Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies


This past Saturday, nearly 400 union activists, UW students and faculty joined together to celebrate twenty years of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.

Thank you to all the sponsoring organizations that made the evening a huge success. In all, over 100 organizations and individuals combined to raise over $40,000 for the Labor Archives of Washington. Read below for a full list.

To view photos from the festive evening, be sure to visit our Facebook page.

Labor Studies CoursesLabor Studies Courses - Winter 2013 Registration Continues

In Winter 2013, nearly twenty Labor Studies-related courses will be offered at the UW Seattle and Tacoma campuses. All count towards a Minor in Labor Studies.

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

Winter 2013 registration began November 2 and continues until mid-January. Plan now and register early!


Friday, November 30

Seminar: Salsa Power: The Politics in/of Latin Music of the 1960s

Juan Flores, Social & Cultural Analysis, New York University

4:00 p.m. Communications, Room 120, UW Seattle.

The contagious musical and dance appeal of salsa tends to obscure its powerful political content and context. Even the pachanga and boogaloo crazes of the earlier and mid-60s, which appear to be no more than party exhortations and novelty tunes, were born of an intensely political reality and harbor an intrinsic call for social change and cultural affirmation. Later in the decade, in the sounds of Willie Colón, Ray Barretto and Eddie Palmieri, the political agenda became more explicit, accompanying as it did the militant movement of the Young Lords and revolutionary voices of the Nuyorican Poets. In his talk, Juan Flores fills in this context, by putting this vibrant stage in New York’s Latin music in its place in the broader story, and listening to what some of the classic salsa songs actually say across the political ages.

Juan Flores is Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University. His research interests include social and cultural theory, Latino and Puerto Rican studies, popular music, theory of diaspora and transnational communities, and Afro-Latino culture. He is the author of numerous books, including The Diaspora Strikes Back: Caribeño Tales of Learning and Turning (2009) and From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity (2000). He has co-edited collections such as The Afro-Latino Reader (2011) with Miriam Jiménez Román, and Companion to Latino Studies (2007) with Renato Rosaldo.

Friday, November 30

Trade Justice Happy Hour: Labor's Perspective on the TransPacific Partnership

Celeste Drake, AFL-CIO

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Arctic Hotel Lobby's Polar Bar, 700 3rd Ave. Seattle, WA.

This November 30th, celebrate the 13th Anniversary of the People's Shutdown of the WTO in Seattle with Celeste Drake the AFL-CIO’s expert on the TPP! Come hear an insider perspective on what is happening within the TransPacific Partnership negotiations.

All are welcome! Please call/email Kristen@washingtonfairtrade.org or call 206.227.3079 to RSVP (not required)

Saturday, December 1

Rally: The People's Round of Negotiations

1:00 p.m. Peace Arch Park, Blaine, WA.

Join unionists, environmentalists, trade activists, students, first nations and other allies from Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. for cross-border action - "The People's Round of Negotiations" - at 1 p.m. at Peace Arch Park in Blaine, WA.

Click here for more information, fliers or to get a seat on the bus, visit TPPxBorder on Facebook, or call Kristen Beifus 206.227.3079 or email kristen@washingtonfairtrade.org.

Monday, December 3

Seminar: Creating Ties for Mobility: The Role of Community Organizations for Immigrant Parents in Urban, Poor Neighborhoods

Dina Okamoto, Sociology, UC Davis

12:30-1:30 p.m. Parrington Hall, Commons (Room 308), UW Seattle.

Dina Okamoto is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on immigrant and minority group incorporation in the U.S. Funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation, Dina's current projects examine panethnic group formation and identity among Asian Americans, the civic and political incorporation of immigrants in new destinations in the U.S., and the role of community-based organizations in the lives of immigrant families. She has also recently launched a new project on intergroup relations between native-born and immigrant groups in Philadelphia in January. In 2004-05, Dina was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York and in 2011-12, she was a visiting fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.

Thursday, December 6

Film: Shift Change

7:00pm. Pacific Place theater, 600 Pine St., Seattle, WA.

Join us for the Seattle premiere of the highly-anticipated new documentary film, SHIFT CHANGE, which examines worker owned and managed businesses in the U.S. and Mondragon, Spain.

With the long decline in well paid jobs, and today's economic crisis, millions have been thrown out of work, and many are losing their homes. Some are ready to employ a different business model; to help re-invent our failing economy in order to restore long-term community stability and a more egalitarian way of life. Businesses that are owned and managed by their workers tend to be more profitable, innovative and committed to the communities where they are based.

SHIFT CHANGE visits the more than 50 year old network of cooperative businesses in Mondragon, Spain, and thriving examples of such businesses in the U.S. The film shares on-the-ground experience, lessons, and observations from the worker-owners on the front line of the new economy.

The Seattle premiere of SHIFT CHANGE is presented by One PacificCoast Bank. The event is co-sponsored by: SLICE and Washington State Labor Council AFL-CIO.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Melissa Young, Mark Dworkin, and Tony Harrah, along with local coop supporters.



Thank You to the Sponsors of the Bridges Center's 20th Anniversary Banquet!

This past Saturday, November 17, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies celebrated its 20th anniversary. As sponsors of the celebration, more than 100 individuals and organizations gave over $40,000 to benefits the Labor Archives of Washington.

