University of Washington History Professor James Gregory was recently featured in a CNN article titled "Washington State and Worker's Rights: Two Peas in a Pod." In the wake of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee's recent announcement of his intention to raise the state's minimum wage, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's call for a $15 minimum wage in the city, and other recent labor legislation, this article explores why Washington state has been "lengths ahead of other states when it comes to worker pay, benefits, and workplace protections." To answer this question, the author asserts, "you have to go to the history books." We couldn't agree more.
Professor Gregory is the director of the Pacific Northwest Labor and Civil Rights Projects, a collection of thirteen digital history projects that bring together nearly one hundred video oral history interviews and several thousand photographs, documents, and digitized newspaper articles. Included are films, slide shows, and lesson plans for teachers. The projects also feature several hundred essays about important issues, events, and people, many researched and written by undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Washington.
To find out more about the history of labor in the Pacific Northwest and explore the digital history projects, click here.