Logo and link to University of Massachusetts Amherst
Special Collections and University Archives : University Libraries

Bruskin, Gene

Gene Bruskin Papers

1963-2018
6 boxes 8 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1020
Depiction of Gene Bruskin
Gene Bruskin

Gene Bruskin arrived at Princeton in 1964 as a basketball player and left as a political radical. After taking part in the Second Venceremos Brigade, Bruskin got involved in antiracist and labor organizing in Boston. As president of the United Steelworkers of America local during the busing crisis of the 1970s, he helped win overwhelming support among the city’s bus drivers to have the union represent them, leading successful campaigns for better wages and working conditions. In the years since, he has held numerous high-profile positions nationally and internationally, including as labor director for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, Secretary Treasurer for the Food and Allied Service Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, and co-convener of U.S. Labor Against the War, an organization promoting peace and the demilitarization of U.S. foreign policy. Bruskin was a major figure in the largest private union election in the history of the United Food and Commercial Workers when he led the successful campaign to unionize 5,000 workers at Smithfield Foods in North Carolina. Since retiring in 2012, he has continued to consult with unions. In addition he has returned to some of his earlier undertakings in producing cultural works as a poet, songwriter, and playwright, centered on social justice and working class themes.

Documenting nearly fifty years of activism, Gene Bruskin’s papers are an exceptional resource for the labor movement in the 1970s through early 2000s, and particularly its radical end. Although Bruskin’s early years are relatively sparsely represented, there is a significant run of Brother, the first anti-sexist, “male liberation” journal that he helped found while in Oakland, and the collection includes important material from his work in Boston with the Hyde Park Defense Committee, the Red Basement Singers, and especially with the School Bus Drivers and their tumultuous three-week strike in 1980. The collection also contains a rich assortment of material on labor left and antiwar organizing in the 1990s and 2000s, the Justice at Smithfield campaign, and Bruskin’s work on behalf of single payer insurance, for International Solidarity, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees.

Autobiography, by Gene Bruskin

I was born into a Jewish working class family in South Philadelphia in 1946. My father had just come back from several years in the infantry in Europe during WWII. He had been active as a high school Communist Party cell leader in the 1930s in Philadelphia but grew disillusioned with the Party. He became a TV repairman in the late 1940s when televisions were novelties and remained one until he died at the early age of 61 in 1977. I have an older and a younger sister. My mom raised the children and made the home work.

My mother’s family had emigrated from Rumania to Philadelphia by way of Montreal around 1925. My father’s parents fled a pogrom in Vitebsk, in the Jewish Pale of settlement near Minsk, Byelorussia, around 1906, and somehow reached Philadelphia. Story has it that my great grandparents — hat makers for the Cossacks — were thrown down a well by the Cossacks in a pogrom. My grandparents opened up a small store, Bruskin’s Hardware, on the corner of Fifth and Porter Streets in South Philadelphia, which is still operated by my cousin Irv, who lives above the store where our parents and grandparents once lived. My mother’s family ran a small upholstery store in Philadelphia until the Second World War. Growing up, my family lived a few blocks away from the hardware store in South Philadelphia on a street that was Jewish on one half and Catholic on the other. We all got along . My family was loving, but in its own way fairly dysfunctional; my mother suffered from serious mental illness at a time when there were few good treatment options.

In 1954, hoping for better schools, we moved to Upper Darby, a white almost entirely Christian suburb, where we stayed until I graduated high school. While I got good grades, my obsession was basketball. In my junior year, our team lost in final rounds for the state championship, and with good fortune I received scholarship offers to a number of colleges, ending up at Princeton in 1964, which was at its height as a national basketball power led by Bill Bradley.

By my junior year of college, I stopped playing basketball due largely to injuries, and became engulfed in the cultural and radical political and antiwar movements sweeping college campuses. Upon graduation I was able to get a teaching job at a South Bronx elementary school which, ironically, gave me a draft deferment, presumably under the logic that it was riskier to teach there than to go to war. I was married to Meredith Means and we moved to Washington Heights in Manhattan.

My first day teaching in September 1968 was the opening day of the citywide strike by the teachers union (AFT/UFT) against the community forces exercising local control, led by community leaders in Ocean Hill Brownsville, Brooklyn. This was the first of three strikes, and I wholeheartedly supported the first two. By the third and longest strike, I became convinced that the largely Jewish teachers union was working against the interests of the mostly Black and Latino communities. I became part of a small effort by a group of experienced teachers to bring the community across the picket lines and open the school. For several weeks, I taught under these conditions. Ironically crossing a picket line was part of my first union experience. The conflict seriously injured the historic Jewish-Black coalition that for decades had played an important role in New York City and that represented the Jewish tradition with which I most closely identified.

Teaching in the South Bronx was a radicalizing experience for me. For the first time I witnessed the impact of deep institutionalized poverty on poor Black and brown children. After eighteen months, with the encouragement of my good friend Jeff Perry, I left, feeling that the systemic discrimination was so deep that I, as a young untrained teacher, could not help the kids in that context and in fact was becoming part of the oppressive system. In one instance, for example, I took an exasperated, and regrettable, swat at one of my favorite fourth graders who would not stop disrupting, only to find out from another student that his father had killed his mother that morning, and that they sent him to school, not knowing what else to do with him. I had to get out.

