Rudy Oswald: In Memoriam

The Washington DC chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (DC LERA) remembers the legacy of Rudy Oswald who passed away September 28, 2022.  Rudy was an active member of DC LERA and its parent organization LERA.  He served as DC LERA President in 1972 just prior to becoming the Chief Economist for the AFL-CIO in 1976.  Rudy led the AFL-CIO’s economics and research efforts for 20 years, influencing multiple generations of union researchers. He led national LERA as president in 1980. Rudy earned his Master’s degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD in Economics from Georgetown University.  He actively participated in DC LERA events even through the pandemic when we moved to all virtual meetings.  DC LERA remembers Rudy’s soft spoken but sharp analysis and will miss his presence.

 The only organization where professionals interested in all aspects of industrial relations and human resources come together to share ideas and learn about new developments, issues and practices in the field.

DC LERA is a non-partisan labor relations forum in Washington, D.C. where conflicting ideas and ideologies coexist. Under our sponsorship, Washington professionals and scholars concerned with labor relations and human resources gather to discuss news and debate policy. Our Chapter frames those discussions with speakers on crucial economic, legal, policy, and social issues in employer–employee relations.

Thanks to our location, the DC LERA draws support from the Washington policy community, with members and speakers from government, academia, unions, think tanks, and policy advocacy organizations—and notably from the Executive branch and Congress. Consequently, we offer extraordinarily opportunities for labor relations professionals, union leaders, policy specialists, scholars, and students to enrich their knowledge and expand their networks.

Our program goes beyond domestic policy. A special dimension of the DC LERA’s program is international labor relations. We are honored and privileged to have several representatives of Washington’s diplomatic delegations as active participants on our Chapter Board of Governors. We organize an annual international event where attachés and counselors give presentations on labor relations in Asia and Europe.

Our strategy is variety. We present our members with a broad spectrum of facts, viewpoints, opinions, and ideologies. But personal relationships are also important. We regularly sponsor social events to support networking among our members and friends. Professional competence derives from strong specialization built on a wide base of understanding and knowledge.


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The DC LERA has been affiliated with National IRRA since 1950.

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