Register Now! 2017 Labor History Conference
Thursday, June 22 - Sunday, June 25
2017 Conference of the Labor and Working Class History Association
University of Washington, Seattle Campus
We gather at a time of deepening crisis for labor and popular movements in the US and around the world. The Scales of Struggle conference provides an opportunity to consider the new challenges we face and historical contexts that help illuminate ways forward.
For four days, a diverse range of scholars, labor activists, teachers, artists, and labor educators will engage in lively, probing discussion of the present moment and successes and failures of other times and places. We consider how workers have created new forms of struggle ranging from work-based organization to social movements, from direct action to educational campaigns, from local alliances to transnational coalitions to meet these challenges.
The program includes more than 100 panels, roundtables, films and workshops featuring new research and perspectives on the vital issues of today, including immigration, labor rights, racism, gender discrimination, and the environment. Session topics range widely from mass incarceration to organizing service sector workers, from farmworkers and borderlands struggles to the intersections of labor and civil rights, from Tejana activism to local struggles in Seattle and Washington State.
Bridges Center Now Hiring Student Staff
Deadline to Apply: Friday, June 9
The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies has two outstanding opportunities for a Graduate Staff Assistant and an Undergraduate Assistant. The positons help maintain regular operation of Bridges Center and Labor Archives activities and programs, including office administration, events, student and faculty outreach, and the Labor Studies Minor.
Full descriptions of the positions:
The positions are open only to University of Washington students. Requirements include proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, excellent communication skills, and event planning experience. Knowledge of labor studies at the University of Washington is a definite plus.
To apply for a position, please submit both a cover letter indicating the position you are applying for, and a resume/CV describing your qualifications, experiences and skills that meet the needs of this position, by Friday, June 9 to Associate Director Andrew Hedden at email@example.com.
Student Scholarships & Prizes - Apply Now!
Each year, the Bridges Center awards thousands of dollars to top students in Labor Studies.
Deadlines for this year's awards are approaching. Apply now!
Deadline: Monday, June 12, 2017
$5,500 scholarship for graduate students, or undergraduates entering the University of Washington.
Students must demonstrate financial need and an interest in social justice.
Deadline: Monday, May 29, 2017
Research Grants for Faculty & Graduate Students
Up to $10,000 available
Currently seeking proposals from UW faculty for funding for research on labor issues relevant to Washington State. Graduate stuents are also eligible with faculty sponsorship.
Deadline: Monday, June 12, 2017
Labor Studies Minor - Summer & Autumn 2017
A listing of over twenty-five courses in Labor Studies offered at the University of Washington
Now available: Full List of Summer & Autumn 2017 Course Offerings
Last Updated: 5/8/17
In Summer and Autumn 2017 twenty-five Labor Studies-related courses will be offered at the UW Seattle and Tacoma campuses.
All of these courses count towards a Minor in Labor Studies, which brings together a series of courses on labor in core social-science departments, including American Ethnic Studies, Economics, Geography, History, International Studies, Law, Societies, and Justice, Political Science, and Sociology.
The Minor provides students an interdisciplinary program of study focusing on the importance of labor to the economic, social, political, and cultural evolution of modern societies.
Statements on National Politics and Climate at UW
In light of the current U.S. political atmosphere and on-going attacks on marginalized people, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies endorses the following statements.
Statement in Support of Undocumented Students
The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies strives to work with and for undocumented students and workers, and any and all students and workers who come from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups.
Achieving this goal is an ongoing struggle. We welcome suggestions, critical feedback, and support on how we may continue to collectively address these challenges. » Contact Us
An Open Letter to the UW Community from Concerned Political Scientists
A group of faculty and graduate students in the Department of Political Science recently produced an Open Letter expressing concern about recent developments in national politics and their impact on the University of Washington and members of the department. Excerpts:
"...We are alarmed that the new national administration and its allies at many levels have displayed a remarkable lack of commitment to and understanding of the basic values and institutional arrangements that form the foundations of the American polity. In particular, we identify four key norms now in jeopardy: democracy, including fair elections; the rule of law, including constitutional checks and balances; respect for rights of all persons; and commitments to fundamental norms of fairness and justice. In a stunning departure from past presidents of both parties, the new president rarely affirms these foundational norms; his “America First” inaugural speech did not mention any of these core values or institutional norms."