Again with Perry’s encouragement, my wife, Meredith, and I took part in the second Venceremos Brigade to Cuba in February 1970, along with 800 other mostly young Americans. We were breaking the U.S. blockade of Cuba and spent six weeks cutting sugar cane (incredibly difficult) and two weeks crisscrossing the country. We met Fidel Castro and cut cane with revolutionary delegations from all over the world: the Tupamaros from Uruguay, the Movimento Popular de Libertacao de Angola, the National Liberation Front from South Vietnam and others. It was a profound lesson on international solidarity and a transformative experience for me.

Following the Brigade in June 1970 we moved to Springfield, Mass., with a group of Brigadistas and joined with local activists to attempt to create a community-based radical movement. We reached out to local working class youth, created a women’s center that helped women get what were then illegal abortions, supported the Black Panther Party, marched against the war, provided draft counselling for local youth and started a food coop. The group dispersed a year later in internal confusion over the dramatically emerging women’s and gay liberation movements.

After a year in Oakland, California, my wife and I moved to Boston in1972 where I lived for eighteen years. We ended our marriage there, but remain friends. During those years I held a series of part-time jobs, including as a day care worker at a year round after school center for poor white kids north of Boston. There we organized a union (short-lived) and I met Evie Frankl, who eventually became my wife and life partner.

I remained politically active. Around 1973, I helped found the Red Basement Singers, a song group that performed at left/progressive events, on picket lines, at rallies and even on the Boston T. We sang a range of pro-union, antiwar, labor, and international songs. This was the first initiative for me in countering the lack of a political culture for many U.S. left and progressive movements, particularly in the labor movement, with the civil rights and the women’s movements being notable exceptions.

In 1975, my friend David Wood and I wrote and produced a musical, The Stolen Bicycle Blues. Both David and I grew up in families that loved musicals, but we had no real musical or theatrical experience. We gathered the friends and the talent to create the show and performed at community events and at youth centers. The play was eventually turned into a radio show with the help of host Danny Schechter, and it aired on WBAI and other radio stations. The play was based on a true story of a bike being stolen from a friend in downtown Boston and the chase and capture of a young white working class kid from Southie that followed. The theme of the play was about theft and class in the United States.

During this period a federal judge ordered the desegregation of Boston’s highly segregated school system, a ruling that came after decades of attempts by the African American community to get the School Committee to develop an effective desegregation plan. This set off a fierce and violent reaction from the white communities where African American children were being bused to, while many white students were bussed to African American neighborhoods. These developments profoundly shaped my experience during the 70s.

One result was that African American families who dared to move out of their confined geographies and into mostly white neighborhoods often faced intense violence. I became active in creating a group called the Hyde Park Defense Committee. This group kept a 24 hour a day vigil for a year at the home of Susan Page and her family in the Hyde Park neighborhood, to prevent harassment by the white neighborhood youth and their parents. Eventually those in the neighborhood who most violently objected moved and Susan and her family stayed.

In 1977, after spending a summer interning with the legendary San Francisco Mime Troupe, David Wood and I wrote a play called It’s Not the Bus which was based on a story of a black family facing violence when they moved into a white neighborhood. We created an integrated collective to workshop and develop the play. Unfortunately, the play had a very short run, in part because of the difficulty of Black and white folks working together in the midst of so much tension around racism in Boston, and in part due to other tensions within the collective.

In January 1977, both Evie and I took jobs as Boston school bus drivers, jobs created due to the desegregation bussing, in a move that was to change my life. My motivation in choosing the job was that the hours included long morning breaks while the kids were in school, during which I thought I could do writing and other theater work. That September, however, the two privately contracted busing companies cut the drivers’ pay by 88 cents per hour, down to $5.89 an hour, without benefits or guaranteed hours. I became intimately involved in an organizing drive for the 200 plus drivers, and in December, we held the first of a series of strikes to bring the union in and get a contract. I was one of the two people arrested for striking against an injunction. We won the election and I became president of one of the two locals formed with the United Steelworkers of America. During my ten years there, we built a powerful multi-racial union that included strong women’s leadership, including gay women. We won a number of strikes, many people went to jail, and the local became a model for militant, democratic, community-oriented trade unions in the city. The strong ties between Black and white workers we built in the midst of the stark divisions within the city created a model for me that inspired my union work for the next forty years. By 2018 the more than 600 Boston school bus drivers, mostly Haitian, made well over $25 an hour with benefits.

In Boston during the 1970s there was great ferment among many on the left who had emerged from the civil rights, antiwar, and women’s movements. Many leftists went to work in the industrial and medical workplaces in the city and either organized unions or became active in reforming them. In many cases, they took over union locals, activating what had been a cautious and conservative labor movement in the area. There were intense debates and study circles among leftists attempting to build Marxist Leninist organizations that had a broad revolutionary vision, linked to the revolutionary upsurge that was happening around the world, particularly in third world countries. Eventually most of these groups folded as people matured and cultivated deeper roots in the working class, even while maintaining a strong anti-capitalist perspective.

I became active in City Life/Vita Urbana, a socialist-oriented organization based in Jamaica Plain that focused on housing, and I helped create a workplace committee among City Life labor activists who produced a city wide paper for unions calledThe Labor Page. City Life still exists and is more vibrant and relevant than ever in Boston.

In the late seventies, at the urging of my partner Evie Frankl, I became involved in Re-evaluation Counseling, also known as Co-Counseling. The organization was founded on peer-based methods of mutual support to help people deal with the many emotional effects that come from various forms of hurts and oppressions we all experience (as a child, woman, African American, etc.) in Capitalist society. Co-counselling has been a tremendous aid for me throughout my life in dealing with the many discouragements and difficult moments that come with organizing and life in general, including understanding those of people I am working with or trying to organize.

