel: I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse

6:00-6:30pm: Light Refreshments; 6:30-8:00pm: Program followed by book signing. Suzzallo Library, 3rd Floor, Smith Room (324), UW Seattle. FREE.

Join the Health Sciences Library for a panel discussion, reading, and book signing marking the release of a new anthology of essays I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse edited by Lee Gutkind.

The new book is organized around a collection of true narratives that capture the dynamism and diversity of nurses, who provide the vital first line of patient care. The stories reveal many voices from nurses at different stages of their careers: the authors remember their first "sticks," first births, and first deaths, and reflect on what gets them through long demanding shifts, and keeps them in the profession. What connects these stories is the passion and strength of the writers, who struggle against burnout and bureaucracy to serve their patients with skill, empathy, and strength.

The panel will include an interview with Theresa Brown, who writes for the NYT Well Blog, and Josephine Ensign (Psychosocial and Community Health), whose essay "Next of Kin" appears in the anthology. Sponsored by 4Culture and the UW Health Science Library.

Thursday, April 25

Talk: Strange Brew: The Making and (Unmaking?) of Contemporary Nativism

Daniel Martinez HoSang, Ethnic Studies and Political Science, University of Oregon

6:00pm. Building 2, Room 005, UW Bothell. FREE.

The rising prospects for federal comprehensive immigration reform suggest that immigration restrictionists may be facing a period of retrenchment and declining political influence. To understand the future trajectory of restrictionist politics, this talk assesses the unsteady and deeply contingent formation of restrictionist political movements over the last forty years. It traces the combination and recombination of diverse political claims—demands for fiscal austerity, assertions of states’ rights, racialized constructions of criminality, and appeals to white cultural nationalism—into a distinct if unstable ideological alchemy.

Daniel Martinez HoSang is an Associate Professor at the University of Oregon with a joint appointment in the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Department of Political Science. He is the author of Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California (Univ of California Press, 2010), which explores the history of organizing campaigns around racialized ballot measures in California since 1945 and was the recipient of the 2011 James A Rawley Prize of the Organization of American Historians. He is also the co-editor (with Oneka LaBennett and Laura Pulido) of Racial Formation in the 21st Century (University of California Press, 2012). His current research examines political discourse, framing and subject formation in relation to issues including reproductive rights, immigration, LGBT identity, and incarceration.

He received his PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. Before graduate school, HoSang worked as a community organizer and trainer for ten years in the San Francisco Bay Area. He currently serves on the board of directors of several social justice organizations including Forward Together (Oakland, CA), the Alliance for a Just Society (Seattle, WA), and the Partnership for Safety and Justice (Portland, OR).

Thursday, May 9

Panel: Ethnic Identity & Political Power in the U.S.

Elaine Brown, Aaron Dixon, José "Cha Cha" Jiménez, and Carlos Muñoz

7:00 pm. Kane Hall, Walker Ames Room (225), UW Seattle. FREE.

A former leader of the Black Panther Party, Elaine Brown is author of A Taste of Power (1992) and The Condemnation of Little B (2002). She is also the editor of Messages to Our Brothers and Sisters on the Other Side of the Wall, a collection of autobiographical essays by black prisoners in New Mexico (2007). Brown is the Executive Director of the Michael Lewis Legal Defense Committee, organizer of the nonprofit education corporation Fields of Flowers, and, co-founder of Mothers Advocating Juvenile Justice and the National Alliance for Radical Prison Reform.

Co-founder and Captain of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party, Aaron Dixon has remained engaged in politics for the last four decades. As an untiring activist, he founded the Central House, a nonprofit agency that provides transitional housing for youth, and was one of the cofounders of the Cannon House, a senior assisted-living facility. In 2006 he ran for the United States Senate as a Green Party candidate. His book, My People Are Rising: Memoir of a Black Panther Party Captain (2012), was recently published by Haymarket Books.

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Chicago, José (Cha-Cha) Jiménez is a community organizer, researcher, and founder of the Young Lords Organization. Under his leadership, the Young Lords joined with the Black Panther Party and Young Patriots to form the original Rainbow Coalition. In 1976, Mr. Jiménez ran for alderman of Chicago's 46th ward, becoming the first Latino to run and oppose Mayor Richard J. Daley's political machine. Today, Mr. Jiménez co-directs the "Young Lords in Lincoln Park" project at Grand Valley State University, an effort focused on documenting and preserving the history and legacy of the organization.

