Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies

Labor Book Events Today & Thursday

The Bridges Center's 2014 Winter Book Series continues this week with two more events by University of Washington scholars.

Both occur from 7pm to 9pm at the Seattle location of the University Bookstore (4326 University Way NE).

Tonight! Monday, March 3

Angela Day, Red Light to Starboard: Recalling the Exxon Valdez Disaster

Angela Day's new book documents the Exxon Valdez disaster that stunned the world, recounts regional and national history, and explains how oil titans came to be entrusted with a spectacular, fragile ecosystem. | Read More

Thursday, March 6

Jake Rosenfeld, What Unions No Longer Do

In his new book, UW Professor of Sociology Jake Rosenfeld examines the consequences of the sharp decline of organized labor in the United States in past decades, documenting how unions are no longer instrumental in combating inequality in our economy and our politics. | Read More

Labor Studies CoursesUniversity of Washington
Labor Studies Courses
for Spring 2014

In Spring 2014, twenty Labor Studies-related courses will be offered on all three UW campuses. All the courses count towards a Minor in Labor Studies.

For a full listing complete with course details, visit the Labor Studies Minor website.

Spring 2014 registration began Friday, February 14 and continues in March. Plan now and register early!


Monday, March 3

Book Release: Angela Day, Red Light to Starboard: Recalling the Exxon Valdez Disaster

7:00pm-8:30pm. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way, N.E., Seattle, Washington 98105. Free.

Red Light to Starboard: Recalling the Exxon Valdez Disaster documents the Exxon Valdez disaster that stunned the world, recounts regional and national history, and explains how oil titans came to be entrusted with a spectacular, fragile ecosystem. It discusses the disaster’s environmental consequences as well as failed governmental and public policy decisions, and tracks changes that, through opportunities for citizen input and oversight, offer hope for the future.

Author Angela Day spent nearly a decade working evenings and summers around a full-time job and graduate school in order to complete her manuscript. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her dissertation, currently in progress, is When the Whistle Didn’t Blow. She lives in Snohomish, Washington with her husband, Bobby Day.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.

Thursday, March 6

(Rescheduled from Monday, February 17)

Book Release: Jake Rosenfeld, What Unions No Longer Do

7:00pm-8:30pm. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way, N.E., Seattle, Washington 98105. Free.

Jake Rosenfeld's What Unions No Longer Do (Harvard University Press, 2014) examines the consequences of the sharp decline of organized labor in the United States in past decades. Unions, Rosenfeld concludes, are no longer instrumental in combating inequality in our economy and our politics, and the result is a sharp decline in the prospects of American workers and their families.

Jake Rosenfeld is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington, co-director of the Scholars Strategy Network Northwest (SSN-NW), and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE), the West Coast Poverty Center (WCPC) and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University in 2007. His research and teaching focuses on the political and economic determinants of inequality in the advanced democracies.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.

Thursday, March 13 - Two events!

Book Release and Performance: Michael Honey, John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, and the African American Song Tradition

3:30pm-5:00pm, book presentation. Communications Building, Room 230, UW Seattle. Free.

7:00pm-8:30pm, performance with the Seattle Labor Chorus. University Temple, United Methodist Church, The Sanctuary, 1415 NE 43rd Street, Seattle, WA 98105. Free.

Descended from African American slaves, Native Americans, and white slaveowners, John Handcox was born at one of the hardest times and places to be black in America. Over the first few decades of the twentieth century, he survived attempted lynchings, floods, droughts, and the ravages of the Great Depression to organize black and white farmers alike on behalf of the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union. He also became one of the most beloved folk singers of the prewar labor movement.

Michael Honey's fascinating and beautifully told history gives us John Handcox in his own words, recounting a journey that began in a sharecropper's shack in the Deep South and went on to shape the labor music tradition, all amid the tangled and troubled history of the United States in the twentieth century.

Michael Honey is the Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professor of the Humanities at The University of Washington, USA, and was a 2011 Guggenheim fellow. He is author of numerous award-winning books on labor, race relations, and Southern history, including Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign (Norton, 2007). His interviews and writing regularly appear in national media such as The Atlantic, NPR/Fresh Air, The Nation, History News Network, ColorLines, and many other print and digital publications.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


Thursday, March 6

Reading & Discussion: Until the Rulers Obey: Voices from Latin American Social Movements

Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein

4:30pm. Thomson Hall, Room 101, UW Seattle. Free.

