LaborTech Conference

I hope that some of you might be interested in the LaborTech conference.  This is the first time I have been involved in this conference, but I am excited to be part of it this year.

Hope to see you there.

The Digital Revolution And A Labor Media Strategy
LaborTech 2006
November 17, 18 & 19th, 2006
University Of San Francisco
2130 Fulton St. (at Cole)
San Francisco, California
The purpose of LaborTech is to bring together labor video, computer and media activists in the US and around the world to build and develop labor communication technology and media. The first conference was held in 1990 and they have been held throughout the United States as well as Canada, Korea and Russia.
Building a labor communication media is a critical task for the labor movement that can tell our stories, which can break the corporate information blockade in every corner of the world.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Join trade unionists, educators and workers this November from the US and around the world as they debate, discuss and learn about new communication technology and the development of a labor media movement.
LaborTech has had conferences since 1990, which brings together labor video, computer, labor media activists and labor educators to advance knowledge and use of the Internet and multi-media by working people. This year, we are also including an educational /academic component with papers about labor, media and telecommunications. How is new technology being used to exploit and spy on working people and how can labor use these new technologies such as blogging and portals like youtube to help organize, build solidarity and link up locally, nationally and internationally.
The ongoing battle of labor to survive against the corporate onslaught and media blockade requires the development of an independent labor media strategy to defend working people and their struggles.

Themes for workshops and plenums

1. The Bosses¹ Use of Technology and Worker¹s Resistance (Surveillance, Union
Busting, and Globalization)
2. Workers’ Technology and Class Struggle Around the World (Labor Media and Internet Tools)
3. Democratic Communication Rights (Internet Access and Digital Divides)


*    Community Internet, Wax-Fi and Net Neutrality
*    Labor Culture and Technology
*    Radio and Labor Media
*    Web Sites, Blogs and Using Technology to Build Organizing and Information Networks
*    Workplace Issues Internet Access and the use of the Internet on the job
*    Labor Media, Education and Labor Culture
*    Globalization For Workers Using Communication Technology
*    Labor And Who Controls The Internet
*    Embedding Workers and Spying On The Job & Off The Job
*    How To Start A Labor TV Community Access Show
*    Micro Radio and The Labor Potential
*    Technology, Deregulation and Health and Safety
*    Labor Networking, Democracy and the Internet: Lessons for Today and The Future
*    Streaming Your Labor Rally or Conference and How To Do It
*    WIN, Pacifica and Labor Radio Channels
*    Development of regional labor portals and LaborNets Internationally
*    Defense of Internet for high value content and for democratic control
*    International labor media network
*    Outsourcing, Technology and Labor & Organizing Tech Workers Here & Abroad
*    Building International Labor Film & Video Festivals-Lessons On How To Do It
*    Labor Journalists and Media Issues Within The Labor Movement
*    Labor Boycotts/Solidarity Campaigns Using     the Internet
*    Pod Casting and Cell Casting
To find out more information please go to our website at

Conference initial endorsers:

San Francisco Labor Council, OPEIU Local 3, NALC 214, SEIU 535, California Faculty Association, USF Media Studies Program, Laney College Labor Studies Program, San Francisco City College Labor Studies Program, San Jose Community College Labor Studies Program, SFSU Labor Studies Program, Union Producers and Programmers Network (UPPNET), Labor Video Project, KPFA Labor Collective, Letter Carriers TV 214, Computer Professionals For Social Responsibility (CPSR), Symbolic Systems Program Stanford University. USF Faculty Association, New College Of California Media Studies Department

Partial List of Speakers/Participants:

Professor Art Shostack, Eric Lee-Labourstart, Myoung Joon Kim-Labor News Production Seoul, Nancy Brigham, John Parulis, Professor Michael Perelman, Sid Shniad-Research Director British Columbia Telecommunications Workers Union, Nick Yale-SEIU 1000, Martin Fishgold-AFSCME 371 Editor & past president of ILCA, Wes Brain-SEIU Local 503, Erica Zweig-LaborNet, John Taite-SEIU 2579, Todd Davies-Symbolic Systems Program Stanford, Joan Lockwood-SEIU 503 web master, Dick Meister-Labor Journalist, Jack Chernos-AFM 6 and Labor Musician, Professor Dorothy Kidd-Chair Media Studies USF, Francisco Cendejas-Stanford University, Jim Kelley-Chair San Jose City College Labor Studies Program, Fred Glass-Communications Director CFT, Frank Emspach-Workers Independent New WIN, Karin Hart-Chair Laney College Labor Studies, Carl Bryant-Producer TV214 NALC214, John Tate-San Francisco State University,  Judy Miller-M.Ed PhilaVoice, Bob Crow-General Secretary UK RMT, John Orr, Journalist & Australian Playwright, Dean Baker-Co-Director Center For Economic & Policy Research, Donna Eyestone-Educator CCSF, Mary Ellen Churchill-Media Studies Director New College Of California, Frederic Dubois-APC Editor
*Organizations for information only
2006 Conference Booklet Ads
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are writing to you to help us support the LaborTech 2006 conference which will be held on November 17, 18 & 19th 2006 at University of San Francisco. This conference will bring together labor video, computer and media people from throughout the country and will be a critical arena for the development of labor’s media in the battles ahead. We know that our unions and our members are under attack on numerous areas and that this assault is escalating. Under these circumstances, the need to have a media counter-offensive is absolutely essential.
At the LaborTech conference, we will provide classes and forums on how to break the media blockade and censorship of labor, and how to develop labor TV shows and exciting labor web pages at low costs to the trade unions. We will learn and study new technologies that can provide new tools for labor.
We hope that you can contribute to this endeavor by purchasing an ad for our conference booklet. This would be a concrete act in helping to make this conference a success. The deadline for the ads is Monday, October 23, 2006.
Full Page Ad $500 – H 9.5″x W 7″
Half page Ad $300 – H 4.5″x W 7″
1/4 Page Ad $200 – H 4.5″x W 3.5″
Registration fee is $150 per person (early registration by October 1st is $125.) This includes 2 lunches, as well as 2 morning continental breakfasts and refreshments. We encourage all unions to send some members to participate in this conference.
Saturday only: $95
Sunday only: $80
If your union or organization has not yet endorsed this LaborTech Conference, please contact us and let us know that your organization is on board, so we can put your name in our list of endorsers.
We are asking $1000.00 for this category. With this contribution, we will include a full-page ad in the conference pamphlet, plus a booth for your organization’s literature. This will include two conference registrations free, as well as acknowledgement in the conference proceedings.
These booths will cost $100 for union or non-profit organizations and $500.00 for business organizations. We expect space to be very limited, so please let us know as soon as possible if you will be reserving a booth.
Please let us know as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at (415) 282-1908
Please make checks payable to:
P.O.Box 425584, San Francisco, CA 94142

