At the end of World War II, when organized labor in the United States was at the peak of its political power and influence,
industrial relations units were established at many universities around the nation. In 1945, Governor Earl Warren established
two such units at the University of California: one at UCLA, the other at Berkeley. Clark Kerr, the founding director of the
UC Berkeley Institute of Industrial Relations, later recalled, "We came in as the very first effort of this big university
to make contact with the trade unions. It was Earl Warren's way of saying that the unions were recognized as an important
part of California society." In the decades since its founding, the UCLA Institute has played an important role in the intellectual
life of the university, and it also has contributed to the national dialogue on employment and labor issues. The establishment
of the Center for Labor Research and Education within the Institute in 1964 further consolidated the ties between the labor
movement and the university. But as the power of organized labor waned in the 1970s and 1980s, the Institute was faced with
substantial budget cuts. Academic interest in the traditional field of industrial relations also declined during this period.
In 1995, however, new leadership came into power at the national AFL-CIO and, soon after, organized labor in California was
revitalized, leading to renewed intellectual interest in labor and employment issues as well. This led to a major new initiative
in 2000, when the state legislature established the UC Institute for Labor and Employment (ILE), a research program housed
jointly at UCLA and UC Berkeley which built on the two IIRs that had been established 44 years earlier. In December 2003,
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal state of emergency and eliminated ILE's budget for the remainder of the fiscal
year. In early 2004, after an outpouring of public support, the University agreed to cover most staff salaries through June
2004. Beginning in 2004–2005, the work of the ILE was restructured, maintaining the statewide research funding on all UC campuses
through a new systemwide Labor and Research Education Fund. Other activities continued to be housed at the UCLA and UC Berkeley
Institutes, which both changed their names in spring 2007, and are now known as the Institutes for Research on Labor and Employment.
The Miguel Contreras Labor Program, which serves as an umbrella over all the UC labor research and education programs, was
approved by the UC Regents in early 2007.
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must be submitted in writing to the UCLA University Archivist.