Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies


As University of Washington students buckle down for finals this week, we bring you a preview of Labor Studies events to come in Spring 2013. Plus course announcements, funding and employment opportunities.

Labor Studies CoursesLabor Studies Course List - Now Available for Spring 2013

In Spring 2013, over 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.

Spring 2013 registration began February 15 and continues into March. Plan now and register early!


Through Friday, April 19, 2013

Exhibit: Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Art of Richard V. Correll

Labor Archives of Washington

On-going. Special Collections Basement Lobby, Allen Library North, UW Seattle.

This exciting exhibit highlights new additions to the collection of the Labor Archives of Washington. Richard V. (Dick) Correll (1904-1990), was one of the leading masters of printmaking in the West. Best known for his powerful black and white linoleum cuts, etchings and woodblock prints, for most of his life he earned a living as a commercial artist in the book publishing and advertising fields while producing a large body of fine art in his own time. Correll's themes ranged from landscapes, animals and agricultural scenes, harbors and ships, and music and dance to those which reflected his lifelong concern with political and social issues.

This exhibit features selections from several core areas of Correll's recently donated collection at the Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections: Images of labor, social justice, civil rights, anti-war themes, work for the Great Depression-era Washington State Works Projects Administration, and his work for the progressive Depression-era newspaper the Voice of Action.

For more information about the exhibit and the collection contact Labor Archivist Conor Casey at cmcasey@uw.edu or 206-685-3976.

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.

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, March 7

Talk: An Afternoon at Mithras Bookstore and a Sierra Journey

7:00pm-9:00pm. Suzzallo Library, Basement Room B69 (Maps/Special Collections Classroom), UW Seattle. FREE.

The talk "An Afternoon at Mithras Bookstore and a Sierra Journey" will trace Richard Wagener's development as a wood engraver and his involvement in the world of fine press books. Wagener grew up in southern California spending a lot of time with his grandfather in remote parts of the desert and up in the Sierra. Early art classes introduced him to Maynard Dixon and Edgar Payne. After school activities included selling the evening newspapers at the Disney studios where he met many of the illustrators and animators.

Richard has an undergraduate degree from the University of San Diego and a graduate degree from Art Center College of Design. He has been engraving wood for over thirty years and his work has been in a number of fine press editions. He currently lives and works in northern California. See more of Wagener's work at: www.richardwagener.com.

There are two related exhibitions that feature relief printing which are on display in Special Collections. This will be an opportunity to view them. Both Conor Casey, curator of "Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Art of Richard V. Correll" and Sandra Kroupa curator of "Lasting Impressions: Relief Prints Over 500 Years," will speak briefly and will provide access to the exhibitions.

Thursday, March 28

Labor Book Group

MLKCLC Education Committee

5:30-7:00 pm. Seattle Labor Temple, 2800 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121. Room 208.

The MLK CLC Education Committee Book Group will be reading the Introduction and Chapters 3-4 of For Jobs and Freedom: Race and Labor in America Since 1865 by Robert H. Zieger. Please come prepared to discuss. Bring a snack and join in the discussion!

For more information, contact Cheryl Coney at the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center at (206) 934-5350 or cheryl.coney@seattlecolleges.edu



Should in-demand college degrees cost more to earn? (KPLU)

March 14, 2013. Should students earning in-demand degree pay more?

That's the idea behind behind differential tuition, which would allow colleges to raise the price of earning expensive, sought-after degrees like engineering and computer science.

Some local students are rallying against the idea and urging their schools not to boost tuition to match their majors' demand.

But the schools say differential tuition could help offset deep cutbacks in state funding.

United Students Against Sweatshops, a pro-labor student group, organized a protest at the University of Washington on Wednesday. Several dozen protesters stormed the office of UW President Michael Young to tell him why they say differential tuition is unacceptable.

But after what turned out to be a perfectly polite exchange with his assistant, the students adjourned to the rain-soaked quad for a short rally. Organizer Grace Flott said differential tuition would limit access to the pricier degrees. | Read more

Students Rally Against Differential Tuition at UW (Seattle Weekly)

March 15, 2013. University of Washington students were joined by campus union representatives and members of the community in a statewide coordinated day of action in opposition to differential tuition on Wednesday. The group of 20 to 30 demonstrators marched to UW President Michael Young's office to show support for House Bill 1043, legislation that limits public state universities' ability to set differential tuition.

