n 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
Management 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
Veteran 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.
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.