With an increasingly activated labor movement in the 1980s, we developed a multi union labor community organization called the Massachusetts Labor Support Project (MLSP). The MLSP created militant picket lines for strikes and organizing efforts, held cultural events and hosted visits from international trade unionists. In many ways, this was the precursor for the national organization Jobs With Justice that developed later in the decade.

In 1986 I left the bus driver’s union, partly because of back trouble aggravated by the driving and because both Evie and I were ready for a change after ten years as bus drivers. In 1987, I was hired by the small Laundry and Dry Cleaners International Union (AFL-CIO) Local 66 as their only organizer in the Massachusetts region. I organized a small chemical company in Chelsea as well as the biggest industrial laundry in Boston, Hospital Laundries, which was owned by a consortium of Harvard hospitals. The diverse immigrant and Black workforce there made the organizing a major challenge and learning experience for me.

My experience in the Boston left labor movement was tied to solidarity with international labor movements including visits to the Philippines and Mexico, and solidarity in the anti-apartheid movement and the Salvadoran, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Nicaraguan struggles. International solidarity work, with a labor focus, continued to be integrated with my work, including visits to the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, and building US labor opposition to the Gulf war among DC based local unions, DC Labor for Peace.

Evie and I moved to Washington, D.C., in 1990 along with my friend Bill Fletcher and his wife Candace, to work for a newly elected African American leadership in the National Postal Mailhandlers Union, a division of the Laborers International Union of America (LIUNA). During this one-year stint, I served as the National Field Director for their postal contract campaign and Bill was assistant to the President. This was my first experience with a national union and the culture of international labor unions based in Washington. Evie and I decided to stay in DC. Both my sisters and their families lived in the area and my mother was in a nursing home nearby in Baltimore. Evie became a teacher in the D.C. public schools. I was hired as a community outreach coordinator for an eighteen-month stint with the D.C.-based initiative of the national Justice for Janitors Campaign, SEIU Local 500. At this point Justice for Janitors was developing as a militant organizing model for labor to fight back against the anti-union restructuring of many formerly unionized industries.

In June 1992 I was hired by Reverend Jesse Jackson to assist in mobilizing African American and labor voters for the national and state elections that year. I remained as Jackson’s labor deputy after the elections until 1994, charged with building labor support for the National Rainbow Coalition, at that point based in Washington, DC. Working closely with Reverend Jackson and the Rainbow was an eye-opening and challenging role and gave me an opportunity to develop a national network of progressive trade unionist connections. I left the Rainbow after adopting Nadja (Anastasia) from a Russian orphanage in January 1994: truly a transformational moment for me and Evie, and one of the great continuing joys of my life.

After leaving the Rainbow I was hired by the Food and Allied Service Trades (FAST), a trades department of the AFL-CIO. I worked for Jeff Fiedler at FAST, a major influence on my development as an organizer and campaigner. FAST and Jeff were a significant influence on the development of Comprehensive/Strategic Campaigns in which unions began using many points of leverage against major corporations in contracts and organizing fights starting in the 1980s, to combat the aggressive anti-unionism that was flourishing. My initial campaign was a coordinated effort between SEIU and UFCW to organize the massive national nursing home chain, Beverly Enterprises. I subsequently became the Secretary Treasurer of FAST and organized hotel workers in Hilton Head, S.C., nurses for the AFT in various locations, laundry workers, and more. Eventually FAST, then Research Associates of America, lent me to the UFCW in 2006 to run the Justice@Smithfield campaign. During the early years of the 21st century I participated in a number of gatherings of left trade unionists from across the country to consider strategies to move the labor movement to the left.

While at FAST, Bob Muehlenkamp and I initiated the founding of U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) to oppose the anticipated invasion of Iraq. The USLAW coalition was formed in a Chicago Teamster union hall in January 2003. It became a bottom-up national organization that created an unprecedented movement of unions against a major military invasion by our country, and it eventually persuaded the AFL-CIO to pass a resolution drafted by USLAW. USLAW developed close ties of solidarity with Iraqi unions and continues to this day, having just returned (May 2018) from sending a delegation of U.S. trade unionists to South Korea.

In January 2006 I began working with the UFCW around the massive slaughterhouse owned by Smithfield Foods in Tar Heel, N.C., which had been an organizing target since it was opened in 1991. The three years I worked on that campaign, resulting in a successful December 2008 election for 5000 workers, were in many ways a high point of my work in the labor movement. FAST and Jeff Fiedler played a major role in that struggle, at that point the biggest labor election victory in the 21st Century.

Following the Smithfield Campaign, I was by hired the American Federation of Teachers to create and direct a new Strategic Campaigns Department. The new department, which including some FAST researchers I brought with me, was charged with analyzing and developing strategies to combat the massive influx of private money and ideology into public education, particularly with Charter schools and vouchers. It included organizing the non-union charter industry and working with AFT Healthcare struggles, work that I continue to do to this day as a consultant. I retired from AFT in September 2012 at the age of 66.

Since retirement (I called it Redeployment) I have continued as a consultant with the AFT on an extensive organizing effort focusing on the Los Angeles charter school market. Also, starting in 2013, Peter Olney and I were hired by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way (BMWE/IBT) as consultants to create a national member-to-member internal organizing and communications network. Work on this network continues, although Peter and I play more of a supportive role, and represents an extensive transformation of member involvement within the BMWE and an integral part of their national railroad contract fight in 2017-2018.

