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Throughout each academic year, the Bridges Center hosts many events, conferences, and other Labor Studies programs.

Center events and programs provide a unique point of connection for Labor Studies scholars, students and community members.

Many of these events produce media, including video, audio, written papers, and more.

WA State Labor Research

In-depth labor policy and industry analysis in Washington State

Labor Studies Research

Important faculty and graduate student research across disciplines

Prize-Winning Papers

The best Labor Studies graduate and undergraduate papers

Working Groups

Original research based in faculty/community partnerships

Working Papers Series

Lectures and scholarly papers published by the Bridges Center

Web-Based Programs

Educational websites supported by the Bridges Center


Since our beginnings in 1991, the Bridges Center has regularly hosted conferences on various topics.

Here you will find media for the following past conferences:

A complete listing of past conferences, 1994 to the present, is also available.

Labor, Labor Studies, and the Future:
The Harry Bridges Chair at 20 Years

November 16-17, 2012

In 2012, the Harry Bridges Chair in Labor Studies marked twenty years since its founding in 1992.

To mark the occasion, the Bridges Center organized a special conference on the University of Washington Seattle campus featuring voices from the Bridges Center's past and present, including faculty, students, and community members. A keynote lecture was delivered by noted author and labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan.

Together they discussed the accomplishments of the Bridges Chair, the state of the labor movement, and the hard work that lies ahead.

Streaming and downloadable audio:

Click any title below to download an Mp3 of that session, or click the green "play" button to stream the file. Streaming requires your browser supports Adobe Flash Player .

  • The Harry Bridges Chair:
    Creation, Evolution and Impact

    Chair: Margaret Levi, Harry Bridges Chair, 1996-2000
    Panel: Charles Bergquist, Harry Bridges Chair, 1994-1996; Robert Duggan, former chair, Harry Bridges Memorial Committee; Terri Mast, Inlandboatmen's Union

    Bridges Chair founders and supporters discuss its creation through a grassroots fundraising initiative, and its many achivements since.

  • Union Democracy and Civil Rights

    Chair: Michael Honey, Harry Bridges Chair, 2000-2004
    Panel: Willie Adams, Vice President, ILWU; Rosalinda Guillen, Community to Community Development; Richard Gurtiza, Inlandboatmen's Union

    Western Washington labor activists reflect on the legacy of two disctinctive, core commitments of Harry Bridges: rank and file union democracy and non-discrimination/civil rights.

  • Youth and the Labor Movement

    Chair: James Gregory, Harry Bridges Chair, 2008-2012
    Panel: Morgan Currier and Katy Lungren, United Students Against Sweatshops; Jessica Pikul, UAW 4121; Matt Reed, SEIU 49; Jessica Roach

    Current and former University of Washington student activists, including Bridges Center scholarship recipients, discuss the history of labor activism on campus and what is going on now.

  • The 2012 Elections and Labor's Future

    Chair: George Lovell, Harry Bridges Chair, 2012-Present
    Panel: Matt Barreto, UW Political Science; David Freiboth, MLK County Labor Council; Karen Hart, SEIU 925; Jeff Johnson, Washington State Labor Council

    Local labor officials and UW academics review the outcome of the 2012 elections and look at the bigger picture, including attacks on collective bargaining.

Audio courtesy of Oscar Frost and Roy San Filippo.

Unemployed Nation Hearings

For a full report on the Unemployed Nation project, including media coverage, video, and personal testimonials,
read on here


March 30-31, 2012

More than 23 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. They are so numerous that they could populate a nation, a distressed and forgotten nation, a nation whose voice remains unheard.

On March 30-31, 2012, an important two-day event convened to amplify that voice: the Unemployed Nation Hearings. The Hearings featured testimony from people whose lives have been gravely impacted by unemployment. Additional commentary was provided by scholars, community services and public officials.

Streaming video:

  • Unemployed Nation Hearings - March 30, 2012
    Complete, unedited broadcast (2 hours, 24 minutes)

    Welcome by Professor James Gregory
    Remarks by UW President Michael Young
    Panel: "Who's Who in the Unemployed Nation?"
    Panel: "Generation Limbo: Young, unemployed, and worried"
    Panel: "Unemployment Insurance: Does it still work for those who are out of work?"
    Panel: "Breaking the Silence: The Politics of Unemployment"
    Closing remarks by ML King County Executive Dow Constantine and Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles

    Streaming video courtesy of TVW.

