United Association for Labor Education
Conference 2012


Thurs. - Sun., March 22-24, 2012
Pre-conference labor tours and workshops, Wednesday. March 21

Westin Convention Center
1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222



Conference presenters: Please send us your papers, Power Point presentations and/or other materials, and we will upload them to this site to make them available to others.

Click  folder conference-2012 to see and download what we have available so far.



Take a look at photos from the 2012 Conference on our Facebook page.



The 2012 Program Book is also available for download.



Coming Soon


2 Conference-related Activities:


Pittsburgh is unique in its dramatic and powerful labor history. It's the site of legendary strikes—Homestead in 1892 and U.S. Steel in the 1930s—and the birthplace of both the AFL and the CIO, as well as the United Steelworkers, the Ironworkers, and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers. Most fundamentally, it's where generations of workers toiled to build America.  The Pittsburgh Labor History Tour will visit the Mon Valley, heart of the U.S. steel industry for over 100 years.  There we will visit the Old Carnegie Steel Pump House where the Homestead steelworkers fought the Pinkerton agents in 1892.  We will also visit the Bost House, HQ for the Amalgamated union during the Homestead conflict, and the historic Carnegie Library in Braddock.  We'll then drive back across town for a quick stop at Clayton House (home of Homestead strike villain Henry Clay Frick) and then onto the Allegheny Valley to visit one of the greatest examples of worker art--the murals of St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church.  Painted by world renowned Croatian artist Maxo Vanka, the murals were funded by the New Deal's WPA.  If time permits, we'll swing by the sites of the founding conventions of the AFL and CIO.  

This bus tour was led by long-time Pittsburgh labor activists, and past presidents of the Penna Labor History Society, Charlie McCollester and Rosemary Trump.  Lunch is included.

Download flyer for Labor History Tour   pdf here (107 KB) .

THEATER OUTING: "Every Tongue Confess”

By: Marcus Gardley
Directed by: Tre Garrett
Set in rural Alabama in the 1990s, Every Tongue Confess, by award-winning playwright Marcus Gardley, blends the secular with the spiritual, and Bible stories with the everyday occurrences of newsworthy events. A series of church burnings lead the townspeople to question their lives, identities, and journeys, both collectively and individually. Soul-shaking blues howls from beneath the soul-stirring gospels, and amidst the fiery sermon, lies the hope for redemption. This is the Pittsburgh premiere of the play.

About the 2012 Conference

In the middle of the Great Depression, widespread labor unrest led to the establishment of collective bargaining as a “peace offering” – a rational process through which to reconcile conflicting interests. Today, direct attacks on collective bargaining lay bare those conflicting interests and inspire alternate strategies to protect workers’ rights and preserve decent labor standards. UALE welcomes proposals for paper presentations, panels, research projects, workshops, demonstration teaching sessions, and other activities that illuminate how the labor movement broadly understood is responding to hard times.

The phrase, “subterranean fire” comes from an 1886 speech by August Spies, one of the Haymarket martyrs of Chicago:

“...If you think that by hanging us, you can stamp out the labor movement – the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil and live in want and misery – the wage slaves – expect salvation – if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread upon a spark, but there, and there, and behind you and in front of you, and everywhere, flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out. The ground is on fire upon which you stand.” 


Registration Option





One Day


Low income, student or unemployed, retiree    


Vendor table   


* Member rates are for Individual members of UALE.
   Institutional members are entitled to send 1 or 2 people who are not individual members at the member rate according to the following:

  • $500 institutional membership gives the organization one reduced rate conference registration
  • $1000 institutional membership gets two reduced rate registrations

For a registration form you can mail in with a check, click  here.

For registration questions, contact UALE Treasurer Dawn Addy at .