Labor Education and   
Research Center

We provide education, training, events, and applied research to   
working people in Washington State.

Building Workplace Power

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Are you a union member looking for ways to address and solve problems at your workplace? Or a new or experienced shop steward looking for a fresh take on supporting your coworkers? Join us for a four-week introduction to workplace representation! We will cover the basic laws, principles and skills of contract enforcement, with an emphasis on the organizing skills we need to build unity and power at work.

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Classes will take place each Tuesday in October from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (no class on October 31). All classes will be offered hybrid, with students participating either in-person or online via Zoom Update: this class has been moved 100% online. Each class is part of a series; participants completing all four sessions will receive a certificate of completion. The first class is on October 3.

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“This training was an incredible opportunity to learn from other union leaders and experts in the field with lively discussion and hands-on practice. The stewards in my union who took this training immediately put the information to use in the workplace, particularly the lessons around investigating grievances. We now hope to get all our stewards to this training. Can’t recommend this highly enough!”

-Heidi Groover, President, Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA Local 37082

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“I recommend this 4-part series to staff who work with stewards and stewards who are passionate about learning the fundamentals of how organizing, contract enforcement, and representational work overlap.   

All are essential to building stronger union engagement.  Our discussions were educational, the teaching techniques were highly interactive, and through this opportunity I was able to develop my skills and immediately put them into practice in my day-to-day work!” 

-Anjulie Bashira Knowles, Member Resource Center Representative, SEIU Local 925

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“I whole heartedly recommend this series for all stewards and aspiring union members. The classes provided me with additional knowledge to more  effectively represent my colleagues as a steward. The discussions were lively and engaging.  I enjoyed learning from union leaders with many years of experience in the labor movement.  I also enjoyed meeting siblings from other unions and developing relationships with them. I came out of this as a better union member.” 

-Jamie Fackler, Shop Steward and Contract Action Team Member, PROTEC17

For in-person participants we’ll meet at the Georgetown Apprenticeship and Education Center, 6737 Corson Ave S in Seattle’s Georgetown Neighborhood. The Labor Center has free parking and is accessible by Metro bus routes 60, 124, 131 and 132. We will gather each week at 5:30pm for a light dinner (soup, salad and bread) and look forward to reconnecting. 

The full series costs $40 per person and participants are encouraged to ask their union to pay the cost. No one turned away for lack of funds. Childcare support and language interpretation available with advance registration. Please bring a copy of your union contract to each session.


Course Schedule and Details:

Class TitleClass Date (all classes at 6pm) Description
Introduction to Stewardship: Roles and ResourcesOctober 3What rights do union members and stewards have under the law? What tools do we have to solve workplace problems?
Weingarten Rights and Loudermill HearingsOctober 10Weingarten Rights are the most basic building block of worksite representation. Learn how to use this right to build power in your workplace.
Grievance InvestigationsOctober 17Learn how to use the “Six W’s”, and the legal standard of “Just Cause” along with your union’s intake form to guide your investigation.
The First Step Grievance MeetingOctober 24TBD



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Prachi Goyal (she/they) is a Labor Educator at the Labor Center. Due to her own experiences as a child of immigrants she got her start in the movement through immigrant and farmworker justice in Western Michigan. She then attended the Labor Center at UMass Amherst for her MS where she worked with Community Labor United to help increase accessibility to childcare. Prachi has held a variety of staff and elected leadership positions in the labor movement including at UFCW 1459, GEO-UAW 2322, UNITE HERE-New England Joint Board, Emergency Worker Organizing Committee, Pioneer Valley Workers Center and most recently as the labor educator focusing on racial justice and democracy at the Washington Federation of State Employees.

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James Oliveros (they/them) is a Labor Educator at the Labor Center. Prior to joining the team, James served as Education Chair of Anakbayan Seattle, a youth organization focused on liberation and National Democracy for the Philippines and its people. James has also worked as a community organizer with groups like Washington CAN, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, and various local mutual aid efforts in Seattle. In their education efforts at the Labor Center, James is committed to building workplace solidarity with community members and defending every worker’s right to dignity, fair wages, and a fulfilling livelihood.

Space is limited and a waitlist will form once capacity has been reached. Register online today or call the Labor Center at 206-934-6671.

register now