Call for Papers and Proposals

LaborTech: The Digital Revolution And a Labor Media Strategy
November 17 – 19, 2006 San Francisco
The program committee for the 2006 LaborTech conference is soliciting papers from labor and technology researchers, activists, workers, and educators.  The conference will be organized under three themes, with each theme being explored through panel discussions, hands-on/training workshops, academic paper presentations, and participatory strategy workshops.  
Management’s Use of Technology and Worker Resistance
(Surveillance, Union Busting, Outsourcing, Globalization)
Workers’ Technology and Class Struggle (Labor Media and Internet Tools)
Democratic Communication Rights (Internet Access and Digital Divides)
Proposals should be made in one of the following categories in the requested format.  Each proposal should include the conference theme to which it best applies. Proposals should be uploaded on the conference website ( by September 5, 2006.  Decisions will be announced by September 30.
A one-page abstract of the paper, including a title, authors and affiliations, and a description of the paper’s main points.  Full papers for all accepted abstracts should be uploaded by the authors onto the conference website prior to the beginning of the conference.  Paper sessions will be assigned discussants.
A document of any length proposing action and/or organizational strategies related to one of the three themes, for discussion during the strategy workshops and by website visitors.
LaborTech brings together labor and community activists from the U.S. and around the world, along with academics who support an activist agenda, to explore the use of computer, video and other communications technology to build the labor community and its media. The first LaborTech conference was held in 1990, and since then the conferences have taken place generally every other year in locations throughout the United States and Canada. While past LaborTech conferences recruited presenters by invitation only, this year LaborTech is soliciting proposals for papers and conference presentations.
We are looking for research and ideas that are not only provocative and original, but that also have a practical focus relevant to working people and the goals of labor movement and/or related collective movements.  The underlying assumptions are that a healthy labor movement is a worthy goal whether in the Americas or abroad, and that the creative use of modern communications technology can help workers and unions grapple with today_s challenges. In that context, we welcome papers concerning communications technology and workers that contribute to the practical knowledge and theory of labor activists, educators and community allies, written in a style that is accessible to a broad, non-academic public.
Labor and community activists from the U.S. and other nations, as well as academics friendly to labor and its goals.
Anyone who has relevant knowledge and/or experience in a labor, academic or community context. With a few exceptions, you should be prepared to attend the conference and join a panel discussion where you present key ideas from your paper. You are welcome to submit a paper that isn_t written in English, but we will need to translate all presentations into English. We cannot guarantee translation support, or that professional simultaneous translation will be available at the conference.
Please upload your proposal electronically to  
We aim to publish a selection of the academic papers, as well as summaries of the other sessions, in an edited, peer-reviewed volume in hard copy and/or online versions.  
For one-page proposal: September 5, 2006
Full paper or summary for discussion on the web site: November 10, 2006
NOTIFICATION of ACCEPTANCE: September 30, 2006
Steve Zeltzer, LaborNet, Labor Video Project
Carl Bryant, NALC Local 214 and TV214
Nancy Brigham, UAW Local 1981, web designer and programmer
Art Shostak, Drexel University and AFL-CIO George Meany Center for Labor Studies
Dorothy Kidd, University of San Francisco
Karin Hart, CWA Local 9415 and Laney College Labor Studies Program
Michael Perelman, California State University, Chico
Francisco Javier Cendejas Campos, Stanford University
John Parulis, Bright Path Video
Todd Davies, Stanford University and Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Kazmi Torii, Labor Video Project
More information about the LaborTech events can be found at


1 comment so far

  1. Ian on

    Michael, I hope that plans are made at this conference to come up with a strategy to make videos for the URPE summer conferences. When I win the lottery I will be happy to fund the project. Nonetheless, those conferences need to be preserved in ones and zeros and spread far and wide………………

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