Until the Rulers Obey brings together voices from the movements behind the wave of change that swept Latin America at the turn of the twenty-first century. These movements have galvanized long-silent—or silenced—sectors of society: indigenous people, campesinos, students, the LGBT community, the unemployed and all those left out of the promised utopia of a globalized economy. They have mobilized to fight against mines and agribusiness and for living space, rural and urban; for social space won through recognition of language, culture, and equal participation; for community and environmental survival.

This unique collection of interviews features sixty-seven organizers and activists from fifteen countries presenting their work and debating pressing issues of power, organizational forms, and relations with the state; it provides an indispensible compilation of primary source material for participants, students and observers of social movements.

Clifton Ross is a translator, filmmaker, and writer who has traveled extensively in Latin America and worked in solidarity with its social movements for more than thirty years. His first feature-length film, Venezuela: Revolution from the Inside Out, was released in 2008 by PM Press. In 2005 Ross represented the United States in the Second World Poetry Festival of Venezuela, and his book of poetry, Translations from Silence, was the recipient of PEN Oakland’s 2010 Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence.

Marcy Rein is a writer, editor, and organizer who has engaged with a wide range of social movements and organizational forms over the last thirty-five years, including publication collectives, labor unions, and community organizations. Her articles have appeared in women’s, queer, labor, and left publications from the pioneering radical feminist journal Off Our Backs to Race, Poverty & the Environment. She also worked for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for almost twelve years, writing for its newspaper and serving as the communications specialist for its organizing department.

Saturday, March 8

UW Women's Center Fundraising Gala: Women of Courage: Bridging the Divide

6:00pm. HUB Ballroom, UW Seattle. Individual tickets, $150; table of 10, $1,500.

This International Women’s Day, March 8, 2014, the University of Washington Women’s Center will host our 2014 gala, WOMEN of COURAGE: Bridging the Divide. Join us in celebrating women’s progress and advancement while continuing to close the equity gap, and honor women in Washington State who are bridging social and economic divides in our local and global communities.

  • Silent auction begins at 6:00 p.m.
  • Dinner presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
  • Dancing and entertainment to follow

Tickets available here: http://engage.washington.edu/womenofcourage2014. For more information, contact Heather Hudson at hzhudson@uw.edu or (206) 685-7570.

Saturday, March 8

Performance: Seattle Labor Chorus Annual Singalong

7:00-9:30pm. Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7500 Greenwood Avenue, Seattle, WA 98103. Adults $10-$15, children $5.

SING, EAT, DRINK, and MAKE MERRY at the Seattle Labor Chorus’ annual Singalong on Saturday evening, March 8th, 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. And what a way to celebrate International Women’s Day! The event will take place at a new location with plentiful parking, the Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7500 Greenwood Avenue, Seattle 98103. The #5 bus serves Greenwood Avenue.

The musical voice of labor in Seattle, the SLC, would love to have you come for this evening of music and socializing. It’s the Chorus’ biggest fundraiser of each year, and they would like your support and fellowship. The SLC is a non-audition chorus of about 40 singers from all walks of life who serve the community by appearing at rallies, protests, union meetings and on stages around the Seattle area to inspire and educate in four-part harmony.

The Singalong features community singing of great songs of labor, peace, and justice, as well as some golden oldies - words projected on a screen for your reading comfort. You’ll also be able to nibble on homemade snacks and desserts, buy specialty soft drinks (no alcohol this time), get tickets for the Chorus’ famous quilt raffle, and bid in a silent auction (bring your checkbook or cash).

Admission is by a suggested donation of $10 to $15 per adult or $5 for children, but no one will be turned away. Tickets are available from Chorus members or at the door. For further information, contact Janet Stecher at (206) 524-7753, or at rebelvoz@aol.com.

Monday, March 10

Lunch Discussion: Meet Foundation Cristosal: A Rights-Based Approach to Community Development in El Salvador

12:15pm 1:45pm. Thomson Hall, Room 403, UW Seattle. Free. Please RSVP attendance with Hannah Perls: hperls.cristosal@gmail.com.

