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Labor Archives event Dec. 5 on preserving our COVID stories

All union members and community allies are invited to attend The Labor Archives of Washington’s sixth annual event, “Essential Stories of Frontline Workers — The Struggle for Rights and Survival During COVID-19.” It will be streamed from 1 to 2:40 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 via Zoom. The event will highlight the stories of essential workers in the pandemic as well as the Labor Archives’ recent collaborative oral history project documenting its impact on working people. Register here to attend.

Speakers at the Dec. 5 event will include Kim England, Harry Bridges Chair in Labor Studies; Carrie Freshour, Assistant Professor, UW Geography; Mark Rodgers, UW Department of Music; Wendi Zhou, UW Student (video); Conor Casey and Crystal Rodgers of the Labor Archives of Washington.

A panel drawn from workers in labor organizations in the health care, agricultural, grocery, retail, and hospitality industries will share experiences of work in the pandemic and their efforts to protect the health, safety, and livelihoods of their members. Panelists will include representatives from:

  • United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 21 (Healthcare, grocery, retail, meat cutters)
  • Service Employees International Union, Healthcare 1199NW (Nurses, healthcare)
  • Trabajadores Unidos por la Justicia (Washington farmworker union, speaking about recent struggles in the Yakima Valley)
  • UNITE HERE Local 8: (Hotel and hospitality workers in the Pacific NW)

Another panel will focus on the “Working in the Time of COVID-19 Oral History Project,” with faculty, students, and Labor Archives staff discussing the collaborative collecting initiative, which partners with the labor community and individual workers to preserve their stories during the pandemic.

Learn more at the Facebook event page or go ahead and register now to receive the Zoom link for the event. For more information, email Conor Casey of Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections, or call him at 415-728-1819.

The Labor Archives of Washington was founded in 2010 to preserve the records of working people and their unions and to serve as a center for historical research, ensuring that new generations have access to the rich labor history of the region. A unit of the Special Collections of the University of Washington Libraries, the Labor Archives is a collaborative project of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the University of Washington Libraries. Learn more here.

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