When I retired, I returned to my interest in musical theater and spent several years writing the book and the music for and producing Pray for the Dead, a Musical Tale of Morgues, Moguls and Mutiny, a musical play directed at non-theater going working class and labor audiences. I received extensive help from Tom Smerling and Glenn Pearson with the music and Mike Thornton as the director. The play was produced for unions and community settings as a professionally done reading/musical in the summer of 2016 and was distributed nationally in a radio show format in 2016/2017. I am currently (2018) working on a musical/historical play that takes place in 1869 during the post-civil war period of Reconstruction where America almost did the right thing in terms of racial justice.

Through it all I have been a happy and very lucky father to Nadja and husband to Evie, relationships that grounded me and nourished me and made it possible for me to do all the work I have done in the rest of the world.

Contents of Collection

Documenting nearly fifty years of activism, Gene Bruskin’s papers are an exceptional resource for the labor movement in the 1970s through early 2000s, and particularly its radical end. Although Bruskin’s early years are relatively sparsely represented, there is a significant run of Brother, the first anti-sexist, “male liberation” journal that he helped found while in Oakland, and the collection includes important material from his work in Boston with the Hyde Park Defense Committee, the Red Basement Singers, and especially with the School Bus Drivers and their tumultuous three-week strike in 1980. The collection also contains a rich assortment of material on labor left and antiwar organizing in the 1990s and 2000s, the Justice at Smithfield campaign, and Bruskin’s work on behalf of single payer insurance, for International Solidarity, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees.

Series descriptions

In 1977, Bruskin settled in Boston and was writing and working in radical politics when he took his first job with organized labor. For the next forty years, he held a succession of positions with a number of unions, as organizer, local officer, strategist, and campaigns director, among other things. Series 1 contains records of the full breadth of Bruskin’s union activities, including his early days in Boston, labor/left linkages, his work in international solidarity, and work with laundry workers, health care workers, and Justice for Janitors.

Of particular importance in this series are rich materials for four initiatives, the Massachusetts Labor Support Project (MLSP), the Boston School Bus Drivers Union, U.S. Labor Against War (USLAW), and the Justice @ Smithfield campaign. Content for the MLSP and USLAW is relatively limited, but the former is highly innovative effort and militant organizing in Boston in the mid-1980s, while the latter is an important effort by organized labor to oppose war.

The Boston School Bus Drivers (United Steel Workers Local 8751) records cover the years between 1977 and 1986, Bruskin served as a bus driver, organizer, and union official. The materials offer an exhaustive record of union efforts during the tense years of the busing crisis in Boston, ranging from the initial organization and formation of two locals through a series of strikes and contract negotiations, and media coverage.

The Justice @ Smithfield Campaign materials are even more extensive, documenting a highly successful campaign to unionize the Smithfield Foods pork processing operations in North Carolina. The records include notes and communications, legal filings and despositions, media coverage, and some realia.

Series 2 contains materials relating to Bruskin’s personal life, education, and engagement in social justice and political causes other than the labor movement. Bruskin’s radicalization during his college years can be seen in his transformation from a working class student playing basketball at Princeton to his time in the Springfield Collective in the early 1970s that established a People’s Coop and printed an underground feminist newspaper. His formal political commitments appear through files accumulated while serving as labor deputy for Jesse Jackson’s National Rainbow Coalition in the 1990s, and files from his support of Mel King’s candidacy for Mayor of Boston.

Much of Bruskin’s own creative output, often with a political focus, appears in the series, including his plays It’s Not the Bus and Stolen Bicycle Blues and materials from the Red Basement Singers, a singing group that performed at left and progressive events. Bruskin was also involved in an important “underground” newspaper Brother, which may have been the first “men’s liberation” publication.

Finally, the series includes an interesting assortment of Marxist and radical pamphlets collected by Bruskin and dozens of pinback buttons for political and labor causes, ranging from the anti-apartheid struggle and opposition to U.S. intervention in Central America to support for strikes and unions.

City Life/ Vida Urbana was a Socialist-oriented organization that Bruskin became involved in during the 1970s and 1980s. Based in Jamaica Plain, City Life focused on issues in housing, and Bruskin was involved with other labor activists in the group in studying workplace issues. The series includes materials stemming from several of City Life’s studies, and an extensive run of the newspaper they produced for unions, The Labor Page.

