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About Bridges Center Labor Policy Research

A number of exciting projects have been completed through Bridges Center research programs. The published research and working papers profiled below have been funded by the Washington State Labor Research Grant. Each summary report includes information directly relevant to policymakers, employers, unions, and others. 

Reports are organized broadly by topic, then by year. To read or print reports, click on the "Read More" links below. 


Health, Healthcare, and Safety 

  • 2020 | Frontiers in Public Health
    Considering Work Arrangement as an “Exposure” in Occupational Health Research and Practice

    This study conceptualizes how work arrangement, or the terms and conditions of employment, can impact health and safety exposure in the workplace. The takeaway for occupational health and safety professions is that work arrangements have implications for worker health and safety by potentially intensifying existing hazards or creating new ones within the workplace.   Read More

  • 2016 | American Journal of Public Health
    The Role of Labor Unions in Creating Working Conditions That Promote Public Health

    This research investigated how labor unions promote public health outcomes. Researchers analyzed 16 Washington state collective bargaining agreements to identify contract language associated with determinants of public   health. Among other findings, the researchers found union contracts advance many social determinants of health for union members and the broader community, including: (1) establishing higher wages and benefit standards, (2)   protecting against workplace hazards and promoting safety awareness and training, and (3) fostering democratic participation within the workplace and the broader community.  Read More


Labor Impacts of Social Goods

  • 2021 |  Working Manuscript
    Union Involvement in Apprenticeship and Workforce Development in WA State: Opportunities and Constraints 

    This project explores how and whether the limitations of collective action are being overcome within Washington’s training market.  The researchers simultaneously consider the role of labor and industry associations through intensive interviews with numerous individuals deeply involved in the apprenticeship work in this state. The final report from this research project is forthcoming, but the researchers have tentative findings to share. State apprenticeship programs offer a range of benefits to various stakeholders including: (1) develop skills across the supply chain, (2) better trained workers and reduce turnover, (3) complement union organizing efforts, (4) enhance diversity,  and (5) help small employers overcome fear to improve productivity. Read More

Social Movements

  • 2020 |  Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium
    Investigating Washington's Left Coast Formula with the Mapping American Social Movements Project  

    This project created online resources detailing the political geography of labor and radical movements that have been important in Washington State. The larger Mapping American Social Movements Project uses tools of digital history to reveal the geography as well as the life cycle of dozens of social movements that have been important in American political life. This research strategy shows how American radicalism has been reconstituted repeatedly over the last century as social movements come and go and as the geography of activism changes. The research demonstrate that radicalism reorganized and relocated within the state, as well as, on a state to state basis. Counties in eastern Washington and northern Puget Sound that a century ago led in support for the Socialist Party and other radical movements became more conservative later in the century. Seattle, and to some extent Tacoma, have been more consistent, harboring radical movements of many types, generation after generation. Read More