March 29: Labor Evening

Thursday, March 29, 2012 – Lincoln Theatre – 7 PM

Labor – Two short labor films will be shown – We are the ILWU and Eyes on the Fries. The first film recognizes that a decent job, free of discrimination, is a human right and that unity is the key to social and economic justice for all. The second film is about the service sector economy and the young people who work in it – the McJob economy.

The evening will also include Jeff Johnson, President of Washington State Labor Council, speaking about how unions continue to champion the rights of all workers, organized or not. Finally, there will be a panel of young activists including Anita Nath – Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans, Alex Stone – Economic Opportunity Institute and WA Yell (Washington Young Emerging Labor Leaders), Tasha West Baker – United Food & Commercial Workers Local 21  and WA YELL, and Allie Padgett – a member of the United Students Against Sweatshops. The panel will talk about the importance of organizing and the need for involvement in the struggle for a fair and safe workplace as well as respect for workers and adequate compensation.

As labor is vilified in some political circles, join us for an evening to learn about the importance of unions. They brought us child labor laws and a 40 hour, 5 day work week. What is happening with them today?

Bio of Keynote speaker, Jeff Johnson:

Jeff Johnson was elected President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, in 2010.  Jeff began his union life with the American Federation of Teachers, teaching Labor Economics and Labor Studies to the community and to members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, International Ladies Garment Workers Union, the National Congress of Neighborhood Women, and teaching at the Harry Van Arsdale Center for Labor Studies.

Jeff’s work at the WSLC has focused on legislation that improves the lives of working people through increasing collective bargaining and organizing rights; economic justice and anti-poverty measures; strengthening our workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and employment standards; improving our health care system; and protecting the rights of farm workers and immigrant workers.

Jeff earned his B.A. in Political Science from Georgetown University and his M.A. and A.B.D. in Political Economy from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research.

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