Collection inventory

Series 1. Labor activism
1964-2018
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
1991
Box 1: 1
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees: Leadership development
1993
Box 4: 12
Boston Jobs Coalition
1983-1984
Box 1: 6
Schall, John Anthony: Racial discrimination in the construction industry in the Boston area: an overview and recommendations
1983
Box 1: 6
Boston Jobs Coalition statement
1983
Box 1: 6
Boston (Mass.): An ordinance establishing the Boston Residents Jobs Policy
1983
Box 1: 6
Boston Jobs Coalition
1984-1985
Box 1: 7
Boston Labor: Boston initiative
1992
Box 1: 8
Boston Labor: Hotel workers
1982-1989
Box 1: 9
Boston Labor: Laundry workers
1986-1990
Box 1: 15
Boston Labor: Laundry workers
1990-1995
Box 1: 16
Boston Labor: Laundry workers (articles by Gene Bruskin)
ca.1986-1992
Box 1: 17
Boston Labor: Massachusetts Labor Support Project
1984
Box 1: 10
Boston Labor: Massachusetts Labor Support Project
1985-1986
Box 1: 11
Boston Labor: Massachusetts Labor Support Project
1987-1988
Box 1: 12
Boston Labor: Massachusetts Labor Support Project
ca.1986-1988
Box 1: 13
Boston Labor: Massachusetts Labor Support Project: 100th anniversary of the Eight Hour Day strikes
1985-1986
Box 1: 14
Boston Labor: University of Massachusetts course
1985
Box 1: 18
Community Labor Coalition
1984
Box 4: 13
Consulting: American Federation of Teachers
2009-2012
Box 1: 21
Consulting: Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
ca.2015-2018
Box 1: 22
Food and Allied Service trades Department (FAST)
2003-2005
Box 1: 23
Food and Allied Service trades Department (FAST)
2005
Box 1: 24
International: Israel
1988
Box 1: 25
International: Israel
1989
Box 1: 26
International: Middle East
1988-1989
Box 1: 27
International: Middle East Labor Bulletin
1988-1989
Box 1: 28
International: Palestine
1984-1983
Box 1: 29
International: Palestine
1988
Box 1: 30
International: Palestine
1989
Box 1: 31
International: Palestine
1990
Box 1: 32
International: Palestine: Gottlieb, Roger S., The dialectics of national identity: Left-wing anti-semitism and the Arab-Israeli conflict
ca.1978
Box 1: 33
International: Palestine: Hands around Jerusalem
1989
Box 1: 34
International: Palestine: Jewish Labor Committee
1988-1989
Box 1: 35
International: Palestine: Jewish Labor Committee
1990
Box 1: 36
International: Palestine: Unions
1988-1989
Box 1: 37
International: Poland Solidarity
1981-1982
Box 1: 38
International: Poland Solidarity: Analysis
ca.1981
Box 1: 39
International: Poland Solidarity: Tymowksi, Andrzej, The strike in Gdansk, August 14-21, 1980
ca.1981
Box 1: 40
Jobs With Justice
undated
Box 3: 20
Justice for Janitors
1991-1992
Box 1: 41
Justice for Janitors: Photographs
1991-1992
Box 1: 42
Labor Campaign for Single Payer
2009
Box 1: 52
Labor ephemera
ca.1980-1990
Box 4: 14
Labor history of the South
1968-1976
Box 5
Provenance:

These documents relating to labor in the south were given to Bruskin by his friend James Tramel.

