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Morton "Morty" Simon Oral History Interview

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Morty Simon’s Labor story starts as a member of the Retail Clerks Union working at Safeway in New Jeresy. After Simon finished law school at Columbia, he traveled to Southern Colorado to work for San Luis Legal Aid representing the United Farm Workers (UFW). During the next few years, he worked in a legal storefront (Community Law Center) with Law partner, Joan Friedland, and was involved in civil rights and Labor representation cases in New Mexico. Simon represented Steelworkers Local 890 (the Salt of the Earth Local) as well as the first health care workers Local at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Santa Fe. Over the course of 30 years, Simon and his wife and partner Carol Oppenheimer provided legal representation to New Mexico Unions and advocated for economic and social justice through the development of just workplace legislation. Simon and Oppenheimer started the Southwest Organizing School, a popular education approach to teaching Union workers in the Southwest about arbitration, rights on the job, internal organizing, and Union culture.

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Retail Clerks Union, United Farm Workers (UFW), Craig Vincent, Joan Friedland, Juan Chacon (Local 890, Salt of the Earth), NM District 1199, Delma Delora, Billie Rose, NM State Federation of Labor, Workers Compensation, Gov. Bill Richardson, AFSCME, Public Employee Bargaining Act PEBA, Southwest Organizing School, arbitration, intersection of law and organizing, UALE (United Association of Labor Educators) Robin Gould (CWA), Matt Taylor (NM AFL CIO), Sue Schurman, Jeep Gilliland (SMART), Santa Fe Living Wage, Fight for $15, Sector Union Organizing.


Labor History


1280x720; MP4; No institutional restrictions are placed on the use of this collection. Use of material is allowed for educational and research purposes. The University Libraries do not hold copyright.