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Guide to the Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health (SCCOSH) and Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) Records
MSS-2007-04-06  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Organizational History
  • Bibliography
  • Related Material
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health (SCCOSH) and Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) Records
    Dates: 1978-2002
    Bulk Dates: 1982-1995
    Collection number: MSS-2007-04-06
    Collector: San José State University
    Collection Size: 27 boxes, 33.25 linear feet
    Repository: San José State University. Library.
    San José, California 95192-0028
    Abstract: The Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health (SCCOSH) and Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) Records, 1978-2002 (bulk 1982-1995), document the history of SCCOSH and SVTC. SCCOSH grew from the efforts of three women's health and labor rights organizers, Robin Baker, Amanda Hawes, and Pat Lamborn, who had come to focus on the Valley's largely unrepresented working-class minorities in the late 1970s. SCCOSH organized various campaigns in the fields of workers' rights advocacy and occupational safety and health training, particularly within the Silicon Valley electronics industries. At the outset, SCCOSH envisioned itself as representing three constituencies: local labor unions and labor councils, ill and injured workers, and community residents affected by wildfire industrial development of the Santa Clara Valley since the mid-1970s. The Silicon Valley Toxic Coalition (SVTC) developed from a SCCOSH project into a wide-ranging, independent nonprofit organization founded by Ted Smith (1945-), attorney and activist in 1982 in response to the suspicion that leaks at manufacturing sites for IBM and Fairchild Electronics were causing health issues in nearby Silicon Valley homes. The SVTC is a San José, California-based research and advocacy group that promotes safe environmental practices in the high tech industry. The collection of SCCOSH and SVTC consist of administrative files, correspondence, research, publications, official reports, newspaper clippings, photographs, notes, congressional testimony, and legislative material concerning these organizations and their mission to reduce toxins and hazardous waste in the Silicon Valley. This collection is arranged into 15 series: Series I: SCCOSH, Activism, 1976-2002; Series II: SCCOSH, Workplace Hazard Files, 1978-1999; Series III: SCCOSH, Administrative Files, 1978-2001; Series IV: SCCOSH, Legal Case Files, 1980-1998; Series V: SVTC, Model Hazardous Materials Storage, 1981-1986; Series VI: SVTC, Groundwater Cleanup, 1981-1997; Series VII: SVTC Toxic Gas Model Ordinance, 1982-1997; Series VIII: SVTC, Administrative Files, 1982-1999; Series IX: SVTC, Founder Ted Smith, 1983-1995; Series X: SVTC, United Technologies Corporation, 1984-1995; Series XI: SVTC, Toxics Coordinating Project, 1985-1990; Series XII: SVTC, Tanner Bill, 1986-1991; Series XIII: SVTC, Stanford University/Biotechnology Activism, 1987-1991; Series XIV: SVTC, Earth Day, 1987-1993; and Series XV: Newspaper Articles, 1987-1997.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health (SCCOSH) and Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) Records, MSS-2007-04-06, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Processing Information

    The bulk of the arrangement and description work was completed by Josh Palmer, and edited and reviewed by Danelle Moon. The rearrangement was completed by Alberta A. Jiminez and Robert Donahue, The EAD encoding was completed by Robert Donahue.

    Organizational History

    The Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health (SCCOSH) grew from the efforts of three women's health and labor rights organizers - Robin Baker, Amanda Hawes, and Pat Lamborn - who had come to focus on the Silicon Valley's largely unrepresented working-class minorities in the late 1970s. The three met sometime in 1977 at the Pacific Studies Center in Mountain View, where a small group had been meeting intermittently to discuss occupational health. Not long after, Baker, Hawes, and Lamborn together applied for and received a workers training grant from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which they used to fund the Project on Health and Safety in Electronics (PHASE, 1978-1980).
    During the three years covered by the initial federal grant, PHASE produced a series of occupational hazards factsheets for electronics workers (See Series III). First introduced in 1979, the program also included a multilingual telephone consultation service for electronics workers. While not a program to organize workers, PHASE efforts to raise awareness of occupational hazards resulted in open conflict with many Silicon Valley electronics companies. In 1979 the three women established a sister group to PHASE, the Electronics Committee on Safety and Health (ECOSH), to undertake more direct worker organizing while PHASE remained focused on voluntary educational programming. SCCOSH became the overarching agency for these two groups, PHASE and ECOSH, formally established on July 19, 1979, with a five-member Governing Board of Robyn Baker, Amanda Hawes, Pat Lamborn, Mark Fee, and Andy Rowland. SCCOSH expanded its governing board to seven members in 1980, and again to nine members in 1981.
    In April of 1979, PHASE employees began staffing an "Electronics Hazard" telephone hotline for workers concerned about chemicals encountered in the workplace. In addition to chemicals encountered in industrial occupations, SCCOSH outreach addressed potential health hazards for office laborers, including the combined psychological and physiological effects of working for long periods at video display terminals (VDTs, or computer monitors).
    The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) developed from a SCCOSH project into a wide-ranging, independent nonprofit organization. Ted Smith (1945-), attorney and activist founded the SVTC in 1982 in response to the suspicion that leaks at manufacturing sites for IBM and Fairchild Electronics were causing health issues in nearby Silicon Valley homes. The SVTC is a San José, California-based research and advocacy group that promotes safe environmental practices in the high tech industry. SVTC is composed of high tech workers, community members, law enforcement, emergency workers and environmentalists. They aim to educate the masses on best practices for computer recycling and promote corporate social responsibility on subjects ranging from nanotechnology, solar, and consumer e-waste.
    Smith is currently the Senior Strategist of SVTC, and is co-founder and coordinator of the International Campaign for Responsible Technology (ICRT), and international network committed to the development of sustainable and non-polluting technologies. He also serves as the steering committee chair of the Computer TakeBack Campaign, an organization focused on promoting life-cycle producer responsibility in high-tech electronics. He co-edited the book Challenging The Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry (2006). Smith has been recognized by the Dalai Lama for his environmental leadership. (See Series IX)

