The Workers

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The Workers
SEIU Local 925
WFSE Local 1488
UAW Local 4121
SEIU Local 1199
GCC/IBT Local 767M

The University of Washington employs close to 40,000 people in hundreds of different capacities. The list of job titles runs for 23 single spaced pages, and includes more than 4,000 faculty, 3,000 graduate student employees, 12,000 classified staff, 5,000 professional staff, 11,000 hourly employees. The Human Resources Department keeps track of employment issues and its website is a starting place for learning about UW's workers. 

The other pages of this web project describe the unions and professional organizations that represent many of the campus workers. Here we want to profile a few of the workers themselves and describe their jobs.  We have four reports written by students in HSTAA 450 "Class and Labor in American History" in Spring 2002.

Food Service workers: Yasmine Tarhouni investigated the work experiences of food service workers in some of the campus facilities, showing the new pattern of exploitation that has resulted as management attempts to circumvent the state law limiting the use of temporary workers. (This paper received the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies prize for the best undergraduate research paper of 2002).

Custodians: Anni Mackin interviewed three custodians, learning about the frustrations and tensions that have become part of that job. She explores among other issues the implementation of the “team” system.

Building Trades Workers: We have two reports about the skilled craft workers who until recently were represented by the Seattle-King County Building and Construction Trades Council. Both were written just before the June 2002 decertification election that ended the relationship with SKCBCTC. 

"Building Trades Council at UW" by Tyson Burchak describes the workers, their former union, and talks about what was at that time the upcoming decertification election. 

"Pursuing the Prevailing Wage" by Jeremy Porter. The author, an off-campus electrician, offers what he calls an "editorial treatise" on the difference between university and private sector pay scales.

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These articles were written in Spring 2002. For problems or questions contact James Gregory.