This Melvin Lurie Labor-Management Cooperation Prize was created in 1998 to honor the memory of Melvin Lurie, a Professor of Economics at the University and founder of what is now MHRLR. The prize is intended to continue and enhance Professor Lurie’s legacy of promoting the practice and further the development of cooperation between labor and management. As such the prize recognizes individuals for “outstanding service in the cause of promoting, creating or researching labor-management cooperation.” The prize is open to individuals in the private or public sector, and to unionists, managers, neutrals, academics and public officials.

Nominations for the prize are sought from members of the Labor-Management Cooperation Committee at UWM as well as from relevant organizations such as the Labor and Employment Relations Association, the Milwaukee Labor Council, the Southeastern Wisconsin Labor-Management Council, and from previous prize winners and the community at large.

The Labor-Management Cooperation Committee will consider all nominations and chooses a prize winner or winners. The winner(s) provide a brief lecture (20-30 minutes) at the annual Melvin Lurie Memorial Prize ceremony, held in early Fall each year at UWM, and receive a prize of at least $1000 from the Melvin Lurie Memorial Fund.

Recipients to date include:

  • 2023 – Northwestern Mutual and OPEIU Local 9
  • 2022 – Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP) | BIG STEP
  • 2021 – Will Strycker, Employment Relations Consulting
  • 2020 – John Budd, Industrial Relations Land Grant Chair, University of Minnesota
  • 2019 – Labor Management Council of Northeast Wisconsin
  • 2018 – Adrienne Eaton, Professor and Dean of the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University
  • 2017 – The Milwaukee Bucks and the Alliance for Good Jobs
  • 2016 – City of Madison Human Resources, AFSCME Council 32 and the Madison General Municipal Employee Associations
  • 2015 – Peter Davis, Chief Legal Counsel of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission
  • 2014 – Outpost Foods and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1473
  • 2013 – Strattec Security Corporation and United Steelworkers Local 2-232
  • 2012 – Milwaukee Chrysler Distribution Center and United Auto Workers Local 72
  • 2011 – Moira Kelly, Kelly Consulting, LLC
  • 2010 – Milwaukee Center for Independence and AFSCME District 48
  • 2009 – Gary Lisiecki, Commissioner Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
  • 2008 – Attorney Howard Myers
  • 2007 – Milwaukee Fire Department and Milwaukee Professional Firefighters, Local 215
  • 2006 – Bucyrus International and United Steel Workers Local 1343
  • 2005 – DaimlerChrysler Kenosha Engine Plant and UAW Local 72
  • 2004 – Marshall Gratz, Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission
  • 2003 – The Milwaukee Public Museum and AFSCME District 48, Local 526
  • 2002 – Dean Smith, Waukesha Engine, and Michael Hornby, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
  • 2001 – Lyle Balistreri and Edward Hayden, Construction Labor Management Council
  • 2000 – Ronald E. Sweet, Commissioner Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
  • 1999 – Milwaukee Area Technical College and American Federation of Teachers Local 212
  • 1998 – Harley-Davidson Motor Corporation, United Paperworkers International Union (UPIU) Local 7209 and International Association of Machinists (IAM) Lodge 78

Those wishing to nominate candidates should contact Susan Donohue Davies (