Bethel, T. N., Conspiracy in coal
ca.1970
Box 1: 54
News clippings
1968-1976
Box 5: 19
News clippings
1977-1981
Box 5: 20
Offprints
1973-1980
Box 1: 53
The sit down strikes of the 1930s: from baseball to the bureaucracy. Root and Branch Pamphlet 4
ca.1971
Box 1: 55
Southern Student Organizing Committee
1964
Box 1: 56
Theobald, Robert: The cybernation revolution
1964
Box 1: 56
Theobald, Robert: A conversation: jobs, machines, and people
1964
Box 1: 56
Ulmer, Al, Cooperatives and poor people in the south
1969
Box 1: 57
United Mine Workers Journal
1967
Box 1: 58
Williams, Jim: Students, Labor, and the south
1964
Box 1: 56
Labor/left
2000-2001
Box 1: 59
Labor/left
2001-2002
Box 1: 60
Labor/left
2002-2003
Box 1: 61
Labor/left: articles
1991-2000
Box 5: 21
Labor/left: materials from Labor-Community Strategy Center (Eric Mann)
1996-2000
Box 2: 1
Labor/left: printed materials
1996-2000
Box 5: 22
Labor: media
2006-2016
DVD, VHS
Box 6
Can’t Take No More: The Story of a Strike to Win a Union
1987
VHS
Box 6
Gene Bruskin on Iraqi Labor
2004
VHS
Box 6
Meeting face to face: the Iraq-US Labor Solidarity Tour
2006
DVD
Box 6
Real price of the Iraq occupation, the War on Terror, and Military Spending, 3d ed.
2006
DVD
Box 6
Union Time: Fighting for Workers’ Rights
2016
DVD
Box 6
Why are we in Afghanistan?. By Michael Zweig
2009
DVD
Box 6
Labor newsclippings and miscellaneous
1981-1985
Box 4: 15
Labor publications
ca.1980-1989
Box 4: 16
Leadership development unionism, by Jeff Crosby and Paul McLennan
2000
Box 2: 2
Newsletters: Miscellaneous
1978-1986
Box 4: 17
Newsletters: NAFTA Countdown
1993
Box 4: 18
Newsletters: Service Employees International Union Local 82: Action
1992
Box 4: 19
Newsletters: United Steelworkers of America District 1: Rank and File Steelworkers Voice
1978-1981
Box 4: 20
Newsletters: United Steelworkers of America District 15: The Sentinel
1980
Box 4: 21
Newsletters: United Steelworkers of America District 31. Women’s Caucus Bulletin
1981
Box 4: 22
Newsletters: United Steelworkers of America Locals 8744-8751: Union Bulletin – Hazard Lights
1979-1980
Box 4: 23
Newsletters: United Steelworkers of America Local 8751: Union Bulletin
1981-1986
Box 4: 24
Nursing home workers
1983-1995
Box 2: 3
Nursing home workers
1996-2000
Box 2: 4
Nursing home workers
2002-2003
Box 2: 5
Nursing home workers
ca.1996-2003
Box 2: 6
Nursing home workers: Financial analysis
1992-1994
Box 2: 7
Nursing home workers: Industry analysis
1992-1994
Box 2: 8
Nursing home workers: newspaper articles
1994-2000
Box 5: 19
Nursing home workers: newspaper clippings
1994-2000
Box 5: 23
Nursing home workers: Photographs (Local 1527, Memphis)
1999
Box 2: 9
Nursing home workers: printed materials
undated
Box 5: 24
Nursing home workers: published report
1995
Box 5: 25
NYNEX strike (Communication Workers of America)
1988-1989
Box 4: 25
Reflecting on rank and file strategy: a draft discussion document for the 2002 Solidarity Labor retreat
2002
Box 2: 10
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1974-1991
Boston busing, analysis and history
1974
Box 1: 2
Baraka, Amiri: Crisis in Boston
ca.1974-1976
Box 1: 2
Committee to Free the East Boston Black Defendants: Free the East Boston Black defendants!
1976
Box 1: 4
Highlights of the history of the Boston public schools
ca.1975
Box 1: 4
Prairie Fire Distributing Committee: Anti-Racist Committee busing questionnaire
ca.1975
Box 1: 4
Preliminary staff research for decision making purposes to the United States Commission on Civil Rights on the crisis and controversy concerning the desegregation of public schools in Boston, Massachusetts
1974
Box 1: 2
Proletarian Unity League: It’s not the bus: busing and the democratic struggle in Boston, 1974-1975
1975
Box 1: 2
Proletarian Unity League: It’s not the bus: busing and the democratic struggle in Boston, 1974-1975, 2d edition
1975
Box 1: 3
Race in Boston: historical perspective
1979-1987
Box 4: 11
Radical America: Racism and busing in Boston
1975
Box 1: 4
Radical America: Racism and busing in Boston
1975
Box 1: 4
Restore Our Alienated Rights
1975
Box 1: 4
Supply and demand: who came to the United States from where, to where, when and why
ca.1975
Box 1: 5
Bus Drivers: Diary, notes, and poems
1977-1983
Box 1: 19
Bus Drivers: The history of the Boston School Bus Drivers (USWA Local 8751 Union Bulletin)
1983
Box 1: 20
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1976
Box 2: 11
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1977 Oct.-Nov.
Box 2: 12
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1977 Dec.
Box 2: 13
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1977 Dec.
Box 2: 14
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1978 Jan.-Feb.
Box 2: 15
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1978 Feb.-Mar.
Box 2: 16
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1978 Apr.
Box 2: 17
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1978 May-June
Box 2: 18
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1978 Aug.-Sept.
Box 2: 19
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1978 Oct.-Dec.
Box 2: 20
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1979 Jan.-May
Box 2: 21
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1979 June-Aug.
Box 2: 22
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1979 Sept.-Dec.
Box 2: 23
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
ca.1979
Box 2: 24
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1980 Jan.-May
Box 2: 25
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1980 July-Sept.
Box 2: 26
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1980 Oct.
Box 2: 27
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1980 Nov.-Dec.
Box 2: 28
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1981 Jan.-Mar.
Box 2: 29
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1981 May
Box 2: 30
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1982 Feb.-Mar.
Box 2: 31
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1982 May-Dec.
Box 2: 32
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
ca.1982
Box 2: 33
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1983 Jan.-June
Box 2: 34
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1983 July
Box 2: 35
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1983 Aug.-Oct.
Box 2: 36
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
ca.1983
Box 2: 37
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1984 Jan.-Mar.
Box 2: 38
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1984 Apr.-Dec.
Box 2: 39
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1985 Jan.-Sept.
Box 2: 40
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): Labor agreement between National School Bus Service, Inc., and United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO-CLC for the City of Boston
1985 Sept.
Box 2: 41
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1985 Nov.-1986 Jan.
Box 2: 42
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
ca.1983-1985
Box 2: 43
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1986 Jan.
Box 2: 44
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
1986 Sept.-Dec.
Box 2: 45
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751)
ca.1985-1986
Box 2: 46
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): National activity
ca.1977-1980
Box 2: 47
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): National activity
1980
Box 2: 48
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1974
Box 5: 1
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1975
Box 5: 2
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1976
Box 5: 3
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1977
Box 5: 4
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1978-1979
Box 5: 5
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
ca.1978-1979
Box 5: 6
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1980
Box 5: 7
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1981
Box 5: 8
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1982
Box 5: 9
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1983
Box 5: 10
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1984
Box 5: 11
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1985
Box 5: 12
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1986
Box 5: 13
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
1987, 1991
Box 5: 14
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): News clippings
undated
Box 5: 15
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): Photographs
ca.1983
Box 2: 49
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): Photographs
ca.1983
Box 2: 50
School Bus Drivers Union (United Steel Workers Local 8751): Photographs
ca.1983
Box 2: 51

An inscription inside the cover the of the album (now discarded) read: “Property of Local 8744. . . Liz Casey, took many of the photos, some by others.”