  • Unemployed Nation Hearings - March 31, 2012
    Complete, unedited broadcast (1 hour, 17 minutes)

    Welcome by David Freiboth, MLKing County Labor Council
    Remarks by Seattle City Mayor Michael McGinn
    Panel discussion with unemployed residents
    Remarks by Seattle City Councilperson Sally Clark
    Panel discussion with service providers

    Streaming video courtesy of Seattle Channel.

Organized by:

Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies; Washington State Labor Council; Martin Luther King, Jr. County Labor Council (AFL-CIO)

Endorsed by:

Asian Counseling and Referral Service; Casa Latina; Central Area Motivation Program; Evans School of Public Affairs; Office of MLKing County Executive Dow Constantine; Puget Sound Labor Agency; Puget Sound Sage; Seattle City Council & Mayor's Office; Seattle Women's Commission; Statewide Poverty Action Network; UW Law, Societies & Justice; UW School of Law; UW School of Social Work; West Coast Poverty Center

Good, Green Jobs Conference

For a full report on the conference, photos, and video,
read on here

June 21st, 2008

In 1999, labor leaders and environmentalists, united by their common opposition to the policies of the World Trade Organization, came together to form the Blue-Green Alliance. On June 21st, 2008 at the University of Washington, the Blue-Green Alliance brought these two groups together again, this time with a common vision, for the Good, Green Jobs conference.

Co-hosted by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, the conference posed the question of working people in new "green" industries. From the carpenters and plumbers who renovate houses to meet environmental standards, to the roofers who install solar-panels, to the many other trades and professions: how can these green-industry jobs benefit the working class, and pay good, family-supporting wages?

Political officials attended the conference to lend their support, including Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, State representative Jay Inslee, and King County Executive Ron Sims.

Streaming video:

  • Good, Green Jobs Conference - Part 1
    Welcome by Professor James Gregory
    Morning address by King County Executive Ron Sims
    Panel discussion, "Ahead of the Curve: Washington State's Clean Energy and Green Jobs"

Streaming video courtesy of TVW. For information on how to order your own copy of the conference on DVD, visit the TVW website, or contact the Bridges Center at hbcls@u.washington.edu.


Washington State Labor Council, Martin Luther King, Jr. County Labor Council, Worker Center (AFL-CIO), United Steelworkers, SPEEA, Sierra Club, Climate Solutions, NW Energy Coalition, Puget Sound Energy, and McKinstry Co.

Organizing Our Futures:
Labor, Knowledge and the Economy

A complete list of papers presented, as well as a full schedule of the conference, are available on the conference website.

October 13 & 14, 2006

With rapidity never before seen, new knowledge and innovation are reshaping work and the economy in the 21st Century. The integration of biotechnology, robotics and telecommunications will sharply reduce the demand for repetitive, dangerous, or otherwise programmable labor.

So far, less-skilled workers have borne the brunt of these changes as their opportunities and income have declined. But so-called "knowledge workers" those who diagnose, solve or broker solutions to complex problems now realize that they too can be made technologically obsolescent or replaced more readily by low-wage workers in the global labor market. New employment opportunities in service areas may replace current work, but the attractiveness of such jobs depends upon a distribution of income that enables workers to share in the wealth made possible by new knowledge and technology.

Some, like Thomas Friedman, argue that education is the critical ingredient that will empower and prepare knowledge workers for these changes. Others argue that education and human resource policies are window dressing that side step the need for more fundamental labor-driven reorganization of our economy.

Background Information:


American Federation of Teachers, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 174, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Microsoft Corporation, Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (IFPTE Local 2001), University Bookstore, Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, Communications Workers of America, Local 37083

Conference on Caring Labor

A complete list of papers presented, as well as a full schedule of the conference, are available on the conference website.

May 20 & 21, 2005

As part of the Bridges Center's Caring Labor initiative, a conference was held at the UW, Seattle campus on May 20 & 21, 2005. The keynote speaker was Nancy Folbre, economist from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The conference brought together researchers, practitioners and activists from fifteen universities, three countries, and ten community organizations and unions to give papers and presentations about social policy, labor activism, and historical and political research in this rich area.