Foundation Cristosal is a Salvadoran faith-based human rights and community development NGO that works to strengthen the ability of the poor in El Salvador to act for justice and development as equal citizens in a democratic society. Cristosal’s Human Rights and Community Development Program positions the poor as partners in the construction of development solutions, not as recipients of charity.

Join Cristosal's Executive Director, Noah Bullock, and Program Development Coordinator, Hannah Perls, in a conversation about applying a rights-based approach to development, issues of asylum and violence in the context of building democracy, and opportunities for international exchange.

This discussion will be of interest to students interested in human rights, sustainable international development, public policy, and Latin America; and especially to those interested in studying abroad though international week-long courses and seasonal internships (graduate and undergraduate).

Event sponsored by the University of Washington Center for Human Rights.

Monday, March 10

Presentation: Human Rights and Social Justice in El Salvador

6:30pm 8:30pm. Thomson Hall, Room 101, UW Seattle. Free.

More than two decades after the close of a bloody twelve-year armed conflict, El Salvador has made great advances in democracy, but problems of economic inequality, social exclusion, and violence remain deeply rooted. Salvadorans are challenging these painful legacies on many fronts: as political and social movements winning power at a national level; as communities striving towards their own development priorities; and as survivors demanding accountability for crimes of the past.

At this event, representatives of the UW Center for Human Rights’ Unfinished Sentences project, Foundation Cristosal, and the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) will share their analysis of the challenges facing El Salvador today and insights from years of working alongside Salvadorans for human rights and social justice.

Speaker Info:

  • Unfinished Sentences An initiative of the UWCHR to encourage public participation and support Salvadoran efforts to address human rights in the wake of human tragedy (Prof. Angelina Snodgrass Godoy, Director).
  • Foundation Cristosal A Salvadoran-based NGO focused on a rights-based approach to community development and democracy building (Noah Bullock, Exec. Director; Hannah Perls, Prog. Dev. Coord.)
  • Seattle CISPES Seattle CISPES is a grassroots organization working for social justice and human rights in El Salvador and the United States. A member will speak on their experience as an election observer.

For more information, please contact info@unfinishedsentences.org.

Event sponsored by the University of Washington Center for Human Rights.

Tuesday, March 18

Lecture: It Takes a City: Seattle and the Alchemy of Innovation

Margaret O'Mara, UW History

7:00-8:00 pm. Museum of History and Industry, 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle WA, 98109. $10 general, $5 MOHAI members.

MOHAI's annual Denny Lecture presents the very best in regional historical scholarship, held for the first time at the new MOHAI. The 2014 Denny Lecture features an engaging presentation by Bezos Center for Innovation curator Margaret O'Mara.

Seattle has been home to a remarkable number of world-changing individuals, organizations, and ideas - from health care to technology, music to social activism. What is it about this place that has made it a hub of innovation? This lecture explores the importance of place to the process of innovation, and how Seattle's past has shaped its innovative present.

Margaret O'Mara is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Washington, specializing in political, economic and urban history. She is the author of "Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Science and the Search for the Next Silicon Valley" and is a founding member of the Lake Union Lab.

Saturday, March 22

Workshop: Communicating Across Difference: A Social Justice Training to Connect Labor and Community

Washington Young Emerging Labor Leaders & the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center

10am-3pm. Georgetown campus, South Seattle Community College, 6737 Corson Ave S, Seattle 98108, Bldng C, Rm 110. $20.

The Washington Young Emerging Labor Leaders and the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center are pleased to present “Communicating Across Difference: A Social Justice Training to Connect Labor and Community,” a daylong workshop designed to help labor and community allies form a stronger movement by working with issues of racial, gender, sexual, and ethnic diversity.

At the last AFL-CIO Western State Convention, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka emphasized the crucial need to connect more closely with community allies and join the larger progressive movement. In order to achieve this, we need to look honestly and openly at issues of diversity in the labor movement. By practicing having conversations about race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality, organizers and activists of all ages and backgrounds can become comfortable and skilled at working adeptly with diversity in their locals, in politics, and in the broader community.

