The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies
Organizing Our Futures:
A Public Forum on Labor, Knowledge and the Economy
Ensuring workers benefit from the emerging knowledge-based economy.



Intro |  When & Where |  Program |  Participants & Supporters |  Background Information
Organizing our Futures: Labor, Knowledge and the Economy
Tentative Program

  Friday October 13, 2006
  Keynote Address: Kane Hall 130
  • “Making the Economy Work for Workers”
  • Robert Kuttner, Founding Editor of The American Prospect
  • Ticket Information
  Saturday October 14, 2006
  Technology and Future Work: Mary Gates Hall Room 389
  • Howard Jay Chizeck, UW College of Engineering (Robotics and Bioengineering)
  • Marcus Courtney, Washington Alliance of Technology Workers
  • Tom Gruver, Microsoft Corporation
  • Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, Center for University Studies and Programs, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences UW Bothell (Moderator)
  • What are the likely technologies of the future?
  • What are the contingencies that could affect future work technologies?
  • What threats and opportunities do these technologies pose for workers?
  • Must knowledge workers become a new elite?
  The New Global Divisions of Labor: Mary Gates Hall Room 389
  • Charles Bofferding, Executive Director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA)
  • Anjana Susarla, UW College of Business (Outsourcing and Knowledge Work)
  • Anthony P. D'Costa, UW Tacoma Comparative International Development, UW Seattle International and the South Asian Studies Programs, Jackson School of International Studies
  • Owen Herrnstadt, International Association of Machinists
  • Mark A. Smith, UW Political Science Department (Moderator)
  • Can we understand the geographies of knowledge work?
  • What are the opportunities and threats inherent in globalization of knowledge?
  • Is international labor solidarity possible? What would this mean?
  • What roles will and can education and social policy play in shaping the global knowledge economy?
  Luncheon Address: Husky Union Building Room 108
  • "Next Generation Unionism: Politics, Power and The Informational Labor Process"
  • Chris Benner, Department of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University 
  • Ticket Information
  Industry Specific Panels
  1. Waterfront Technology Issues: Mary Gates Hall Room 251
    Historical perspective on bargaining over workplace transformation, contemporary opportunities and challenges created by knowledge technology for longshore bargaining and organizing, and the “new” workplace.
    • Joe Gasperov, President ILWU Maine Clerks’ Local 63 and member, ILWU Coast Clerks’ Technology Committee
    • Gene Vrana, Director of Educational Services, ILWU (Moderator)
    • Joe Wenzl, Coast Committeeman, ILWU
  2. Aeronautics Industry: Mary Gates Hall Room 287
    • Owen Herrnstadt, International Association of Machinists
    • Deborah Knutson, Economic Development Council of Snohomish County
    • John McMasters, The Boeing Company
    • Stan Sorscher, SPEEA (Moderator)
  3. Education: Mary Gates Hall Room 295
    • Larry Gold, American Federation of Teachers
    • Erika Gubrium, American Association of University Professors
    • Valerie Wilk, National Education Association
    • Ruth Windhover, Washington Education Association
    • Sandra Schroeder, WA American Federation of Teachers (Moderator)
  4. Service Workers in the Knowledge Economy: Mary Gates Hall Room 254
    • Jim Gleb, Retail Director, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21
    • Sarah Laslett, Director, Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies (Moderator)
    • David Rolf, President Service Employees International Union Local 775
    • Rick Sawyer, Secretary Treasurer, UNITE HERE! Local 8
  Challenges to Labor and Social Organization & Wrap-up: Mary Gates Hall Room 389
  • Joan Fitzgerald, Northeastern University, Professor and Director - Law, Policy and Society Program
  • David Kusnet, Economic Policy Institute Fellow (Former Presidential Speechwriter)
  • Gina Neff, UW Communications Department (Video Game Industry)
  • Dan Jacoby, Harry Bridges Chair (Moderator)
  • Can educators prepare workers for the new and rapidly changing technologies?
  • Can organized labor influence the directions a knowledge economy takes?
  • What policies and forms of organization are likely to ensure that workers benefit from new technologies?
  • Will/should the roles played by basic institutions such as the firm, the union, the state and the university be transformed to adapt to future changes?

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Last updated: June 14, 2006.