"...The manifestations and impacts of these radical shifts at the national level are inciting and licensing corrosive, harmful relations at every level of our society, including on the University of Washington campus. Incidents of hateful speech, racist invective, intolerance for religious minorities, bullying, and physical violence have become more common in recent months. The perpetrators of this violence borrow from national – including white nationalist— discourse designed to strike fear in other students, making the most vulnerable among us feel more unwelcome, unequal, and unsafe. Some undergraduates, graduate students, and even faculty in our own department have been threatened for speaking out. The result is that, just as political civility and respectful dialogue necessary to democracy have deteriorated, so too have our cultural commitments to comity been seriously ravaged. » Read the Full Statement
New Fund Dedicated to Working Women's History
Announcing the Smith-McWilliams Endowment for Working Women's Archives
The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the Labor Archives of Washington are proud to announce the establishment of a new endowment dedicated to funding the collection, preservation and accessibility of working women’s history and the history of women in the labor movement.
The fund is a result of a generous donation on the part of two long-time labor activists, Lila Smith and Brian McWilliams, who wish to increase the recognition of women as members of labor organizations; individual workers and activists; and leaders in the labor movement.
Supporters may make their own financial contributions to the fund by credit card online, or call 1-800-326-7566.
Fundraising Campaign for Frank Jenkins Fellowship
The friends of Frank Jenkins Jr. (1903-1974) announce a fund raising effort to establish the Frank Jenkins Jr. Fellowship in the Harry Bridges Chair.
Frank Jenkins Jr. – grandson of a runaway slave, first son of a Buffalo Soldier and Filipino war bride and a member of first known Filipino family in the Puget Sound region – was a lifelong civil rights and union rights activist. His lifelong commitment to the cause of social and economic justice must be recognized, honored and preserved. » Learn More About Jenkins
A formal announcement of the project was made by Robert Duggan on September 13, 2016 in a speech to the ILWU Pacific Coast Pensioners Association Convention in Tacoma, WA. » Read the Speech
Frank Jenkins Jr.'s name belongs at the Bridges Chair alongside his friends Harry Bridges and Martin Jugum. Please join us in honoring this outstanding man. Send contributions to:
Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies
University of Washington, Box 353530
Seattle, WA 98195-3530
You may also contribute via credit card online on the UW Gift Page, or call 1-800-326-7566.
Fall 2016 Newsletter Now Available!
The Fall 2016 edition of Building Bridges, the Bridges Center's annual newsletter, is now available.
This issue contains the latest from the Bridges Center, including news from the growing Labor Archives of Washington, profiles of Bridges Center alumni, and more.
Also included is a comprehensive listing of 2016-2017 scholarship and research grant recipients.
Not on our mailing list? Contact us with your mailing address, and we will have a copy off to you in no time.
New Report Analyzes Economic Impact of
$15 Minimum Wage for Portland Airport Workers
JUNE 1, 2016 - On Wednesday, researchers from the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington released Poverty Doesn't Fly, a new report that details the negative economic impacts of outsourcing and low-wage jobs at Portland International Airport.
The report finds that the share of outsourced air transportation workers at PDX increased from 19% to 28% from 2001 to 2014. This trend of outsourcing has led to few workers serving more passengers while earning lower wages.
A wage analysis in the report concludes that by ensuring that all airport workers are paid at least $15 an hour, the Port of Portland could create 81 jobs, add $7,197,000 to the regional economy, and eliminate over $3 million in annual taxpayer subsidies.
"Any serious discussion of the airport's impact on economic development needs to include wages for contracted workers," said Michael McCann, Director of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington. "While it may get top marks for customer satisfaction, PDX has fallen behind other major West Coast airports when it comes to wages and job quality for airport workers."
The report's author, Garrett Strain, MPA, is a Graduate Associate of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington, and recently completed studies at the University’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. He served as a key researcher on the Bridges Center's SeaTac/Seattle Minimum Wage Project.
2016 Staff Update at the Bridges Center
Andrew Hedden Named Associate Director
Effective March 2016, Andrew Hedden has been named Associate Director of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. Hedden previously served as the Center's Program Coordinator beginning in 2008. Growing responsibilities for Andrew made a new title necessary to better describe his position.
