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M O V I N G  F O R W A RD
to Preserving the Past

FontCap-In 1999, under the direction of founding Fellow Steve Tallent, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers embarked on a project to develop a video library dedicated to the history of labor and employment law. The premise of the library to create a repository of oral histories culled from significant employment law topics or events was meant not just to protect the past, but to serve the future as well.

By videotaping distinguished individuals who played a significant role or who had an opportunity to observe a milestone event relating to labor and employment law, the video history project has the potential to be a vital and important component of the history of the labor and employment law movement. Ultimately, the library will serve to enhance CLE programs and as a historical resource for law schools and schools of industrial relations, as well as state and local bar associations. The range of possible uses is only limited by the scope of imagination and the quality of the product.

A Distinguished Beginning

The first subject to be interviewed for the video library project was Howard Jenkins, who was also the first African American Member of the National Labor Relations Board (1963-1983). Under the direction of Carol M. Rosenbaum, the project's official producer/director, Mr. Jenkins' interview provided over three hours of video footage. Subsequently enhanced by historic archival film and audio material, the video set the standard for the library's foundation. Since this auspicious beginning in 2000, the experiences of fourteen other distinguished individuals have been captured on video tape, including:

  • U. W. Clemon
    Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
    (Chief Judge, 1999 - 2006)
  • W. Willard Wirtz
    U. S. Secretary of Labor, 1969-1972
  • Don Banta and Warren Sullivan
    M
    anagement lawyers with 50 years of experience
  • Sam Pointer
    Chief Judge, U. S. District Court,
    Northern District of Alabama, 1982-1999
  • William J. Usery, Jr.
    U. S. Secretary of Labor, 1976-1977
  • Theodore Kheel
    One of the century's most distinguished professional arbitrators/mediators
     and one of New York's most influential public advocates.
  • Howard Jenkins, Jr.
    Member, Labor Relations Board 1963 - 1983 
  • John Truesdale
    Former Executive Secretary and Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board
  • Paul Tobias
    V
    eteran plaintiff attorney and founder of National Employment Lawyers Association
  • Arvid Anderson
    Distinguished public sector labor arbitrator and
    Chair of New York City Office of Collective Bargaining (1968 - 1987)
  • Max Zimny
    Former General Counsel, International Ladies' Garment Workers Union and UNITE!
  • George Nicolau
    Nationally recognized Labor Arbitrator and Veteran Practitioner 

Also part of our library are two recent subjects of the National Academy of Arbitrators' annual Fireside Chat: the Honorable Harry T. Edwards, Circuit Judge and Chief Judge Emeritus in the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit and Frances K. Bairstow, renowned arbitrator, labor relations consultant and educator. The NAA graciously gave permission for the College to capture on video these prominent and distinguished individuals and include them in our library.

As the list of potential subjects continues to grow, the College has named Cornell University's Kheel Center for Labor Management Documentation and Archives as the repository for the video history project. Considered the guardian of unique historical material, including manuscripts, oral histories and collective bargaining agreements, the Kheel Center will house the College's project as part of a collection of 27 million documents that cover all aspects of the American workplace.

Fellowship Involvement

Ultimately, the Video History Project provides a tremendous opportunity to involve College Fellows on many levels. There is a real need for support of this program from the membership as a whole. We encourage your suggestions for candidates to be interviewed, including self-nomination. Each of you knows someone, or is someone, who should be the subject of a video history interview.  Although we are not able to interview everyone who is recommended, your advice is needed as we put together a list of the best candidates available. We also have a need for financial assistance, given the substantive expenses involved in the interview process. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, any donation to the College's Video History Project is tax deductible and will greatly assist us. Finally, if you are interested in this project on any level, please contact our Executive Director, Susan Wan, at (202) 955-8225. We look forward to your involvement and participation.

to observe a milestone . . .

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