In 1999, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers embarked on a video history project to develop a video library dedicated to creating a repository of oral histories of distinguished individuals who played a significant role or who had an opportunity to observe milestone events relating to labor and employment law. All of the full-length video interviews and transcripts are archived at Cornell University’s Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library.
On November 29, 2018, the College’s producer (Carol Rosenbaum) and crew videotaped an interview with Former Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall at the Center. Ana Avendano, Vice President of Labor Engagement for United Way Worldwide, interviewed Secretary Marshall, who spoke animatedly for 4 hours, and never seemed to tire! An excerpt from the interview can be seen below.
Interview topics included:
- His childhood in the orphanage
- The role of the Labor Secretary
- His role in President Carter’s policy-setting
- Ensuring OSHA worked as it should
- Management attitudes towards safety and health regulations
- Programs he developed to assist women and minorities entering the workforce in large numbers for the first time – especially those who wanted to work in male-dominated industries (like coal mining)
- Outreach apprenticeships and affirmative action
- His efforts to bring African-Americans into construction apprenticeship programs
- International matters under Carter
- His involvement in international work, including pulling the United States out of the International Labour Organization (because of a disagreement with the Russians)
- His work on immigration, including during the Carter administration and with the AFL – CIO 30 years later
- The role independent trade unions play in a democracy – and how authoritarian governments are the enemy of labor movements
- Strikes during his tenure
- Labor unions today
- President Trump’s policies
You can view the transcript of the full interview here , and a summary of the transcript can be viewed here. Credit for the video excerpt, transcript, and transcript summary go to The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.