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Center for Labor Research and Education


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Labor Summer Internship Program

Labor Summer Internship Program

JUNE 23 – AUGUST 15, 2014

The UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education (Labor Center), along with co-sponsor UC Davis Center for Regional Change, offers an exciting opportunity for UC students to become summer interns with cutting-edge unions and community-based organizations in Northern and possibly Central California. The Labor Summer Internship Program is an innovative PAID internship for UC graduate and undergraduate students, providing opportunities to learn from and work with unions and labor organizations on issues vital to California’s working people.

Students spend eight weeks with labor unions or community-based organizations, learning how to apply their skills in real-world settings in campaigns that are making a difference for working people, especially immigrants and people of color.

Why apply to the Labor Summer Internship Program?
Many working people in California earn wages that can’t support their families and are struggling to provide basic necessities. This internship offers students the opportunity to hone their skills alongside people who are working for positive change. With energetic leadership and a commitment to organize immigrants and workers in diverse industries, the labor movement is at the forefront of campaigns for social and economic justice. By working with labor and community organizations, students can learn through service about the important issues facing workers, immigrants, women, and people of color.

Labor Summer interns in previous years have learned firsthand how:

  • Grocery workers prepare for contract negotiations and address the community impacts of Wal-Mart big box stores (United Food and Commercial Workers);
  • Migrant farm workers improve their wages on California farms (United Farm Workers);
  • Latino immigrants on construction sites enforce wage, hour, and health and safety laws (Ironworkers Union and La Raza Centro Legal’s Day Laborer Program);
  • Young restaurant workers raise work standards in the San Francisco restaurant industry (Young Workers United);
  • Low-wage Chinese immigrant workers better enforce and improve existing wage and hour laws (Chinese Progressive Association);
  • Low-wage childcare workers organize in Monterey and San Benito Counties (Service Employees International Union).

Undergraduate interns will receive a total of approximately $4,500 for participating in the internship.

Graduate interns will be paid the UC GSR Step II rate which comes to a total of approximately $5,500 for participating in the internship.

Amounts listed are gross (before taxes).

Should I do it?
Have you ever organized a meeting? Researched an issue? Volunteered in your community? Taught a class? Do you have the courage to knock on a door and listen to someone’s story? Can you imagine a better future for the working poor? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes” or if you want to learn how to do these things, then Labor Summer is for you!

How it works
The UC Berkeley Labor Center offers PAID internships to graduate and undergraduate UC students to learn how to organize and do research to support social and economic justice for workers in California. The program has two tracks: Learn Organizing Skills and Applied Research and Policy.

Structure of the program
The program begins with a one-week intensive orientation from June 23-27 at the UC Berkeley Labor Center where students in both tracks will learn the basics of the U.S. labor movement, with a special focus on Northern California labor issues. Mid-week the tracks divide and the Learn Organizing Skills interns learn strategic campaign planning and how to organize workers. Applied Research and Policy interns are joined by researchers from labor unions and community-based organizations and learn the basics of strategic and policy research in a labor environment. At the end of the week, the interns in both tracks come back together and prepare for their seven-week field placements.