The workshop will be facilitated by Norma Timbang, an experienced diversity trainer, and will use listening- and conversation-based methods. It will be held Saturday, March 22nd from 10am-3pm at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle Community College (6737 Corson Ave S, Seattle 98108, Bldng C, Rm 110). Registration is $20 and will be open until March 14th.

Please note, space is very limited due to the discussion-centric style of learning we will be doing. We recommend registering early. If there are more applicants than we can accommodate, we’ll be happy to plan another workshop.

To register, or for more information, contact Justine Winnie at jwinnie@wslc.org or 206-281-8901.

Wednesday, April 9

Talk: Hong Kong Union Leaders On the Dockworkers' strike of April 2013

7:00pm. Seattle Labor Temple, 2800 1st Ave, Seattle WA, 98121. Free.

Two of the union leaders involved in the Hong Kong dockworkers' strike of April 2013 will be in Seattle to discuss their strike and the issues they are facing.

Stephan Chan is a rank & file dockworker, employed as a sub-contracted checker in the Kwai Tung terminal. He helped to organize the Union of Hong Kong Dockers (UHKD) in 2005 and served as its first chairperson. He remains one of the core leaders of the union and played a vital role during the April 2013 strike.

Loy Wong is an organizing secretary of Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), with more than 12 years of experience in the trade union. He leads the organizing and support work for unions in the transportation and logistics sector, including the Union of Hong Kong Dockworkers.



Angela Day discusses the personal stories behind Exxon Valdez spill in her new book (UW Today)

Angela Day is a University of Washington doctoral student in political science and author of the new book “Red Light to Starboard: Recalling the Exxon Valdez Disaster.” She answered a few questions about the book for UW Today.

Q: What’s the basic concept behind this book?

A: As Prince William Sound emerged from a cloak of darkness on March 24, 1989, shades of pale spring light marked the dawning of a tragic day in Alaskan and American history. Oil boiled from the bowels of the supertanker Exxon Valdez, grounded on Bligh Reef, while a fisherman, Bobby Day, readied his boat for a herring season that would never open. The book centers on his story and gives voice to the 10,000 fishermen who struggled to hold Exxon accountable in the wake of the spill. The book brings to life the personal and environmental consequences of this disaster, while tracing the regulatory and governance failures that gave rise to the spill. | Read More

Former Bridges Chair James Gregory elected vice-president of the Labor and Working Class History Association

James Gregory has been elected vice-president of the Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA) to be followed by a term as president.

LAWCHA is an international association of historians, labor scholars, and activists with more than 700 members. It publishes the journal LABOR: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, the LAWCHA Newsletter, and Labor Online.

Gregory is Professor of History at University of Washington and served as Harry Bridges Endowed Chair of Labor Studies from 2008 to 2012.

Bridges Center Faculty Associate Quintard Taylor discusses BlackPast.org (Oshocton Tribune)

A decade ago, the easiest way to learn about American history was to visit a museum or library. Nowadays, one must look no further than the Web.

For those interested in expanding their knowledge of black history, an often omitted chapter of the national narrative, the Internet has allowed museums, universities and other educational institutions to make the past more widely accessible.

One of the leading online repositories of this heritage is BlackPast.org, an encyclopedia dedicated to educating users about African and African-American history. Quintard Taylor, a professor of African-American history at the University of Washington, founded BlackPast.org after a small website he had created for his classes received national and international notice. | Read More

Bridges Center Faculty Associate Jake Rosenfeld discusses new book What Unions No Longer Do (KPLU)

Income inequality in the U.S. is at its highest point in 85 years, and politicians are debating ways to raise the living standard for low-wage workers. Globalization, technology and deregulation are often cited as factors behind the widening income gap. But Jake Rosenfeld at the University of Washington says there’s one cause that’s often overlooked: the decline of organized labor.

In his new book, titled "What Unions No Longer Do," Rosenfeld explains how organized labor, in its heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, lifted wages for many workers, whether or not they belonged to a union.

“So what that meant is that if you’re a business owner starting a new business in an industry or a region where organized labor is strong, and you have to set pay scales for your set of employees, often times you just look to what your industry leader is doing, so you may be a non-union company but all of a sudden you’re paying union-level wages,” Rosenfeld said. | Read More


Adjunct Faculty At Seattle U Seeks To Unionize (KPLU)

The local chapter of the Service Employees International Union has filed a petition on behalf of adjunct faculty members at Seattle University.