Smithfield: Justice at Smith Campaign
1992-2012
Justice at Smith Campaign
2006-2007
Box 2: 52
Justice at Smith Campaign
2007
Box 2: 53
Justice at Smith Campaign
2008
Box 2: 54
Justice at Smith Campaign: Anti-union materials
ca.2006
Box 2: 55
Justice at Smith Campaign: Background research
2002
Box 2: 56
Justice at Smith Campaign: Campaigns
ca.2005-2007
Box 2: 57
Justice at Smith Campaign: Employee Free Choice Act
2004-2007
Box 2: 58
Justice at Smith Campaign: Employee policies
ca.2006-2008
Box 2: 59
Justice at Smith Campaign: Events
2006-2008
Box 2: 60
Justice at Smith Campaign: Immigration issues
ca.2006-2008
Box 2: 61
Justice at Smith Campaign: International operations
2006-2007
Box 2: 62
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: Loin Line action
2006
Box 2: 63
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: National Labor Relations Board
2006-2007
Box 2: 64
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: Ramos
2005-2006
Box 2: 65
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: RICO (1 of 4)
2008
Box 2: 66
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: RICO (2 of 4)
2008
Box 2: 67
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: RICO (3 of 4)
2008
Box 2: 68
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: RICO (4 of 4)
2008
Box 2: 69
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: RICO: Bruskin deposition
2007-2008
Box 2: 70
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: RICO: Media and articles
2008
Box 2: 71
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: Smithfield Foods v. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (RICO)
2006-2007
Box 2: 72
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: Smithfield Foods vs. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (RICO): exhibits 1-25
2008
Box 4: 27
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: Smithfield Foods vs. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (RICO): exhibits 26-50
2008
Box 4: 28
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: Smithfield Foods vs. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (RICO): exhibits 51-75
2008
Box 4: 29
Justice at Smith Campaign: Litigation: Smithfield Foods vs. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (RICO): exhibits 76-101
2008
Box 4: 30
Justice at Smith Campaign: Media and public relations
2006 Jan.
Box 3: 1
Justice at Smith Campaign: Media and public relations
2006 Nov.
Box 3: 2
Justice at Smith Campaign: Media and public relations
2006 Dec.-2017
Box 3: 3
Justice at Smithfield Campaign: Media and Public relations: DVDs
2008-2012
DVD
Box 6
Bruskin, Gene: Deposition at Smithfield
2008
DVD
Box 6
2007 March for Justice
2007
DVD
Box 6
Farmers demonstration, Poland, Warsaw
2008
DVD
Box 6
Now, with David Brancaccio
2008
DVD
Box 6
Smithfield workers, Yes we can
2008
DVD
Box 6
Storytelling about successful alliances: SEIRN Annual Conference
2012
DVD
Box 6
Union power for Smithfield workers
2008
DVD
Box 6
Witness a voice for Justice at Smithfield
2008
DVD
Box 6
You don’t have to work in danger
2008
DVD
Box 6
Justice at Smith Campaign: news clippings
2001-2006
Box 4: 26
Justice at Smith Campaign: news clippings
2008
Box 5: 27
Justice at Smith Campaign: newsletters
2005-2008
Box 5: 28
Justice at Smith Campaign: newspaper article reprints
2006 -2008
Box 5: 29
Justice at Smith Campaign: Photographs
1997-2008
Box 3: 4
Justice at Smith Campaign: printed materials (labor campaign)
ca.2006 -2008
Box 5: 30
Justice at Smith Campaign: Justice at Smith Campaign: published reports
ca.2006 -2008
Box 5: 31
Justice at Smith Campaign: Justice at Smith Campaign: Published works
2009-2010
Box 3: 5
Justice at Smith Campaign: Justice at Smith Campaign: T-shirt “Justice at Smithfield Witness”
ca.2008
Box 6
Justice at Smith Campaign: Justice at Smith Campaign: Timeline and overview
1992-2006
Box 3: 6
Justice at Smith Campaign: Justice at Smith Campaign: Union vote
2008
Box 3: 7
Justice at Smith Campaign: Justice at Smith Campaign: Union vote, post-election
2008-2012
Box 3: 8
Justice at Smith Campaign: Justice at Smith Campaign: Washington, D.C., campaign
2008
Box 3: 9
U. S. Labor Against War
1990-1991
Box 1: 43
U. S. Labor Against War
1991 Jan.-Feb.
Box 1: 44
U. S. Labor Against War
1991 Feb.-June
Box 1: 45
U. S. Labor Against War
1991 July-1992
Box 1: 46
U. S. Labor Against War
2003-2012
Box 1: 47
U. S. Labor Against War: antiwar articles
ca.1990-2005
Box 5: 16
U. S. Labor Against War: Gene Bruskin writings
1991-1992
Box 1: 48
U. S. Labor Against War: news clippings
1990-1991
Box 5: 17
U. S. Labor Against War newsletters
1990-1991
Box 1: 49
U. S. Labor Against War photographs
ca.1990-1992
Box 1: 50
U. S. Labor Against War press releases
1990-1991
Box 1: 51
U. S. Labor Against War: published reports
1990-2003
Box 5: 18
Series 2. Personal and political
1963-2016
Anti-apartheid
1985-1986
Box 3: 10
Anti-apartheid: Photographs
ca.1985-1986
Box 3: 11
Boston Irish political machines, 1830-1973, by Steven E. Miller (Working Paper #15), part 1
1974
Box 3: 12
Boston Irish political machines, 1830-1973, by Steven E. Miller (Working Paper #15), part 2
1974
Box 3: 13
Brother: a male liberation newspaper
1971
Box 5: 32
Brother: a male liberation newspaper
1972-1973
Box 5: 33
Combating race and gender bias (draft), supplement to the basic workshop AFL-CIO Common Sense Economics Education Program
2000 June
Box 3: 14
High school basketball: photographs and clippings
1963-1964
Box 3: 15
Hyde Park Defense Group
1976-1977
Box 3: 16
It ain’t necessarily so: myths and facts abou racism and the Klan in Boston
1980
Box 3: 17
It’s not the bus
1976
Box 3: 18
It’s not the bus [full script]
1976
Box 3: 19
It’s not the bus: promotional ephemera
ca.1976
Box 5: 34
King, Mel: Mayoral race with Ray Flynn
1983
Box 3: 20a
King, Mel: Mayoral race with Ray Flynn: newsclippings
1983
Box 3: 20b
Marxist materials
1973-1981
Box 3: 21-22
Allen, Theodore W.: Class struggle and the origin of racial slavery: The invention of the white race
1975
Box 3: 21
Haywood, Harry: For a revolutionary position on the Negro question. S.l.: October League (M-L)
1975
Box 3: 21
July 4th Bulletin
1976 June
Box 3: 21
Line of March : The OCIC’s phony war against white chauvinism and the demise of the fusion line
1981
Box 3: 21
Line of March, no. 11
1983
Box 3: 22
October League (Marxist-Leninist): Building a new Communist Party in the U.S.
1973
Box 3: 22
Philadelphia Workers’ Organizing Committee: A Communist approach to strategy, Tactics, and program
ca.1977
Box 3: 22
Philadelphia Workers’ Organizing Committee: On trade unions and the rank and file movement
ca.1977
Box 3: 22
Philadelphia Workers’ Organizing Committee: Black liberation today: Against dogmatism on the national question
ca.1977
Box 3: 22
Marxist materials: photocopies
ca.1979
Box 3: 23
National Rainbow Coalition
1990-1993 May
Box 3: 24
National Rainbow Coalition
1993 June
Box 3: 25
National Rainbow Coalition
1993 July-Oct.
Box 3: 26
National Rainbow Coalition
1993 Oct.-Nov.
Box 3: 27
National Rainbow Coalition
1994-1995, undated
Box 3: 28
National Rainbow Coalition: NAFTA
1991-1992
Box 3: 29
National Rainbow Coalition: NAFTA
1993 Jan.-July
Box 3: 30
National Rainbow Coalition: NAFTA
1993 Aug.-Nov.
Box 3: 31
National Rainbow Coalition: Newsletters
1986-1994
Box 3: 32
National Rainbow Coalition: Photographs
ca.1990-1995
Box 3: 33
National Rainbow Coalition: printed materials
1984-1994
Box 5: 35
National Rainbow Coalition: Weekly reports
1993
Box 3: 34
Poems: Bus Drivers (Roll on)
1977
Box 3: 35
Poems: Justice for Janitors (Rappin’ ’bout risin’)
ca.1991
Box 3: 36
Poems: Smithfield (If we can change the White House, we can change the hog house)
2009-2012
Box 3: 37
Prairie Fire/Weather Underground
1974-1977
Box 3: 38
Prairie Fire: The politics of revolutionary anti-imperialism: Political statement of the Weather Underground [Boston reprint]
1974
Box 3: 38
Sojourn, Celia and Billy Ayres: Politics in command
ca.11975
Box 3: 38
Split of the Weather Underground organization. Seattle: John Brown Book Club
1977
Box 3: 38
Prairie Fire/Weather Underground: Osawotamie, no. 1-3; vol. 2,2
1975-1976
Box 3: 39
Pray for the dead: a musical tale of morgues, moguls, and mutiny, by Gene Bruskin
2016
DVD
Box 6
Realia: pinback buttons for labor, political, and social causes
ca.1984-2016
70 items
Box 6