Event Sponsors ($1000): Robert and Trudy Beauvais; Michael and Susan Casey; Robert Duggan; James Gregory and Susan Glenn; IAM District 751; Inlandboatmen's Union of the Pacific; International Longshore & Warehouse Union; ILWU Local 23; ILWU Local 52; ILWU Local 94; Pacific Coast Pensioners Association; Schwerin Campbell Barnard Iglitzin & Lavitt LLP; Seattle ILWU Pensioners Club; SEIU Healtchcare 1199NW; Washington State Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters.

Table Sponsors ($500): AFSCME Local 1857; Russell & Ursula Alexander; Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1765; Charles Bergquist and Hwasook Nam; Central Puget Sound Carpenters Local 30; John L. Fern; David Freiboth; Michael Honey; Holly and Martin Hulscher; Ian Kennedy and Michele Drayton; ILWU Local 19; ILWU Local 32; ILWU Local 51; George Lovell; Tom Lux; Lanny McGrew; Jack O'Dell and Jane Power; Donald and Mary Poorman; PTE Local 17; Seattle Labor Chorus; SEIU 925; Robert R. Sherard; Teamsters Local 117; UAW 4121; UW Department of History; UW Jackson School of International Studies; UW Department of Political Science; UW Department of Sociology; Washington State Council of Fire Fighters; Joseph and Carolyn Wenzl; WFSE 1326.

Booklet Sponsors and Additional Donors: AFT Seattle; Nowell Bamberger; Jon Halgren; Dale and Marie Hedden; ILWU Local 12; ILWU Local 34 Ship Clerks; IBU - Alaska Region; IBU - Columbia River Region; IUOE Local 302; Richard and Kathleen Kirkendall; Musicians' Association of Seattle; NW LERA chapter; OPEIU Local 8; Pacific Northwest Labor History Association; Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild; PCPA Local 32; Michael and Susan Peskura; Puget Sound Retired Alliance; Harvey Schwartz; Stan Sorscher; Teamsters Joint Council No. 28; James H. Williams; Esperanza and Pete Borboa; Robert Lavitt; Patricia Mathes; Peter and Mildred Chelemedos; Phil and Paula Acosta; John and Katherine Munson; Nancy Rising; Joseph Ubelhart.


Washington State Labor Research Grants

Deadline: Friday, December 14, 2012

Due to a lack of applications, the deadline to apply for the Washington State Labor Research Grant has been extended to Dec. 14, 2012.

The grant provides $7,500 to UW faculty members for projects related to labor and policy in our state. | Read more

National Employment Law Project Seeks Grad Student For Worker Justice Research

The National Employment Law Project is seeking a West Coast graduate student to help develop a report on instances of retaliation by employers against immigrant workers who are victims of wage theft, workplace accidents or who are engaged in workplace organizing. S/he would be supervised by a Seattle-based NELP staff person, Becki Smith, and would have the opportunity to be listed among the authors in the final publication.

NELP is doing a project on employers’ misuse of immigration status in the context of labor disputes, and would like to pay a graduate student to do a thorough literature review.

The project involves research to be part of a report on instances of retaliation by employers against immigrant workers who are victims of wage theft, workplace accidents or who are engaged in workplace organizing, and developing, in conjunction with state and national partners, a set of policies for the next Congress and Administration that would guard against and remedy retaliation.

As you probably know, it's very difficult to documented and quantify instances of retaliation by employers against undocumented workers (either by threatening to turn workers in to immigration authorities, actually doing so, or by use of surrogates to do so). We will need a review of both academic and community based studies and surveys to see what statistics exist to help us build the case that this problem is a serious one in low wage industries where immigrant workers are employed. We intend to include this review in a NELP publication and are of course more than happy to have the grad student be listed among the authors.

Topic: Retaliation against immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, involved in labor disputes

Goals: To identify research that has any of the following (a lot of this will likely be found in industry-specific studies or surveys): Data on instances of retaliation or threats of retaliation among immigrant workers in low-wage industries

Literature to look at: Academic and community-based resources

Deliverable: We are currently thinking an annotated bibliography with data organized by industry or occupation and/or type of complaint (health and safety, organizing, etc).

Supervision: I will be supervising the graduate student, and we will give lots of guidance in terms of focus.

Timeline: Our current thinking is to make this a one-month project, with the student working half time with frequent checking-in throughout to evaluate the yield, see how far to dig into which areas, etc. In terms of pay, we had been planning around $30 an hour.

Interested students should email a resume/c.v., a short cover letter summarizing their background/training in the broad area of immigration and labor markets, and whether they have access to university electronic databases.

NELP contact person: Rebecca Smith, rsmith@nelp.org.

November 19, 2012


Labor Events of Interest

News & Announcements

Support the Bridges Center



WA StateHarry Bridges, the ILWU, and Race Relations in the CIO Era

Bruce Nelson, Occasional Paper Series

A panel at the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Bridges Center will be on "Union Democracy and Civil Rights." In this paper, historian Bruce Nelson explores Harry Bridges' and the ILWU's record on race.



Harry Bridges and the Tradition of Dissent Among Waterfront Workers Conference

An early initiative of the Harry Bridges Chair was a special conference on the legacy of Bridges and the ILWU. Watch footage of the 1994 event, which brought together brought together ILWU veterans, Pacific Northwestern activists, and academics.



Everett Prisoners' Defense Committee Records, 1916

November 5th marks the the 96th anniversary of the Everett Massacre, when members of the Industrial Workers of the World were shot by police as they attempted to dock in the city. This collection includes materials related to the cases of IWW members arrested that day.


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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