A graduate student in History at the University of Washington, Andrew recently earned his Masters Degree. Moving forward in 2016, he is excited to work on expanding the Bridges Center’s various undergraduate programs, including curriculum offerings, scholarships, internship connections, and the Labor Studies Minor.
Welcoming Filiz Kahraman as the new Graduate Student Assistant
This year we welcome a new graduate staff assistant to the Bridges Center, Filiz Kahraman. Filiz is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science. Her research and activist work centers on labor, human rights, and the advancement of social justice.
She has published work regarding unions, youth, and workplace safety in Europe in both academic journals and newspapers. Her dissertation research examines how labor activists user human rights law against the challenge of shrinking welfare states in Europe. She herself is active on these issues in her native land, Turkey, as a member of the Istanbul Health and Safety Labor Watch, a network dedicated to reporting and taking action on workplace safety in Turkey. Also, on campus, she takes an active role in Academic Workers for a Democratic University, a caucus fighting for equitable public education and workers’ rights.
Announcing the Friends of the Labor Archives
A new organization dedicated to saving and celebrating the heritage of working people!
The Bridges Center is proud to announce the establishment of the Friends of the Labor Archives, a new organization dedicated to advancing the preservation and promotion of labor history through financial support and community outreach for the Labor Archives at the University of Washington.
Since 2010, the Labor Archives has worked to preserve and make accessible the records of working people and their unions, documenting the local, national, and international dimensions of the labor movement.
Members of the Friends will receive regular updates on the activities of the Labor Archives. They also receive special invitations to events highlighting the labor history education, outreach and research made possible by the Archives.
The Labor Archives of Washington is been made possible by the grassroots contributions of the labor movement. In that spirit, the financial support pledged by the Friends is an essential part of continuing the work of the Labor Archives into the future.
Questions? Contact the Bridges Center at (206) 543-7946 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome Michael McCann, New Director of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies
Please join us in welcoming Michael McCann as the new Director of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, effective July 1, 2014.
McCann has served numerous terms on the Bridges Center's Standing Committee and has been active in programming and other Center activities for many years. As a Professor of Political Science, he holds the title of Gordon Hirabayashi Chair for the Advancement of Citizenship, and is a nationally known scholar, and very experienced university administrator.
McCann's 1994 study of the pay equity movement, Rights at Work, is a path breaking study of legal mobilization around workplace issues that highlights the important role of labor unions in sustaining litigation and social movement campaigns. The book won numerous awards, as did his more recent book on media and public perceptions of tort litigation, Distorting the Law. He is currently working with Bridges Chair George Lovell on a book on workplace and legal activism by Filipino cannery workers in the Pacific Northwest.
Michael's administrative experience includes being chair of the political science department, the founder and long-time director of the Law, Societies and Justice program, and his current service on the elected College Council that oversees the College of Arts and Sciences.
With Michael becoming Director of the Center, George Lovell steps down from his administrative leadership role in the Bridges Center. In his time overseeing the Center, Lovell's achievements included marking the Bridges Chair's 20th Anniversary in 2012 and hosting this year's timely Working Democracy conference. We thank George for his hard work, and wish him the best in his new role as Chair of the Department of Political Science.
Our Featured Research section contains the latest Labor Studies policy analysis, international perspectives, popular education materials and more.
The site is regularly updated with new reports, multimedia, and updates on current projects. Click on a name below for the latest.
Labor Studies Research: Shuxuan Zhou
Working Groups: Brand Responsibility Project
Work at the Center: 20 Years of the Bridges Chair
The Harry Bridges Chair in Labor Studies was established at the University of Washington in 1992 after an unprecedented grassroots fundraising campaign raised over a million dollars in memory of the late, legendary union leader Harry Bridges. Commissioned for the 20th anniversary of the Bridges Chair, this video tells the story of its founding, the achievements of the faculty who have held the Chair, and its on-going impact on students at the University of Washington.
- Week of May 22, 2017:
"Human Rights and Faculty Rights Events"
- Week of May 8, 2017:
"Labor Courses for Summer/Autumn 2017"
LABOR TALKS is our e-mail newsletter, sent every two weeks with the latest Labor Studies news, events, grant and scholarship opportunities, and more.
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The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies supports a network of scholars in cutting-edge research, education, and outreach about work, workers and their organizations.
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Center for Labor Studies
University of Washington
UW Box 353530
Seattle, WA 98195-3530
Office: Smith Hall, Room 101