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What is Union Summer?

Union Summer is an educational internship in which participants are introduced to the labor movement through union organizing campaigns. It will begin with a weeklong orientation and training, which will be held June 16-20. After the orientation, interns will work in teams on union organizing campaigns across the country. Interns will play an important role in helping build support for workers trying to gain a voice in their workplaces and in their communities.

Union Summer intern work could include (but not limited to):


Recent Union Summer Activities

2013 Union Summer interns joined a coalition led by the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) in an international day of action to pressure Walmart and Gap to stop the use of unsafe factories that have killed more than 1,800 workers in Bangladesh since 2005. To date, the two corporate giants have refused to sign on to a legally binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh that would go a long way toward making workers in Bangladesh. The photos below are actions at Gap stores in Atlanta, Austin, Los Angeles and Portland, Ore.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Internship Requirements

Union Summer interns MUST be dedicated to social and economic justice and have a specific desire to learn about the labor movement. It is NOT necessary to have union experience or knowledge of the labor movement to be accepted as a Union Summer intern, but such a background is a plus in the application process.

Union Summer interns must be:

  • Flexible and willing to work long hours, including nights and weekends, on an unpredictable schedule dependent on the needs of the campaign,
  • Adaptable in the face of new challenges and experiences,
  • Able to work in teams and have excellent communications skills,
  • Open to working with people of different races, ethnic backgrounds, religions and sexual orientations, and
  • Willing to immerse themselves in an intensive, learning-by-doing experience.

A sense of humor is also a definite asset.

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The 2014 application deadline has passed.

Interns will receive a stipend of $350 per week, minus taxes. Union Summer does not provide a housing allowance. Accepted applicants MUST have housing in cities where Union Summer sites have been designated.

2014 Union Summer Sites

  • *Goldsboro, N.C. (must be fluent in Spanish)
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles (must be fluent in Spanish)
  • New York City
  • Washington, D.C.

*Housing is included at the Goldsboro site.

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