Dr. Carlos Muñoz was the founding chair of the first Chicano Studies department in the nation in 1968 at the California State University at Los Angeles, and the founding chair of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS). He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ethnic Studies at U.C. Berkeley. Among his publications he counts Youth, Identity, Power: The Chicano Movement, recipient of the Gustavus Myers Book Award for “outstanding scholarship in the study of human rights in the U.S.” A long-time activist, in 1996 he received the University of Michigan’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., César Chávez, and Rosa Parks Award.

Event sponsored by UW American Ethnic Studies. For more information, call 206-543-5401 or email aes@uw.edu.

Friday, May 10

Film Screening: Aoki

7:00 pm. Smith Hall,Room 120, UW Seattle. FREE.

Richard Aoki (1938-2009) was a third-generation Japanese American who became one of the founding members of the Black Panther Party. Filmed over the last five years of Richard's life, this documentary features extensive footage with Richard and exclusive interviews with his comrades, friends, and former students. Viewers will learn about Richard's childhood in a WWII Japanese American concentration camp, growing up in West Oakland, and serving eight years in the U.S. military.

The film explores previously unknown facts about the formation of the Black Panther Party such as how Richard became intimately involved in its founding and contributed the first two firearms to the Party. AOKI highlights how Richard's leadership also made a significant impact on individuals and groups in the contemporary Asian American Movement. Richard’s contributions to the groundbreaking organization Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA) and its involvement in the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) student strike led to the formation of ethnic studies at U.C. Berkeley. Above all else, AOKI is a film that demonstrates the incredible dedication to justice that one man’s life has had and how the lessons of solidarity, commitment, and discipline can carry on from one generation to the next.

Event sponsored by UW American Ethnic Studies. For more information, call 206-543-5401 or email aes@uw.edu.



2013-2014 Silme Domingo & Gene Viernes Scholarship

$5,500 scholarship for students entering or transferring into the University of Washington

Deadline to apply: May 20, 2013

The Bridges Center is proud to announce a scholarship for students incoming to the University of Washington in 2013-2014, the Silme Domingo & Gene Viernes Scholarship.

The scholarship is available to students who are incoming (either as freshmen or transfer students) to the University of Washington, qualify for financial aid, and have an interest in social justice and human rights. It is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Founded through the efforts of the Inlandboatmen's Union, Region 37, this scholarship honors Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, two inspiring leaders of the Seattle labor movement.

For more information, visit the Bridges Center website or contact program coordinator Andrew Hedden at hbcls@uw.edu.

2013-2014 Scholarships & Prizes

Over $35,000 to be awarded to graduate and undergraduate students in Labor Studies

Deadline to apply: June 10, 2013

Each year, the Bridges Center awards thousands of dollars to top students in Labor Studies.

This year's awards include:

For more information, visit the Bridges Center website or contact program coordinator Andrew Hedden at hbcls@uw.edu.

2013-2014 Labor Studies Research Grants

Research grants available to UW graduate students and faculty

Deadline to apply: June 10, 2013

The Bridges Center supports ground-breaking labor studies research through our annual grant funding program. For a look at past sponsored projects, visit our Featured Research website.

This year's grants include:

For more information, visit the Bridges Center website or contact program coordinator Andrew Hedden at hbcls@uw.edu.


Former Bridges Chair Michael Honey quoted in news report on fast food workers strike (MSNBC)

April 4, 2013. Thursday morning, hundreds of fast food workers in New York City walked off the job in what could be the largest strike in the fast food industry’s history. This is the second major labor action in a long-term campaign by fast food employees, the community organizing group New York Communities for Change, and community allies. The first day-long strike came in late November 2012, when the organizing workers first announced themselves to the world and demanded higher wages and union recognition.

