Labor Director, Sierra Club
Dean Hubbard is the Sierra Club Labor Director. The Sierra Club is the nation’s largest grass roots environmental organization, with over 2.1 million members. Hubbard directs Sierra’s robust solidarity program with the labor movement. Besides organizing labor movement support for climate justice, one of his core responsibilities is with the Blue Green Alliance, which the Club co-founded in 2006 with the United Steelworkers, and has grown into the major institutional collaboration between the US labor and environmental movements. He also works on the Democracy Initiative, a coalition effort to remove the corruption of money from the body politic (fighting against voter suppression, for public financing, against corporate “personhood,” and to make Senate rules more democratic). He organizes and campaigns with unions and community organizations for good union jobs in “green” industries, especially in communities impacted by the Sierra Club’s successful climate mitigation strategies. He helps build labor/environmental justice alliances for safe and healthy workplaces and communities, for a socially aware global economy, against anti-democratic trade agreements, and for workers’ rights.
Of Counsel, Gorlick, Kravitz & Listhaus, P.C.
Senior Counsel, Strategic Research, Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), AFL-CIO; Editor, TWU Workers’ Rights are Human Rights e-news blast (2010-2012)
The TWU was formed in 1934 during the depths of the Great Depression. Its original President was fiery, Irish-born Michael J. Quill. Today, TWU represents 130,000 active members and 70,000 retirees in 114 autonomous locals in 22 states. Its members work in transit, aviation, rail, gaming and other sectors. TWU has a reputation as an innovative, courageous union that advocates for the human rights of working people everywhere.
As Senior Counsel for Strategic Research, Dean Hubbard provided research and advocacy expertise to TWU’s senior officers and staff regarding strategic campaigns, domestic and international labor rights, transportation policy, climate policy, organizing, electoral issues, and other domestic and international transportation and workers’ rights issues.
Dean was a member of the “War Room” that coordinated TWU’s “Workers’ Rights are Human Rights” campaign, a response to attacks on workers’ rights. He was the editor, principal writer and researcher of the weekly Workers’ Rights are Human Rights e-newsletter. As a member of the War Room, he co-coordinated TWU’s involvement in and provided research and policy support to national strategic campaigns such as the Wisconsin recalls; the Occupy movement; Ohio Issue 2 (referendum to repeal anti-union law); the AFL-CIO’s “We Are One” National Day of Action; and other TWU campaigns in battleground states such as Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania and Nevada. He prepared tools for leaders and members, including a state-by-state analysis of the attacks on workers’ rights and the fight back, an Organizers “toolkit,” speeches and talking points.
Dean was the intellectual architect of TWU’s successful Complaint with the International Labor Organization (ILO), an independent agency of the United Nations, in which the ILO found that New York’s law banning all strikes by public sector workers, as well as the harsh punishments it imposes on “illegal” strikes (including fines, loss of dues check off and imprisonment of union leaders), violates the fundamental human right to Freedom of Association protected under ILO Conventions 87 and 98.
Dean represented TWU in UN Climate Negotiations, serving as a member of International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He represented TWU at intergovernmental aviation negotiations between the United States and the European Union and China. He served as senior staff to John M. Conley, a TWU officer, during his appointment by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as a member of Future of Aviation Advisory Committee.
While with the TWU, Dean volunteered as a field organizer, director, and voter protection advocate in the Wisconsin Gubernatorial and State Senate recalls (2011-2012), the successful “No on 2” referendum to repeal Ohio’s anti-collective bargaining statute (2011), and the Obama for President campaign (2008).
Chair, National Lawyers Guild Labor and Employment Committee (2000-present)
Dean is the Chair of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Labor and Employment Committee (L&E), a role he has served in since 2000. He is a founding member of the NLG’s International Labor Justice Working Group. NLG members use law to advance social justice and support progressive social movements, and L&E members do so with the specific purpose of fostering workers’ human rights.
Tribunal Member, International Tribunal for Trade Union Freedom of Association (Tribunal Internacional de Libertad Sindical, or TILS) (2010-present)
This Tribunal, composed of prominent labor and human rights experts from all over the Americas and Europe, was formed in September 2009 to investigate allegations of gross violations of fundamental human rights by the Mexican government, acting in complicity with transnational corporations and official unions, against the workers and leaders of Mexico’s independent trade union movement. Dean Hubbard has represented the National Lawyers Guild and Transport Workers Union of America as a member of the Tribunal. Read the TILS 2011 report and its 2010 report. See video of Dean Hubbard’s comments to the Tribunal. TILS is now expanding the scope of its investigations to include violations of fundamental workers’ rights by other governments in the Americas.
Coordinating Committee, Tri-National Solidarity Alliance (TNSA) (2010-present)
This alliance of unions in Mexico, the US and Canada and several Global Union Federations, founded in early 2010, coordinates solidarity work on behalf of workers in the three countries. Because of the severe human rights crisis faced by members of independent unions in Mexico, the focus of TNSA’s work in its first two years has been Mexico. Dean Hubbard serves as a member of the TNSA Coordinating Committee.
Advisory Board member, The Middle Project (2009-present)
The Middle Project prepares ethical leaders for a more just society. It is an institute that unites progressive leaders who are ready for a revolutionary and prophetic way of using power and resources to act locally and think globally to heal the human family. The Middle Project takes its strength and approach from the progressive faith traditions that have played a major role in America’s greatest democratic achievements: the abolition of slavery, civil rights, universal suffrage, and the anti-war movement.
Adjunct Professor, CUNY Murphy Labor Institute (2008-present)
The Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies offers educational opportunities to union members and serves as an academic resource on issues of concern to the labor movement. Hubbard teaches graduate courses at the Murphy Institute in international human and labor rights, social and economic policy, and political economy.
