Online Program

Labor Unions as Public Health Institutions: Implication for Public Health Partnership and Worker Health

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Beth Malinowski, MPH, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Meredith Minkler, DrPH, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Laura Stock, MPH, Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP), School of Public Health, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Using a social-ecological framework, this presentation will draw on a targeted literature review and historical and contemporary cases from the US labor movement to illustrate how unions address physical and psychosocial conditions of work and the underlying inequalities and social determinants of health.  Specific attention will be given to labor involvement in tobacco cessation, hypertension control, and asthma.  Despite occasional challenges, the presentation will highlight ways in which public health professionals can increase their efforts to engage with unions as critical partners.  Lastly, the presentation will conclude with a discussion of areas for more rigorous research and evaluation.   

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain how the Social-Ecological Framework can be used as a lens for redefining the role of labor unions. Demonstrate, using case studies, how unions are acting as public health institutions. Evaluate implications for public health practice and the role public health professionals can be playing to elevate the role of labor unions in public health practice.

Keyword(s): Labor, Occupational Health and Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over five years’ experience working with labor unions. While at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, my research focused on the intersection of labor unions and public health. I co-authored a study recently published in AJPH titled “Labor Unions: A Public Health Institution."
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
SEIU-UHW N/A Spouse's employment

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.