The conference resulted in a special issue of the journal Politics and Society, which provided major support for the conference. That issue came out in March of 2006 and the articles in it can be read and downloaded by going to http://pas.sagepub.com/ and finding the March 2006 issue in their on-line archive.

Featured papers:


Politics and Society, The Institute on Poverty and Inequality, the Institute on Inequality and Social Structure/UW, The Center for Research on Families, Women's Studies/UW, Canadian Studies/UW Jackson School, and Sociology/UW.

Participants also included members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 925 and 1199NW, the American Federation of Teachers, the Economic Opportunity Institute, and the Poverty Action Network.


A complete listing of all conferences sponsored by the Bridges Center, in reverse chronological order from the present to 1994.

Complete Listing


  • Labor, Labor Studies, and the Future: The Bridges Chair at 20 Years
    November 16-17, 2012


  • Unemployed Nation Hearings
    March 30-21, 2012


  • Campus Forum on Ethically Responsible Production and Consumption
    April 1, 2011

  • Race, Radicalism and Repression on the Pacific Coast and Beyond
    May 12-14, 2011


  • Challenges to Fair Trade
    February 8-9, 2008

  • New Scholarship at the Intersections: Care, Work and Diversity
    April 11, 2008

  • Good, Green Jobs Conference
    June 21, 2008


  • Organizing Our Futures: Labor, Knowledge and the Economy
    October 13-14, 2006


  • Conference on Union Democracy Reexamined
    February 24-25, 2006


  • Laboring for Justice: The Union of Democratic Filipinos (KDP) in Seattle and the World
    October 29, 2004

  • A Festival of Workers' Culture
    Celebration of the centenary of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
    February 18-19, 2005

  • Conference on Caring Labor
    May 20-21, 2005


  • From Chaos to Community: Strategies for Social and Economic Justice
    May 14-15, 2004

  • Empowering la Mujer
    MEChA Regional Conference


  • Campus Unions: Building For Our Future
    October 12, 2002

  • The Right to Organize: Civil Liberties, Democracy, and the Labor Movement
    35th Annual Pacific Northwest Labor History Association Conference
    May 1, 2003


  • Beyond the Boycott: The Future of Worker-Consumer Alliances
    January 26, 2002

  • Women of Color in Labor and Community Struggles
    March 1-2, 2002

  • New Studies in American Slavery
    May 17, 2002


  • STRIKES! Past and Present
    March 4-6, 1999


  • Metro Unionism Conference
    June 12-14, 1998


  • Unions and Collective Bargaining in Advanced Industrial Societies
    April 18, 1997

  • Teach-In on the Future of Labor
    May 22-23, 1997


  • Unions and Collective Bargaining in Advanced Industrial Societies
    April 18, 1997

  • Teach-In on the Future of Labor
    May 22-23, 1997


  • Unions and Collective Bargaining in Advanced Industrial Societies
    April 18, 1997


  • Workers in the Global Economy: Organizing for a New Century
    May 5-6, 1995


  • Harry Bridges and the Tradition of Dissent Among Waterfront Workers
    January 28, 1994

Lecture Series

The Bridges Center regularly sponsors lecture series in conjunction with Labor Studies classes.

This section features material from past series, including student reports.

Latin American Challenges to the Neo-Liberal Order

Spring 2007

Hosted by Professor Charles Bergquist

HIST 449: "Issues in Comparative Labor History"

Complete descriptions of each speaker, and more, are available on the lecture series website.

This lecture series at the University of Washington evaluated several of the Latin American governments that are challenging the U.S.-led neo-liberal world order, which emerged following the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the Soviet Union itself in the years 1989-90.

Although all these governments have opposed, to one degree or another, the neo-liberal precepts of unrestricted free trade and foreign investment, privatization of many government activities, and rollbacks in social welfare programs, the origins of these governments and their relationships with the organized labor movements in their countries are in fact quite different. By examining the role of organized labor and working people generally in these regimes, this series took a hard look at the so-called "Leftist" turn in Latin American politics.

We are pleased to be able to present some of the excellent work done by students from the class in response to the lecture series.