Includes buttons for: Justice for Janitors; NYNEX strike; School Bus Drivers; Solidarity; anti-apartheid; peace and antiwar; heath care; Central America; Mel King; presidential campaigns 1984, 1988, 1992, 2008, 2016

Red Basement Singers: notes
1973-1975
Box 3: 40
Red Basement Singers: songs
ca.1970-1975
Box 3: 41
Round table on race
2001
Box 3: 42
Solidarity conference: Puerto Rican independence
1979-1980
Box 3: 43
Springfield Collective
ca.1970
Box 3: 44
Springfield Collective: People’s Food Coop Newsletter, vol. 1, no. 1-4, 6, 9
ca.1970
Box 3: 45
Springfield Collective: Small Arms [newspaper], vol. 1, no. 4 and 6
ca.1970
Box 3: 46
Standley, Art: Eulogy
1991
Box 3: 47
Stolen bicycle blues [radio script]
ca.1976
Box 3: 48
Stolen bicycle blues [radio script and music]
ca.1976
Box 3: 49
Stolen bicycle blues [radio show]
1976
CD
Box 6
Venceremos Brigade: FBI files on Gene Bruskin
1970-1983
Box 3: 50
Series 3. City Life/Vida Urbana
1979-1991
City Life/Vida Urbana: City Life strike at ARA, Readville-Bayside, bus driver strike
1980 Oct. 30
DVD
Box 6
City Life/Vida Urbana: Core study
1985-1986
Box 4: 1
City Life/Vida Urbana: Core study
1985
Box 4: 2
City Life/Vida Urbana: Electoral study
1983-1984
Box 4: 3
City Life/Vida Urbana: City Life: Lessons of the first five years, by Kathy McAfee Radical America 13
1979
Box 4: 4
City Life/Vida Urbana: Workplace Committee
1982-1984
Box 4: 5
City Life/Vida Urbana: Workplace Committee: Shop by shop evaluations
1980
Box 4: 6
City Life/Vida Urbana: Workplace Committee study
1980-1983
Box 4: 7
Newsletters: Community News
1979-1981
Box 4: 8
Newsletters: City Life
1984-1986
Box 4: 9
Newsletters: The Labor Page
1982-1991
Box 4: 10

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English

Provenance

Gift of Gene Bruskin, April 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, April 2018.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Gene Bruskin Papers (MS 1020). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Gift of Gene Bruskin, April 2018

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--HistoryBus drivers--Labor unionsCharter schoolsJackson, Jesse, 1941-Labor unions--MassachusettsLabor unions--North CarolinaNational Rainbow Coalition (U.S.)Public schoolsSmithfield Foods, Inc.Strikes and lockouts--Bus driversWeatherman (Organization)

Contributors

Boston School Bus Drivers UnionUnited Steelworkers of America

Comments are closed.