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Join UW Harry Bridges Center for Labor Spring 2023 events

SEATTLE (April 11, 2023) — Public support for unionism is at a historic high — 71% approve of unions, the highest level since 1965. Meanwhile, today’s labor movement is more diverse than ever. The majority of union members are women and people of color. A multi-racial group of young people are leading a new wave of organizing at Starbucks, Google, Amazon, and other corporations.

In this context, local and national organizers are planning Labor Spring 2023, a national series of events, teach-ins and actions lifting up ongoing labor campaigns, delving into pivotal historical moments for workers, highlighting racial and gender equity in the worker justice movement, and examining the crucial importance of this moment in labor’s history.

The University of Washington’s Harry Bridges Center has a number of Labor Spring events planned this spring. Here is a roundup (get more details here):

April 12 — Harry Bridges: Labor Radical, Labor Legend, an online book talk and discussion with author Robert Cherny, labor journalist E. Tammy Kim, and ILWU activist Zack Pattin, reflecting on Bridges’s life and his legacy for the labor movement today. It will be Wednesday, April 12 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Register for link.

April 19 — Using Public Records Requests and FOIA in Labor Research, a panel of researchers will discuss the role of public record requests and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in labor research and beyond in a virtual workshop on Wednesday, April 19 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. via Zoom. Register for link.

April 20 — Symposium on Contracting Freedom and Latinx History, a special event marking the release of historian Maria Quintana’s new book Contracting Freedom: Race, Empire, and U.S. Guestworker Programs. It will be Thursday, April 20 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. followed by a reception until 6 p.m. in the Petersen Room (4th Floor, Room 485) of the Allen Library, UW Seattle. Get details.

April 26 — The University of Washington’s annual Worker Memorial Day event is a special ceremony that raises awareness about how we can strengthen our commitment to make jobs safer and save lives in Washington state. This year’s theme is “Worker Justice, Climate Justice.” The keynote speaker will be Shemona Morena, Executive Director of 350 Seattle. This virtual ceremony will be Wednesday, April 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. via Zoom. Register for link.

May 1 — “Women and Equality,” An Evening with Ai-Jen Poo of National Domestic Workers Alliance, will be Monday, May 1 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Kane Hall’s Room 120. Ai-jen Poo is an award-winning organizer, author, and a leading voice in the women’s movement and a nationally recognized expert on elder and family care, the future of work, and what’s at stake for women of color. Registration is required.

May 5-6 — The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 2023 Conference, under the theme “Labor Resurgence: Learning From the Recurring Conflict with Capital,” will be held May 5-6 in Tacoma.

The conference begins Friday night at UW Tacoma with “Our Rebel Girls: A Talk with Jess Walter and Karl Marlantes,” where the authors join labor historian Heather Mayer to discuss their Pacific Northwest-based historical novels, The Cold Millions and Deep River, whose heroines are Wobblie organizers. It will be Friday, May 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Saturday’s daylong conference will be held at the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma, with keynote speaker Moon-Ho Jung, the Harry Bridges Endowed Chair in Labor Studies at the University of Washington. Get details and register.

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FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!