Labor issues at the University of Washington extend far beyond the classroom. The university is home to a number of organizations dedicated to connecting academia and workers while advocating for change, from labor unions to student groups.


Campus Unions

UAW Local 4121

UAW Local 4121 is the Union for 4,500 Academic Student Employees (ASEs) – Research Assistants, Teaching Assistants, Staff Assistants, Readers/Graders, Tutors, and Fellows and Trainees doing similar work – at the University of Washington. In addition to negotiating and enforcing important workplace improvements for ASEs at UW, UAW Local 4121 members fight for social and economic justice on campus and in the community through participation in a broad range of organizations and struggles.


Student Groups

United Students Against Sweatshops

For 20 years, United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) has leveraged the purchasing power of our universities to force companies to respect the rights of workers both locally on campus and abroad in garment factories where collegiate apparel is produced. We also believe that students, as current and future workers, should have access to quality education and be equipped with the skills needed to advocate for themselves.


Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán at the University of Washington is a student organization that promotes higher education, cultura, & historia.


Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights is a student group at the University of Washington dedicated to equal rights and justice for the Palestinian people.

Huskies for Food Justice

The Huskies for Food Justice (formerly known as Husky Real Food Challenge) is a registered student organization dedicated to working with Housing and Food Services (HFS), students, and faculty to provide ecologically sustainable, locally sourced, humanely and fairly produced food to students on campus in HFS dining facilities.

UW Sustainability Action Network

The UW Sustainability Action Network is a collaborative campus network that engages and empowers diverse perspectives in pursuit of sustainability in our environment, society, government, and economy.


Latest News

March 29, 2024

SEATTLE (March 29, 2024) — Today, hundreds of Academic Student Employees (ASEs) at the University of Washington will rally on campus as they fight to...

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February 22, 2024

In November 2023, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies sponsored a group of UW student activists to attend the counter-summit for the Asia-Pacific Economic...

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August 29, 2023

Many across the country, and here in Seattle, have been stunned at the number of labor violations tied to Starbucks since a wave of...

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May 15, 2023
Bridges Center Assistant Director of Student and Community Engagement, Sai Ahmed, speaks with the College of Arts & Sciences about our paid internship: Building a...
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April 26, 2023

LSJ and sociology major and human rights and labor studies minor, Elizabeth Lu Gao, completed their thesis last term, with Harry Bridges...

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March 15, 2023

This March, April and May, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies is proud to participate in Labor Spring 2023 , a nationwide series...

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June 24, 2022

Earlier this month, the University of Washington wrapped up the first year of its new Building a Movement (BAM) internship program .

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June 24, 2022

A current student at the University of Washington, Brenna Nendel is also a Starbucks employee who has taken part in recent unionization efforts at...

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January 14, 2022

The UW Custodian Project was begun in March 2020 by daughter of UW custodians and recent UW MPH and MSW graduate, Evalynn Fae Taganna Romano.

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October 28, 2019

By Nikita Minkin

Beginning as a car-ride conversation between/ two University of Washington students and taking shape over the course of a...

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