The differential tuition model, which charges different prices for different majors, would increase costs of degrees from in-demand and costly programs, like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and business programs. While differential tuition could provide additional higher education funding and potential program expansions, it would place a greater burden on students, who are already faced with recent tuition hikes and ballooning student loans.

"The bottom line is differential tuition is tuition hikes in a different name," says UW senior Grace Flott, a member in UW United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS).

UW USAS, which focuses on labor rights and working conditions, coordinated the demonstration alongside Evergreen USAS and Western Voices at Western Washington University. USAS is not the only UW student organization to oppose this model; the Associated Students of University of Washington (ASUW) officially opposes differential tuition as well. | Read more


POLS 565A: Labor, Law, and Migration

Instructor: George Lovell, Harry Bridges Chair in Labor Studies

This graduate seminar uses a topical focus on workers and labor organizations to explore some general questions about how law impacts collective mobilization and the exercise of political and economic power. Labor is an illuminating topic for such enquiry because workplaces are important locations of class conflict, class-consciousness, and the exercise of repressive power by both employers and government. Conflicts over regulation of work have been the single most important factor shaping two centuries of constitutional development in the U.S. The explosive growth in inequality in the U.S. over the past three decades corresponds to dramatic decline in organized labor’s political power, itself a reflection of antiquated labor laws that make it increasingly difficult for workers to organize. In addition, the conditions under which people work are now a frequent focus of transnational legal and political mobilization around human rights issues.

Scholars and judges often conceptualize the sale of labor as a voluntary market transaction. This course, in contrast, considers how law and other factors constrain the autonomy of people who enter into such transactions. Law regulates workplace conditions and activities and facilitates the use of repression to defeat efforts to exercise collective power. Law helps to determine levels of employment and migration of workers and contributes to the marginalization of immigrant workers.

The course is for students interested in American political development, legal mobilization, legal and labor history, social movement politics, migration, and normative questions about the compatibility of democratic politics with undemocratic and coercive workplaces. Open to UW graduate students only. | Read more

HUM 595B: Who Knows What and Why that Matters: Activism, Collaboration and Struggle in the Global South

Deadline: March 29, 2013

Working for social change most anywhere in the world, and especially in the Global South, necessitates a complex dance between varying and conflicting actors, agents, and agendas. We know there are politics associated with who knows what and how, and this seminar provides an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the transnational and global forces at play.

A progressive NGO that works across sectors for social and environmental justice regionally, Environment Support Group (ESG) has developed international respect and networks for its campaigns that include litigation, research, advocacy, and educational training. By engaging with ESG’s Rao and Mallesha, this seminar foregrounds grassroots struggles in India. We will learn about forests and lakes, urban density and transportation. Using these themes as case-studies, we will better understand the ways that transnational and global forces affect people’s lives, and how the politics of knowledge are embedded in these issues.

While one can wax theoretical regarding partnerships, solidarity and activism, this seminar will ground us in real-world life issues and struggles. Our work in this seminar will encourage participants to reflect on the different ways we all know and why that matters, both within and beyond the academy.

Add code required. Students wishing to participate should address a 1-2 paragraph statement of interest to Anu Taranath, by or before March 29, 2013. | Read more


Undergraduate Applicants Sought for David J. Olson Research Grant and Kaplan/Levi Civic Engagement Grant

Application Deadline Extended to: Friday, March 22, 2013

The UW Political Science Department is pleased to announce two new grants for undergraduates.

The Kaplan/Levi Undergraduate Grant to Promote Civic Engagement was created through the generosity of Robert D. Kaplan, Distinguished Alumnus of the UW Department of Political Science, and Margaret Levi, Jere L. Bacharach Professor of International Studies in the UW Department of Political Science. This grant provides $500 in financial support to students who seek through civic engagement to address issues of public concern. The grant should be used to cover expenses related to the project.

The David J. Olson Undergraduate Research Grant was created to honor David J. Olson, Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Political Science at the University of Washington. This grant provides $500 for expenses related to undergraduate research on state, regional or city politics or labor politics. The grant recipient will need to register for Pol S 499 (Independent Research) in spring or summer of 2013.