The date of this second strike is not a coincidence: April 4 is also the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. When King was shot and killed in 1968, he was visiting Memphis, Tenn., to rally on behalf of striking sanitation workers. The 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike, the last major campaign of King’s life, came at a pivotal moment for both workplace rights and racial justice. Now, New York fast food workers are consciously borrowing that strike’s rhetoric and tactics, and framing their struggle as a direct continuation of the great civil rights leader’s final battle.| Read more


WA LERC Seeks Workers’ Rights Manual Project Intern

The Washington State Labor Education and Research Center at South Seattle Community College is seeking a number of interns for our Washington Workers’ Rights Manual Project. As part of this exciting project you will: strengthen your research and writing skills, learn about workers’ rights, and gain insight into how labor unions and community-­‐based organizations do their work as part of the labor movement. Bilingual applicants, particularly Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali or Amharic speakers, are encouraged to apply.

Intern candidates should have an interest in workers’ rights, the labor movement and law. Responsibilities could include:

  • Researching laws that affect workers in Washington State and translating them into plain language
  • Researching community and legal resources
  • Attending occasional meetings with community leaders and labor union activists
  • Helping to design and create online and print resources such as brochures, fact sheets or videos
  • Assisting in the development and implementation of a training curriculum for community leaders, teachers and labor union leaders to teach the manual

Internships are open to all college students and graduates. The time commitment is flexible and together we can work out a schedule that meets both your needs and ours but should be the equivalent of 10-­‐15 hours per week for 3-­‐4 months starting as soon as May 2013. The internship will be compensated with a stipend of $2000. | Read more


2013 Summer Institute for Union Women - Register Now!

June 25-29, 2013. University of Washington, Seattle.

CALLING ALL RANK AND FILE WOMEN, OFFICERS & STAFF! The Washington State Labor Education and Research Center is hosting the 2013 Western Regional Summer Institute for Union Women in Seattle at the University of Washington. The Institute will begin on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 25th and end in the evening on June 29th, 2013.

This year's program is includes over 20 trainings and workshops, labor actions, and much much more. Some of the classes and workshops to be offered include:

  • Collective Bargaining
  • Labor's Legislative Agenda: Power & Accountability
  • Organizing
  • Strategic Campaigns
  • Labor Law
  • Civil Disobedience
  • Women's Labor History
  • And much, much, more!

To view a complete list of the classes to be offered, or register for the conference, visit the Washington LERC website .

Questions? Contact Cheryl Coney for more information at cheryl.coney@seattlecolleges.edu or 206.934.5382.The deadline to register is May 31st, 2013. Late registrations received before June 7th will be charged a $50 late fee.


WA State Labor Council Seeks Entries for Labor Video Contest

MayWorks, an annual month-long celebration of workers’ culture and history first organized in 2012 by Washington’s labor movement, is organizing an even larger series of events for May 2013. Washington Works, inspired by MayWorks, will be the central cultural focus at the Northwest Folklife Festival on Memorial Day weekend.

As part of MayWorks, the Washington State Labor Council is seeking entries to a video contest. Videos must be on the theme of "We Do the Work," and last three to five minutes. First Prize is $250, second prize is $150, and third prize is $75. Entries are due May 3, 2013. | Read more

April 15, 2013


Bridges Center Events

Events of Interest

News & Announcements

Support the Bridges Center



WA StateDay Laborers at Risk: Developing Strategies for a Hazardous Workplace

Noah Seixas and Janice Camp, WA State Labor Research

Each April, Worker Memorial Day provides a sobering reminder of the dangers workers face in the workplace.

In this report, Seixas and Camp discuss the development of safety trainings for day laborers, who often work in hazardous industries with few legal protections.



Labor, Labor Studies, and the Future Conference

Miss the Bridges Center's 20th anniversary conference this past November? Complete audio of the event is now available on-line.

Conference panel topics included the history of the Bridges Center, youth and the labor movement, civil rights and labor, the 2012 elections, and more.



Silme Domingo Papers 1952-1992

Each year the Bridges Center awards a scholarship in honor of martyred labor leaders Gene Viernes and Silme Domingo.

This collection comprises materials related to Silme Domingo's work with LELO, cannery workers, Seattle's International Discrict, the Filipino Community of Seattle, Inc. and the Pilipino People's Far West Convention.


Support the Bridges Center

Please support the work of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.

Donations can be made to the Bridges Center on-line securely with a credit card, or with a check by downloading our donation form. All gifts are tax-deductible.

For more information, click here, or call us at 206-543-7946.

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