UALE is happy to share papers and presentations made at our conferences for the benefit of labor educators everywhere.

If you presented a paper, a workshop design, a PowerPoint or other presentation at the 2017 conference in Detroit, MI, and are willing to share it, please send it in to the Website Moderator.

We will also post results or notes from workshop discussions and other similar products of the conference, if you send them in to us.

Downloads are listed alphabetically by last name of first author.

Unless otherwise noted on the document itself or elsewhere, documents downloaded from this site may be copied, modified as needed, and used for purposes of labor education, as long as the authors are credited. These documents, or products derived from them, may not be sold or used for commercial purposes.


Eroc Arroyo-Montano, Jeannette Huezo and Riahl O’Malley, United for a Fair Economy

The Characteristics and Consequences of a Capitalist Economy

The labor movement is facing one of the greatest threats of its time. With the wave of oncoming attacks how do we deepen our leaders’ commitment to both the labor movement and a broader struggle of injustice? One way to do that is through political education. This participatory workshop uses tools developed by Equipo Maíz, the popular education group from El Salvador, and applies them to a U.S. context. It engages participants in dialogue about the characteristics and consequences of a capitalist economy and structural racism. The workshop will be followed by an evaluation of the content and methodology.

Downloads are the workshop outlne and accompanying charts in Engish and in Spanish

document UFE Capitalism Workshop UALE2017 (6 KB)

pdf Capitalism: Charts (2.14 MB)

pdf Capitalismo: Gráficos (2.18 MB) pdf (2.14 MB)

Randy Banderob, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation; and Barb Kucera, University of Minnesota Labor Education Service

Re-Imagining Labour Publications and Outreach: Digital Complements to Paper Media

The advent of the Internet has disrupted all aspects of the labour movement, but none has been more affected than labour publications. While traditional paper media still dominate, an increasingly digital-minded membership is consuming much of its media online. This workshop will offer relatively simple options to adding a digital component to existing paper publications and demonstrate how to harness social media to increase readership in both the paper and digital realm. We also will discuss how labor educators in both union and university settings are using social media to promote their programming. Come prepared to share your ideas and best practices!

Downloads are a PowerPoint presentation and accompanying handout

document Digital Complements to Paper Media 2017 UALE (584 KB)

pdf Creating an online complement handout 2017 (36 KB)

Chris Brooks, Labor Notes

“Organizing Volkswagen: A Critical Assessment” New Generation paper

The union organizing drive in Chattanooga has a number of unique features that make the campaign deserving of close examination: an employer on whose board labor holds half the seats and maintains a formal corporate commitment to worker voice and participation, a degree of employer neutrality that cannot be expected at any other foreign automaker, and what was likely the largest and most expensive anti-union campaign ever waged by third-party groups. This article highlights those lessons from the UAW’s organizing campaign at Volkswagen that are likely to be prescient to future organizing drives. In doing so, I provide an overview of Volkswagen as a company, the UAW’s organizing campaign from its beginning in 2013 to the present day, and a detailed discussion of the UAW’s strategic mistakes. Most importantly, I detail the actual concerns, interests, thoughts, and reflections of rank-and-file workers at Volkswagen.

pdf Organizing VW: A Critical Assessment (181 KB)


Nina Fendel

Workers’ Stories / Workers’ Power: Using Labor Drama to Educate and Organize

The workshop will cover a variety of interactive techniques utilizing drama and role-plays that can be used to create lively, accessible and lasting learning experiences. Techniques will include some developed during the War on Poverty and by the Theater of the Oppressed.

document Fendel Interactive Teaching Techniques (156 KB)


Debra Kidney, AFSCME International

AFSCME in Action: Rebuilding Our Union through Direct Action

AFSCME in Action was a two-hour workshop first presented at AFSCME International’s Convention for over 2,000 participants simultaneously as a way to reacquaint members (and staff) with the basics of planning and executing a direct action at work – in this case a march on the boss. It will walk participants through the strategy behind direct actions and provide each small team a role in designing the action, participating and then analyzing whether the action worked; why or why not. We will also answer questions about the challenges and experiences as we’ve continued to roll this out around the country.

Downloads are a PowerPoint presentation, facilitator's guide and talking points for the local president, and 2 sets of materials for participants, 1 on English and 1 in Spanish.

document AIA ppt (4.75 MB)

document Facilitator's guide (134 KB)

document President's talking points (13 KB)

document AIA scenarios (19 KB)

document Worksheet #1 (16 KB)

document Worksheet #2 (16 KB)

document Worksheet #3 mgmt (17 KB)

document SPANISH AIA scenario pr (19 KB)

document SPANISH AIA worksheet 1 (21 KB)

document SPANISH AIA worksheet 2 union (23 KB)

document SPANISH AIA worksheet 3 mgmt (17 KB)


Sahra Ryklief, General Secretary of the International Federation of Workers Education Associations, South Africa

Building A Global Knowledge Community: Re-Calibrating Workers’ Education For The 21st Century

PowerPoint presentation on IFWEA given by Sagra Ryklief at plenary session on Labor Education And Global Solidarity.

document Labor Education and Global Solidarity (3.69 MB)


Eleni Schirmer

“When Solidarity Doesn’t Quite Strike: The 1974 Hortonville, Wisconsin, Teachers’ Strike and the Rise of Neoliberalism” New Generation paper

As public-sector unions such as teachers’ unions used the boon of post-war liberalism to form their political power, they imported many of liberalism’s key contradictions: its formation of racial contracts, its misappraisal of affective labor, and its opportunistic collective action logics. This article suggests cracks within liberalism weakened the political power of teachers’ unions, disempowering a feminized workforce. Using a historical case study of teachers’ strike in rural Wisconsin in 1974, this article shows how the tenuous solidarity afforded by liberal accords made teachers’ unions more vulnerable to future neoliberal offensives on public education and its workers. The aftermath of the strike generated an opportunistic labor movement in which workers pursued their interests through legal provisions rather than by developing teachers’ broader community and labor solidarities, subverting feminist possibilities of teachers’ unions. This history suggests how teachers defend their rights as workers amidst a rising tide of neoliberalism matters.

This paper won the New Generation award.

pdf Schirmer: When Solidarity Doesn't Strike New Generation (265 KB)


Julie Washington, AFT Union Leadership Institute

Insights and Lessons from the AFT Leadership Education and Development Program

The American Federation of Teachers will share insights and lessons learned from three years of our Leadership Education and Development program - which is moving from a program to a model influencing work throughout the AFT. We and our partners at Cornell and in the states make a difference in and with local teams with whom we work over a 12-month period. To date we have reached 58 locals and over 90,000 members.

pdf Local Team Campaign Planning Tool (187 KB)

pdf Local Team Campaign Planning Guide (121 KB)

pdf Charting your Local Unions Development (839 KB)

pdf LEAD structure poster (225 KB)

pdf LEAD practices (61 KB)

pdf LEAD purpose poster (584 KB)