For more information on the grants, including application instructions, visit http://www.polisci.washington.edu/Undergraduate/Undergrad_Resources/scholarships.html.


UNITE HERE Organizing Beyond Borders Internship

Deadline: April 5, 2013

Organizing Beyond Barriers (OBB) is UNITE HERE's nationally coordinated program to build a progressive alliance of workers and students by teaching, agitating, and inspiring them to fight for real solutions.

With over 300,000 members in our International Union, UNITE HERE is at the forefront of the battle for workers' rights, immigration reform, and living wages throughout North America. Our members are organizing to defend their standards against hotel and food service corporations that are more focused on profiting than on treating workers with dignity and respect. Additionally, non-union hotel and food service workers are fighting for the right to organize a union free from management intimidation and retaliation.

In 2012, the Organizing Beyond Barriers Summer Program trained 148 "Summer Organizers" on campaigns in our hotel, gaming, and food service union organizing campaigns. The program emphasized movement building, one-on-on organizing skills, and “Always Be Recruiting,”—developing hundreds of volunteers who participated in rallies, picket lines, delegations, and door-to-door community outreach.

Organizing Beyond Barriers combined field work, classroom training, and mentorship from UNITE HERE lead organizers and rank-and-file leaders. Trainings included house visits skills, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, labor history, the economic crisis, and comprehensive campaign strategy and planning.

In 2013, Organizing Beyond Barriers will have Summer Organizer placements lasting for eight weeks. Summer internships will include a weekly stipend of $450 per week. There will be two session start dates: June 3rd and June 17th. UNITE HERE does not pay for housing, so every effort will be made to match up summer organizers with union campaigns and cities where applicants can line up their own housing.

Applications are due April 5th. Please apply online at http://jobs.unitehere.org/internapp.php/. For questions, please contact Jeanne Cameron at (206) 470-2988 or at jcameron@unitehere.org.

UFCW 21 Seeks Organizer-In-Training

Deadline: Open until filled

Organization profile: United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 21 is the largest private sector labor union in the state of Washington. Representing over 40,000 working people in grocery, health care, retail, food processing and service sector industries; UFCW Local 21 has a broad commitment to social justice. We organize to improve working conditions in our industries and fight to improve economic, political and social justice in our workplaces and in our communities.

Job Description: UFCW Local 21 is currently looking for energetic people who want to make a difference in people's lives and be part of building a progressive union. Organizer’s-in-Training will work alongside UFCW Local 21 staff on an organizing campaign in order to develop union organizing skills. Organizer-in-Training is a temporary position with a monthly stipend, wages and excellent benefits.

Qualifications: The successful candidate must be willing and excited to learn from experienced organizers, as well as be able to work with diverse groups of people. OIT’s must be committed to building power for working people and to the fight for workplace justice. Applicants must be able to demonstrate good communication and writing skills as well as general computer skills; the ability to problem solve, multi-task, and take initiative. Second language skills are preferable.

UFCW is an equal opportunity employer. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply. Salary includes medical benefits.

Application Instructions: Please email your resume and cover letter to Jose Vargas at jvargas@ufcw21.org.

March 18, 2013


Bridges Center Events

Events of Interest

News & Announcements

Support the Bridges Center



WA StateThe Social Origins of U.S. Imperialism, Or, Linking Labor and LaFeber

Charles Bergquist, Comparative Labor History Series

Many global supply chains today run from Latin America to the United States. In this essay, historian Bergquist links the concerns of Latin American labor historians with those of historians of labor in the U.S.



Brand Responsibility Project

The Brand Responsibility Project is an oral and digital history project documenting the recent and historic dispute settlement between Nike Inc. and the Central General de Trabajadores of Honduras (CGT).

Members of the Project spoke at last week's Transformation of Supply Chains conference.



Brand Responsibility Project Records 2004-2012

This collection documents the dispute settlement between Nike Inc. and the Honduran union CGT. Material consists of public documents, media reports, private correspondence and internal memos. Interviews with key participants include the Worker's Rights Consortium (WRC) and the Fair Labor Association (FLA), the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), trade mark and licensing staff and their advisory committees at numerous US universities, the corporate social responsibility officers of Nike and the other relevant corporations, and representatives of important NGOs (e.g, Maquila Solidarity and COVERCO) and workers' representatives (e.g., the CGT).


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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