LER School Hosts 40th Northeast Summer School for Union Women
Penn State hosted nearly 150 women from unions and worker centers throughout the northeastern U.S in July as part of the 40th UALE Northeast Summer School for Union Women. Sponsored by the United Association for Labor Education (UALE), the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 13, and the Labor School at Penn State, this four-day residential school provided an opportunity for participants to learn more about leadership, grievance handling, collective bargaining, global solidarity, and generational styles in order to be more effective leaders in their organizations.
Attendees represented the Transport Workers Union, the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees, the United Steelworkers, the Service Employees International Union, AFSCME, and other unions and worker centers, as well as labor educators from both unions and universities.
Under this year’s theme, “Reaching and Reinventing: Labor Women Taking Charge,” the UALE NE Summer School celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special celebration commemorating the school’s history. Ida Torres, who has attended all but one of the forty summer schools, shared the importance of “never letting another sister walk alone.” With a focus on embracing issues of diversity, younger workers, and new methods of organizing, sisters built on these discussions to strengthen their unions and labor as a whole, while taking special care to address issues that affect women and minorities in the labor movement.
The Summer School is one of numerous events planned and administered by the LER School’s labor education program which was reinstated in 2013 after a ten year hiatus.