April 19th, 2007
"Re-thinking Revolution and Reaction: Bolivia and Colombia in Historical Context," Forrest Hylton, New York University

April 26th, 2007
"Brazil's President as Working Class Fox: Lula from Trade Unionism to the Presidency," John French, Duke University

May 3rd, 2007
"Anti-neoliberalism in Venezuela and its Implications for the Labor Movement," Steve Ellner, Universidad de Oriente, Venezuela (Watch On-Line)

May 10th, 2007:
"Indigenous Movements in Evo's Bolivia - In Search of Roots," Brooke Larson, SUNY Stoney Brook

May 17th, 2007:
"From Revolution to Reform: The Socialists and the Workers' Movement in Chile from Allende to Bachelet," Paul Drake, UC San Diego

Terri Mast, Cindy Domingo and Ligaya Domingo: "Martyrs for Justice: Revisiting the Assassinations of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes 30 Years Later"

May 26, 2011

University of Washington
Seattle, WA

2011 marked the thirtieth anniversary of the murders of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, two Filipino American activists who were gunned down in their union hall, Alaska Cannery Worker's Union Local 37.

Press coverage interpreted the event as a union squabble. However, there was a deeper explanation connected to the political work that these men and their fellow activists had been engaged in for over a decade: their efforts to reform a community organization, their union, and to build a movement to fight for civil and human rights in Seattle, Washington and in the Philippines.

This talk features Terri Mast, Bridges Center Visiting Committee member and Secretary Treasurer of the Inlandboatman's Union; Cindy Domingo, former National Chair for the Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes; and Ligaya Domingo, Bridges Center Community Scholar. Together they discuss the case and its legacy up to the present day.

Streaming video:

Streaming video courtesy of Talking Stick TV.

Michael Honey: "History and Memory: Revisiting King's Vision of Labor Rights and Economic Justice"

January 21, 2011

University of Washington
Seattle, WA

Michael Honey is Haley Professor of Humanities at the University of Washington, Tacoma, Harry Bridges Chair Emeritus, and author of an award-winning trilogy of books on labor and civil rights history.

In this lecture, Honey discusses how labor history is changing our understanding of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy.

Streaming video:

Streaming video courtesy of Talking Stick TV.


University of Washington departments of History, Geography and American Ethnic Studies.

Michael Eisenscher: "Labor's Stake in Ending the Wars"

April 6, 2010

University of Washington
Seattle, WA

Michael Eisenscher is a co-founder and current national coordinator of U.S. Labor Against the War (U.S. LAW). In this talk, Eisenscher reviews the arguments against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, looking particularly at Washington State's economic and political stake in ending the wars.

U.S. LAW is comprised of nearly 200 affiliates: national, regional state and local unions and other labor organizations representing working people. The organization works to raise awareness of the role the U.S. labor movement has to play in ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

With U.S. LAW, Eisenscher helped the AFL-CIO to pass resolutions in oppositions to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the first resolutions of their kind in history. He also organized a national conference of Iraqi trade unions in Irbil that gave birth to a national organization of unions in that country.

Streaming video:

Streaming video courtesy of Todd Boyle.


MLK County Labor Council; Pride at Work, MLK County Chapter; WA State Jobs with Justice; Student Anarchist Study Group; UAW Local 4121; Student Labor Action Project; and Common Action.

Gina Neff: "Media Labor in the Age of YouTube"

February 9, 2010

University of Washington
Seattle, WA

In Winter 2010, the Bridges Center working group Labor, Knowledge and the Economy sponsored a series of talks showcasing research on the growing importance of trained workers and human capital in the world economy.

In this talk, professor Gina Neff (UW Department of Communication) discusses the current restructuring of media and entertainment industries with the ascendance of YouTube, "reality" television, and blockbuster pictures like Avatar. How are communication workers responding to these developments, and what are the implications for contemporary labor in general?

Neff is co-editor of Surviving the New Economy (Paradigm 2007), which examines work in both new and old media after the dot-com crash, and is the author of a manuscript Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries.

Streaming video:

Streaming video courtesy of the UW Department of Communication.


UW Department of Communication and UW Department of Sociology.

Bill Fletcher, Jr.: "Building a Labor Movement with Change We Can Believe In"

May 20-21, 2009

Seattle Labor Temple

University Bookstore
Seattle, WA

In May 2009, the Bridges Center co-sponsored two events with author and labor activist Bill Fletcher, Jr. The first took place on May 20 at the Seattle Labor Temple. The second took place at Seattle's University Bookstore.