The adjunct faculty members, which include part-time, temporary and other contingent instructors, want better teaching conditions, including higher pay.

Nancy Burkhalter is a contingent professor who teaches reading and writing to English language learners in the university's Culture and Language Bridge program. She says forming a union would give voice to a group of instructors who are marginalized.

"We come in at the last minute. We're given textbooks we would never have chosen on our own. We're sometimes given a syllabus, sometimes not, so we have to create one at the last minute," said Burkhalter, who is in her second quarter teaching at the university and earns $1,000 per one unit of instruction. | Read More


Labor stalwart Lonnie Nelson dies at 83 (People's World)

Lonnie Nelson, a fighter for union rights, equality, peace and socialism died in her sleep at Swedish Hospital here Feb. 12.

She was 83 years old and was active in the people's movements and in her Communist Party club until stricken by a stroke a few days earlier.

Frailty did not keep her from attending the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Garfield High School this past Jan. 20 along with other members of her Seattle party club.

Nelson's family and fellow activists gathered at her bedside just hours before she passed away. Joyce Wheeler held her hand and began singing union songs. Others joined in. When they sang "Solidarity Forever," Nelson, apparently unconscious squeezed Wheeler's hand. | Read More

In Memorium: Mary Gibson Hatten

Mary Gibson Hatten, 88, died Dec.20, 2013 in Whatcom Hospice. A committal service will be held in late spring.

Born March 24, 1925 to Ed and Edna Gibson of Eastsound, she was graduated from Orcas Island High School in 1943 (see photo), in a ceremony in the old Odd Fellows Hall. She served in the Waves during World War II. She attended Northwestern University in Chicago and became a legal secretary for many years in Seattle.

Active in the civil rights movements of the 1960s, she provided clerical help for the March on Selma, with some threat to personal safety. | Read More


SEIU Seeks Organizers for Positions in Seattle, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Los Angeles

SEIU is currently seeking to hire organizers in Seattle, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Los Angeles.

Organizer, OneAmerica Votes, Seattle, WA. APPLY HERE

OneAmerica Votes, in partnership with SEIU Local 925, is seeking to fill nine community organizer positions to support the “Raising Up Washington” campaign focused on building power for child care providers across the state. This entry-level position will involve both field organizing and canvassing, as well as extensive travel throughout Washington State. The position will report to SEIU Local 925’s “Raising Up Washington” Campaign Director and is scheduled to run from January 1 through May 31, 2014.

Union Organizers-in-Training, Health Care, Minneapolis/St Paul, MN. APPLY HERE

Important opportunity to work on innovative campaigns to empower workers in the 99 percent to take on the power of the 1 percent. We need creative electoral campaigners, social and environmental activists, community organizers, labor organizers, students interested in starting social justice careers to work alongside workers as they speak out together for good jobs. Must be willing to work in stressful, hectic campaign environment and bring strong field and relational skills. Candidate should have a track record of working or volunteering for underdogs and overlooked causes.

Union Organizer, Los Angeles, CA. APPLY HERE

Union External Organizers identify and recruit worker leaders who want to organize to join the union. They evaluate potential organizing targets, contact unorganized workers, develop leaders; mobilize members to support external organizing; plan and conduct organizing campaigns. This is not a 9 to 5 job - it requires long and varied hours, including early morning, evening and weekend work, as necessary. May require travel and periods of overnight.

March 3, 2014


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Lonnie NelsonOn-line Oral History: Lonnie Nelson

An interview with Communist Party activist Lonnie Nelson, who passed way February 12, discussing her life of involvement in social justice causes.



Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project: Women in Civil Rights Movements

March 8th is International Women's Day. Mark the holiday learning about the role of women in the civil rights movement.

Highlights include a slideshow, reports, and oral history videos.



Collections Donated by Mary Gibson Hatten

Civil Rights activist Mary Gibson Hatten passed away this last December. Before she passed, she donated the papers of her late husband, labor lawyer Barry Hatten, to the Labor Archives of Washington.

Mary was also a key member of the Carlos Bulosan Manuscript Committee that resulted in Bulosan's and his brother Aurelio's collections being donated to the University of Washington.


Support the Bridges Center

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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.

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