Morty Simon’s Labor story starts as a member of the Retail Clerks Union working at Safeway in New Jeresy. After Simon finished law school at Columbia, he traveled to Southern Colorado to work for San Luis Legal Aid representing the United Farm Workers (UFW). During the next few years, he worked in a legal storefront (Community Law Center) with Law partner, Joan Friedland, and was involved in civil rights and Labor representation cases in New Mexico. Simon represented Steelworkers Local 890 (the Salt of the Earth Local) as well as the first health care workers Local at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Santa Fe. Over the course of 30 years, Simon and his wife and partner Carol Oppenheimer provided legal representation to New Mexico Unions and advocated for economic and social justice through the development of just workplace legislation. Simon and Oppenheimer started the Southwest Organizing School, a popular education approach to teaching Union workers in the Southwest about arbitration, rights on the job, internal organizing, and Union culture.
The Working People's History of New Mexico Project (WPHNM) is an oral labor history project created to gather the labor stories of working people in New Mexico. While part of the interviews focus on the specific jobs that the interviewees performed, the interviews also explore labor-management relations as well as union, workers council, and social activism participation. The interviews contain information about family and social relationships and offer themes of social and historical interest in New Mexico and the US.