Co-author of Solidarity Divided (UC Press, 2008), Fletcher is co-founder of the Center for Labor Renewal, a columnist, and a long-time activist. He served as President of TransAfrica Forum and was formerly the Education Director and later Assitant to the President of the AFL-CIO.

Streaming video:

Streaming video courtesy of TVW. For information on how to order your own copy of the event on DVD, visit the TVW website, or contact the Bridges Center at hbcls@u.washington.edu.


Martin Luther King, Jr. County Labor Council, National AFGE, AFGE 11th District, and AFGE 3937.

Celebrating Seattle's Striking History:
90th Anniversary of the Seattle General Strike

February 7, 2009

Seattle Labor Temple,

The Bridges Center kicked off the 2009 Year of Washington State Labor Heritage with an event commemorating 90 years since the 1919 Seattle General Strike. Union members, scholars, students, musicians and others convened for an exciting program remebering the events of 1919 and exploring their legacy.

Labor scholars including Howard Kimeldorf (University of Michigan), Robert Cherny (San Francisco State), and Rob Rosenthal (Wesleyan University) provided background on the Seattle strike and the larger labor movement it was a part of. Musical performances by the Anti-Fascist Marching Band, Jess Grant, and the Seattle Labor Chorus gave the event a celebratory atmosphere. Finally, a panel on immigration rights and organizing facilitated by Rosalinda Guillen ended the day with an important look towards the future.

Attendence at the event surpassed all expectations, and remained standing-room only for most of the day. All in all, people cherished the oppurtunity to recognize the achivements of the labor movement and learn from its legacies in order to grow into the future.

Streaming video:

Streaming video courtesy of Pepperspray Productions. For information on how to order your own copy of the event on DVD, visit the Pepperspray Productions website, or contact the Bridges Center at hbcls@u.washington.edu.

Streaming audio:


Pacific Northwest Labor History Association, Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. County Labor Council

Reverend James Lawson

25-27, 2008

Tacoma, WA

During Black History Month 2008, Reverend James Lawson visited Tacoma, WA to engage in scholarly work and dialogue with students, faculty and the religious and labor community.

Activists and scholars of the civil rights movement know Lawson as one of its most influential figures, and he is also one of the most profound labor advocates in the church. Speaking to Lawson is the closest most of us will ever come to speaking with Martin Luther King, Jr., who called him the leading theorist of nonviolence in the United States.

Rev. Lawson worked as King's educational director and taught nonviolent direct action to start the student sit-in movement, the freedom rides, and campaigns in Birmingham and Chicago and Memphis, where King died in 1968.

Streaming video:

The latest version of Flash Player is required to view these videos.

  • Dialogue on Philosophy and Practice of Nonviolence
    University of Washington, Tacoma, February 27, 2008

  • In this talk, Rev. Lawson discusses how nonviolence can be used to put young people and others on a path toward life-long pursuit of justice and personal fulfillment, to end war and create a better world.


Associated Ministries; Black Student Union UW Tacoma; Fred and Dorothy Haley Professorship UW Tacoma; A. Philip Randolph Institute Tacoma Chapter; Tacoma Ministerial Alliance; and the UW Graduate Program Walker-Ames Scholar.

Past Research Programs

Labor-Management Cooperation Research


From summer of 1998 through winter of 2001, the Bridges Center worked in conjunction with the Cascade Center for Public Service at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs on a project funded by the Ford Foundation to encourage and develop the use of cooperative techniques in public sector labor-management relations as one means to improve the quality of work life and service delivery. The project's main objective was to build on the principles of improving labor-management relationships described in a report by the U.S. Secretary of Labor's Task Force on Excellence in State and Local Government.

We began with an ambitious agenda and have thus far produced some exciting results. Two undergraduate students, Lara Tilmanis and Ebrima Wadda, undertook a research project that allowed us to update the status of many of the nation-wide experiments in labor-management cooperation that were highlighted in the Task Force's report.

Other projects included: participation in Bridges Center activities, such as the Metro Unionism and STRIKES! Conferences; several written papers and articles; a conference jointly sponsored by our project, the U.S. Department of Labor, Cornell University Institute for Labor Relations, and the Chicago-Kent Law School in April 2000; collaboration with the Wagner School at New York University to develop teaching materials for use by labor and public administration programs; and the development of a web site containing information on improving labor-management relationships in the public sector.