Contributing Editor, the American People’s New Economic Charter (2011-2012)
The American People’s New Economic Charter (TAPNEC) is an information source and collaborative workbench on the Occupy Movement’s economic positions, concepts, and plans. Hubbard coordinates the contributions of a subcommittee of the National Lawyers Guild to TAPNEC in subject areas including workers’ rights, outsourcing, immigrant workers’ rights, inequality, corporate personhood and the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
Co-Founder and Vice-President, World Organization for the Right of the People to Health Care (WORPHC) (2002-present)
The World Organization for the Right of the People to Health Care (WORPHC) is a union-led transnational health care workers alliance dedicated to public health care as a fundamental human right. Hubbard has worked with co-founders Luis Matos and Jose´ Matta, as well as immigrant trade union activists in the U.S. (with 1199 SEIU, TWU, AFSCME DC 37 and others) and throughout the Americas, to establish and build the organization. In 2002, WORPHC organized a health care workers conference in the Dominican Republic attended by nearly 400 delegates from nineteen countries. In subsequent years, WORPHC has organized international trade union exchanges and health care education forums in Argentina, Guatemala, Canada, New York, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Working with local residents and other NGOs, a WORPHC affiliate, the Dominican Organization for Health, is developing a public health-centered model for social change in the Dominican Republic. Residents provide self-education about basic health issues (including AIDS and domestic violence), receive health care at community-led clinics, and work with local union and community allies to build democratic organizations to pressure the government and multinational corporations to provide the basic infrastructure for health.
Baritone Section Leader, Middle Church Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir (1986-present)
The Middle Church Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir (MCJJGC) was founded as the East Village Gospel Choir in 1986 by Jerriese Johnson (JJ), who died of complications caused by the HIV virus in 1995. The choir, now directed by John Del Cueto and accompanied by community musician Dionne McClain-Freeney, continues to be made up of a group of diverse, dynamic and committed singers, and is now recognized nationally as a preeminent gospel choir. This multiethnic and multicultural choir is a microcosm of radical welcome and inclusion. The MCJJGC works for social justice and equality, singing in support of causes such as LGBT Pride, the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast and Haiti, and Japan Relief. Dean Hubbard is the sole founding member still singing regularly with the choir.
Toad, Frog and Toad Puppet Theatre, Middle Collegiate Church
Dean Hubbard plays Toad and Elisabeth Rodgers plays Frog in Middle Collegiate Church’s long-running Frog and Toad puppet theatre.
Frog and Toad on video:
“On Bullying,” by Chad Tanaka
“The True Meaning,” by Mary Jo Lombardo
The goal of this endowed chair was to help integrate liberal arts courses with public policy issues, such as promoting peace, protecting the environment, providing education and health services, and safeguarding human rights. As Woodward Chair, Hubbard founded the Institute for Policy Alternatives (below), and designed and taught courses in domestic and international labor and employment law and policy, immigrant workers’ rights, labor and community organizing, international human rights and trade law and policy, jurisprudence, urban policy, labor and community organizing, policy and the arts, labor history, political science and political economy, and social movement theory and practice. Hubbard’s students consistently worked with community-based organizations and conducted international field research as required components of their course work.
Founding Director, Institute for Policy Alternatives (IPA), Sarah Lawrence College (2004-2008)
IPA Report of Activities, 2005-2006 [pdf]
Dean Hubbard founded this institute, which fostered grass roots social movements working to expand the political and economic participation and power of excluded workers and other marginalized groups. Hubbard initiated the IPA Day Labor Organizing Project, which supported immigrant workers’ struggles for human rights and dignity. Through the Day Labor Organizing Project, Hubbard taught student advocates to support immigrant day laborers in efforts to receive legally required wages, to work in safe conditions and to attain education and skills. He coordinated and supervised a wage recovery clinic, workers’ rights education, on site organizing and political advocacy programs, an English as a second language course, worker leadership and organizational development programs, community outreach and coalition building, workers’ center advocacy, and an artistic self-representation program.
Through the IPA, Hubbard also co-coordinated the Katrina Recovery Project with Sarah Lawrence College faculty colleague Komozi Woodard, which advocated for racial and economic justice in the rebuilding of New Orleans and Gulf Coast. Through the Katrina Recovery Project and the Middle Church Katrina Solidarity Project, Hubbard organized five post-Katrina delegations to aid recovery and advocate for the human rights of Katrina survivors. With faculty colleagues Ray Seidelman, Komozi Woodard and Joe Forte, he co-coordinated a national symposium at Sarah Lawrence College: Rebuilding a Democratic New Orleans: New Architecture, Affordable Housing and Public Spaces.
New Orleans Rebuilding and Recovery:
Founding Partner, Eisner & Hubbard, P.C. (1993-2002)
Dean Hubbard co-founded this progressive New York City law firm, which advocated for unions, worker-management funds, workers and community organizations in all aspects of labor, employment, benefits, civil rights and constitutional law. His diverse docket at the firm included federal and state court and agency litigation, arbitration, negotiation, and drafting and lobbying for legislation. He also managed the firm’s day-to-day operations and staff.
One of Dean’s proudest accomplishments at Eisner & Hubbard was drafting and securing passage over Mayor Giuliani’s veto of the New York City law that established protection of basic workers’ rights for participants in New York City’s mandatory “Work Experience Program.”
During his years at Eisner & Hubbard, Dean served as a volunteer attorney with the AFL-CIO Voter Protection Project (2004) and three New York City Mayoral Campaigns (1993, 1997 and 2001), and as chair of the Labor Law Reform subcommittee of the New York City Bar Association’s Labor Committee.