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:

 

Working Democracy: Labor and Politics in an Era of Inequality

For a full report on the Working Democracy project, including suggested readings, speaker bios and commentary by Bridges Chair George Lovell, 
read on here
.

http://workingdemocracy.uw.edu

April 25, 2014

On Friday, April 25, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies welcomed activists, labor leaders, scholars, and journalists to the conference Working Democracy: Labor and Politics in an Era of Inequality.

Nearly 200 people joined us over the course of the day to discuss how major shifts in the U.S. economy have led to increased economic inequality, and how workers are adjusting and fighting back.

 

Streaming video:

  • Working Democracy Conference - April 25, 2014  
    Panel: "Beyond the Minimum Wage: What Can Government Do?" (1 hour, 28 minutes) 

    George Lovell, Harry Bridges Chair in Labor Studies 
    Teresa Mosqueda, Washington State Labor Council 
    Matias Valenzuela, King County Equity & Social Justice 
    Sage Wilson, Working Washington 

    Streaming video courtesy of TVW.

 

  • Working Democracy Conference - April 25, 2014  
    Panel: "Building Alliances Across Movements"
    (1 hour, 13 minutes)
     

    Michael Honey, University of Washington - Tacoma 
    Kim Voss, University of California - Berkeley) 
    Rich Stolz, OneAmerica 
    Dean McGrath, ILWU Local 23 
    Katherine Venables, United Students Against Sweatshops 
    Mark McDermott, Labor Educator 

    Streaming video courtesy of TVW.

 

  • Working Democracy Conference - April 25, 2014  
    Panel: "Redefining Worker Power"
    (1 hour, 13 minutes)
     

    Michael McCann, UW Political Science 
    Carolyn Pinedo-Turnovsky, UW American Ethnic Studies 
    Maria Francisca Torres, ROC United 
    Dawn Gearhart, Teamsters Local 117 
    Jonathan Rosenblum, Working Washington 
    Hilary Stern, Casa Latina) 
    Stephen Price, 15Now/Socialist Alternative 

    Streaming video courtesy of TVW.

 

  • Working Democracy Conference - April 25, 2014  
    Panel: "Precarious Employment: Inequality and Workplace Disempowerment" (1 hour, 10 minutes) 

    Daniel Jacoby, University of Washington - Bothell 
    Gerry Paladan, OurWalmart 
    Jose Oblitas, Casa Latina 
    Rebecca Smith, National Employment Law Project 
    Stephen Bezruchka, UW Global Health 
    Daniyal Zuberi, University of Toronto 
    Larry Cushnie, Adjuncts & Contingents Together 

    Streaming video courtesy of TVW.

 

  • Working Democracy Conference - April 25, 2014  
    Panel: "Giving Workers Voice: The Politics of Inequality" (1 hour, 10 minutes) 

    Rebecca Thorpe, UW Political Science) 
    David Cay Johnston, Author and journalist 
    Ruth Milkman, City University of New York 
    Larry Brown, IAM District 751 
    Mark Smith, UW Political Science 

    Streaming video courtesy of TVW.

 

  • Working Democracy Conference - April 25, 2014 
    Panel: "Beyond the Minimum Wage: What Can Government Do?" (1 hour, 24 minutes) 

    George Lovell, Harry Bridges Chair in Labor Studies 
    Teresa Mosqueda, Washington State Labor Council 
    Matias Valenzuela, King County Equity & Social Justice 
    Sage Wilson, Working Washington 

    Streaming video courtesy of Seattle Channel.

 

  • Working Democracy Conference - April 25, 2014 
    Panel: "Precarious Employment: Inequality and Workplace Disempowerment" (1 hour) 

    Daniel Jacoby, University of Washington - Bothell 
    Gerry Paladan, OurWalmart 
    Jose Oblitas, Casa Latina 
    Rebecca Smith, National Employment Law Project 
    Stephen Bezruchka, UW Global Health 
    Daniyal Zuberi, University of Toronto 
    Larry Cushnie, Adjuncts & Contingents Together 

    Streaming video courtesy of Seattle Channel.

 

  • Working Democracy Conference - April 25, 2014 
    Panel: "Building Alliances Across Movements" (1 hour) 

    Michael Honey, University of Washington - Tacoma 
    Kim Voss, University of California - Berkeley) 
    Rich Stolz, OneAmerica 
    Dean McGrath, ILWU Local 23 
    Katherine Venables, United Students Against Sweatshops 
    Mark McDermott, Labor Educator 

    Streaming video courtesy of Talking Stick TV.

 

Co-sponsors:

UW Department of Geography; UW Law, Societies & Justice Program; UW Jackson School of International Studies; UW School of Social Work; UW Department of Political Science; and UW Department of History.

 

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
.

http://depts.washington.edu/unemploy/

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 21, 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.

Co-sponsors:

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:

 

Co-sponsors:

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:

 

Co-sponsors:

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.

 

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