    Bibliography

    About us. (n.d.). Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. Retrieved from http://www.svtc.org/site/PageServer?pagename=svtc_about_us
    Interview with Ted Smith. (n.d.). Temple University Press. Retrieved from http://www.temple.edu/tempress/authors/1788_qa.html
    Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health (SCCOSH) and Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) Records, 1978-2002 (bulk 1982-1995), MSS-2007-04-06, San José State University Special Collections & Archives.
    Smith, Ted, David A. Sonnenfeld, and David Naguib Pellow, editors. Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronic Industry. Temple University Press, 2006.
    Glenna Matthews Oral History Collection, MSS 2010-05-11, San José State University Special Collections and Archives, http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt8k40382g/

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health (SCCOSH) and Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) Recordss, 1978-2002 (bulk 1982-1995), document the history of SCCOSH and SVTC. The Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health (SCCOSH) grew from the efforts of three women's health and labor rights organizers - Robin Baker, Amanda Hawes, and Pat Lamborn. SCCOSH organized various campaigns in the fields of worker's rights advocacy and occupational safety and health training, particularly within the region's electronics industries. At the group's outset, SCCOSH envisioned itself as representing three constituencies: local labor unions and labor councils, ill and injured workers, and community residents affected by wildfire industrial development of the Santa Clara Valley since the mid-1970s. The Silicon Valley Toxic Coalition (SVTC) developed from a SCCOSH project into a wide-ranging, independent nonprofit organization. Founded by Ted Smith (1945-), attorney and activist, in 1982 in response to the suspicion that leaks at manufacturing sites for IBM and Fairchild Electronics were causing health issues in nearby Silicon Valley homes. The SVTC is a San José, California-based research and advocacy group that promotes safe environmental practices in the high tech industry.
    The records consist of administrative files, correspondence, research, publications, official reports, newspaper clippings, photographs, notes, congressional testimony, and legislative material concerning these organizations and their mission to reduce toxins and hazardous waste in the Silicon Valley.

    Arrangement

    This collection is arranged into 15 series: Series I: SCCOSH, Activism, 1976-2002; Series II: SCCOSH, Workplace Hazard Files, 1978-1999; Series III: SCCOSH, Administrative Files, 1978-2001; Series IV: SCCOSH, Legal Cases, 1980-1998; Series V: SVTC, Model Hazardous Materials Storage, 1981-1986; Series VI: SVTC, Groundwater Cleanup, 1981-1997; Series VII: SVTC, Toxic Gas Model Ordinance, 1982-1997; Series VIII: SVTC, Administrative Files, 1982-1999; Series IX: SVTC, Founder Ted Smith, 1983-1995; Series X: SVTC, United Technologies Corporation, 1984-1995; Series XI: SVTC, Toxics Coordinating Project, 1985-1990; Series XII: SVTC, Tanner Bill, 1986-1991; Series XIII: SVTC, Stanford University/Biotechnology Activism, 1987-1991; Series XIV: SVTC, Earth Day, 1987-1993; and Series XV: Newspaper Articles, 1987-1997.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California--Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition--History
    California--Tanner Bill
    California--Stanford University--History
    Electronics--industries
    Employee rights
    Environmental justice
    Globalization
    Hawes, Amanda
    Hernandez, Alida
    Santa Clara--Occupational Health
    Santa Clara--Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health--History
    Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition--Ted Smith (1945- )
    Smith, Ted (1945-)