Gene Bruskin

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Gene Bruskin

Gene Bruskin... is a 37 year veteran of the labor movement as a local union president, an organizer and campaign coordinator for numerous local and national unions. He worked as the labor director for the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition and served as Secretary Treasurer for the Food and Allied Service Trades Department of the AFL-CIO. He was the UFCW Director for the successful Justice@Smithfield Campaign He has done extensive international labor solidarity work, including with Iraqi workers and unions, and is a founder of US Labor Against the War. He retired in September 2012 after establishing and leading the Strategic Campaigns Department for the AFT and is presently working as a consultant for several unions.


Jeff Perry ’68, for instance, arrived at Princeton more interested in basketball than politics. “I was a naïve undergraduate,” says Perry. “I didn’t understand much about the war.” That soon changed. After graduation, Perry and a classmate, Gene Bruskin, who also was interested in progressive politics, went to Cuba with the second Venceremos Brigade, a group of young people who showed solidarity with the Cuban revolution by working alongside Cuban workers. There, the two men worked in the fields but found themselves most deeply moved by the chance to talk to a group of visiting Vietnamese. “We got to speak firsthand about the war, in a more neutral setting,” recalls Perry. “I was kind of humbled by the experience.” [1]


After leaving SCLC, Jack O'Dell came to work with Rev. Jesse Jackson in the establishment of Operation Breadbasket and PUSH in Chicago; thereafter, he worked closely with Jackson during his presidential runs and in building the Rainbow Coalition. O’Dell not only played a critical role in developing strategic politics for the Rainbow, he also played an important role in bringing an internationalist perspective to Jackson, especially around the Mideast and the need for justice for Palestinians. Gene Bruskin, a longtime union activist and later the lead organizer with UFCW’s Smithfield organizing drive, had been on the Rainbow staff coordinating its work with unions and, in that capacity, he often met with O’Dell.[2]

Forward Motion

In 1988 Gene Bruskin Boston, contributed an article to Forward Motion June issue "Hospital workers organize". He was an organizer for Local 66 of the Laundry and Dry Cleaning International Union, and formerly with the United Steelworkers.

U.S. Labor Against the War Involvement

In 2008 Gene Bruskin was an officer of US Labor Against the War.[3]

Iraq: The Legacy of the 7-Year U.S. Occupation

On Sunday, August 29th 2010. at Busboys and Poets, 5th and K Sts. NW, Washington, D.C., an event "Iraq: The Legacy of the 7-Year U.S. Occupation" was held;

Is the U.S. military really leaving Iraq or just rebranding? What is the toll of seven years of occupation on Iraqis, U.S. soldiers and our economies? What is the status of Iraqi refugees around the world? Is it still possible to hold accountable those who dragged us into the war or committed crimes such as torture? What role did Congress and the media play in facilitating the invasion/occupation? We'll also look at the role of the peace movement -- its strengths and weaknesses -- and draw key lessons to make our work for peace, including in Afghanistan, more effective.

Speakers/performers included:

The event was sponsored by: CODEPINK, Peace Action, Institute for Policy Studies, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Global Exchange, Just Foreign Policy, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), U.S. Labor Against the War, ANSWER, World Can’t Wait, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, War is a Crime, Rivera Project, Washington Peace Center.[4]

Support for Bernie Sanders

Gene Bruskin pledged support for Bernie Sanders through Labor for Bernie, a "nationwide network of labor activists, backing Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign."

Thanked by Zweig

"The Working Class Majority: America's Best Kept Secret, Second Edition By Michael Zweig acknowledged Joe Berry, Ron Blackwell, Jim Borbely, Ross Borden, Gene Bruskin, Jeff Crosby, Fernando Gapasin, Penny Lewis, Stephanie Luce, Maria Maisto, Jack Metzgar, Rachel Micah-Jones, Dennis O'Neil, Jay D. Mazur, Steven Pitts, Warren Sanderson, Heidi Shierholz, Craig Smith, Megan Smith, Ralph Trioche, Luis Valenzuela, Victor Wallis, Kris Warner, Devon Whitham, Anne Weigard, and Robert Saute for their help.

Labor for Our Revolution leaders

Labor for Our Revolution April 6;


More than 50 union leaders participated in the Labor for Our Revolution national meeting in Chicago. — with Clem Balanoff, Gene Bruskin, Matthew Graham, David W. Campbell, David Duhalde, Peter Hart, Tony Flora, Brenda Bosworth Rodrigues, Carey Dall, Penelope Jennewein, Joe Lawrence, Gene Elk, Dana Simon, Mark Dudzic, Kenneth Zinn, Zachary Pattin, Mike Parker, Kyle Machado, Peter Knowlton, Donna DeWitt, Brian Skiffington, Peter Olney, Jared Hicks, Marcelle Grair, Steve Early, Al Cholger and Erin McKee.


  1. [ 23, 2005: Features, A war still with them By Merrell Noden ’78
  2. [1]
  4. [ Withdraw the Last Combat Politicians from Washington by David Swanson, pacific free Press, Aug 29, 2010]