Silme Domingo & Gene Viernes Scholarship in Labor Studies

Provided by Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies

Description:
The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington and the Inlandboatmen’s Union, Region 37’s Alaskero Foundation are proud to announce the creation of a new scholarship in honor of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, two inspiring leaders of the Seattle labor movement. Gene grew up on a farm in the Yakima Valley and began working in the Alaska salmon canneries at the young age of 16. Gene was a state wrestling champion and attended Central Washington State College on a full ride athletic scholarship. Silme graduated with honors from the University of Washington and went on to found the Seattle chapter of the Union of Democratic Filipinos. Together, they formed the Alaska Cannery Workers’ Association and fought the brutal working conditions and racist management of the industry. Despite opposition from all sides, Gene and Silme founded the Rank and File Committee in 1977 to struggle for union democracy and fair working conditions. They were elected to the leadership of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 37 in 1980, and worked hard to build links and solidarity with the people of the Philippines. Tragically, both were murdered on June 1, 1981. Corrupt former Local 37 President Tony Baruso and Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos were later implicated in the assassination. The memory of Silme and Gene lives on as inspiration to workers and students striving for justice. The scholarship is awarded yearly to students entering or transferring into the University of Washington who are committed to the principles of justice and equality and have demonstrated financial need. Students with an interest in labor studies or a family background in labor and social justice are encouraged to apply.
Academic Year:
2014 - 2015
Scholarship Amount:
$5,500.00
Number of Awards:
2
Application Start Date:
4/4/2014
Application Due Date:
5/19/2014

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