November-December 2009 (39)

Editor: Terence K. Huwe
Contributors: Dan Bellm, Stefanie Kalmin, Janice Kimball, Jenifer MacGillvary, Vibhuti Mehra, Dick Walker

Especially Recommended:
"American Exceptionalism and Labor Politics: A New Comparative Study of the United States and Australia"
Robin Archer, London School of Economics, Monday November 16, 12pm –1 pm
(Details below under IRLE Colloquium Series)

Cambridge University Press publishes new volume: Clair Brown, Barry Eichengreen and Michael Reich eds. Labor in the Era of Globalization.


IRLE News & Events
IRLE Colloquium Series, November Presentations
Southern California Edison Funds Vial Center Project

IRLE Program News
The Labor Center
California Public Employee Relations
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library
The Labor Project for Working Families


Campus News & Events

IRLE NEWS & EVENTS


IRLE Colloquium Series: November Presentations

All presentations are held at 2521 Channing Way. A light lunch is served.
Please RSVP to Myra Armstrong: zulu2@berkeley.edu

Monday, November 2, 2009 - 12-1pm

The Japanese and U. S. employment systems: How are they changing? What are the consequences?
James Lincoln, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

 

Monday, November 16, 2009 - 12-1pm

American Exceptionalism and Labor Politics: A New Comparative Study of the United States and Australia
Robin Archer, London School of Economics

Why is there no labor party in the United States? This question lies at the heart of a classic debate about the nature of American politics and society. Drawing on his recently published work, Robin Archer shows how comparison with Australia suggests some striking new answers.

Robin Archer is the director of the graduate program in political sociology at the London School of Economics. He was previously the fellow in politics at Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford. His latest book, Why Is There No Labor Party in the United States? was published by Princeton University Press in 2008.

For more details see: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8668.html

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 12-1pm

Donald Vial Seminar - New Book: Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development
Joan Fitzgerald, Professor and Director of the Law, Policy, and Society Program at Northeastern University

Professor Fitzgerald's new book is described by Amazon.com as follows:

In Emerald Cities, Joan Fitzgerald shows how in the absence of a comprehensive national policy, cities like Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle have taken the lead in addressing the interrelated environmental problems of global warming, pollution, energy dependence, and social justice. Cities are major sources of pollution but because of their population density, reliance on public transportation, and other factors, Fitzgerald argues that they are uniquely suited to promote and benefit from green economic development. For cities facing worsening budget constraints, investing in high-paying green jobs in renewable energy technology, construction, manufacturing, recycling, and other fields will solve two problems at once, sparking economic growth while at the same time dramatically improving quality of life. Fitzgerald also examines how investing in green research and technology may help to revitalize older industrial cities and offers examples of cities that don't make the top-ten green lists such as Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio and Syracuse, New York. And for cities wishing to emulate those already engaged in developing greener economic practices, Fitzgerald shows which strategies will be most effective according to each city's size, economic history, geography, and other unique circumstances. But cities cannot act alone, and Fitzgerald analyzes the role of state and national government policy in helping cities create the next wave of clean technology growth.

Monday, November 30, 2009 - 12-1pm

The anatomy of the Mortgage Securitization Crisis
Neil Fligstein, Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

The current crisis in the mortgage securitization industry offers great insight into our models of how markets work and our political will, organizational capability, and ideological desire to intervene in markets. This paper shows that one of the main sources of failure has been the lack of a coherent understanding of how these markets came into existence, how tactics and strategies of the principal firms in these markets have evolved over time, and how we ended up with the economic collapse of the main firms. It seeks to provide some insight into these processes by compiling both historical and quantitative data on the emergence and spread of these tactics across the largest investment banks and their principal competitors from the mortgage origination industry. It ends by offering some policy proscriptions based on the analysis.

 

Southern California Edison Funds Major Workforce Study

Southern California Edison, under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission, has funded the following study:

"California Needs Assessment of Workforce Issues for Energy Efficiency, Demand-Side Management, Renewable Energy and the Green Economy"

A team of IRLE researchers will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the capacity of California's workforce development programs, and provide a roadmap for scaling up workforce development infrastructure in the state. This assessment will help firms and policy makers address the workforce needs associated with job growth, job transformation, and job loss in a transition to a green economy.

Details on the project are still in the planning stages, and will be reported as work progresses.

 

IRLE PROGRAMS


The Labor Center

New Publications

"The High Cost of Furloughs," by Ken Jacobs
This report, which was released October 15th at a Sacramento press conference with Senator Darryl Steinberg, analyses the broad impact of furloughing state employees for three days a month or the equivalent of a loss of seven weeks of pay, compared to a single monthly mandatory furlough day. It concludes that the expanded furloughs will save the general fund just 12 cents for every dollar cut in wages and benefits. Available for download at http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/californiabudget/furloughs09.pdf

"The Impact of Climate Change Policies on Carbon-Intensive Manufacturing Industries in Oregon," By Carol Zabin, Andrea Buffa and Lynn Scholl
A report on the potential for job loss and leakage in the carbon-intensive industries due to climate change policy in Oregon, and policies to protect these industries in the face of competition from regions with less stringent carbon policies. Available for download at http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu

"Homecare Organizing in California: An Analysis of a Successful Organizing Strategy," by Linda Delp and Katie Quan
This article was included in a collection published by UCLA Labor Center entitled Women's Work: Los Angeles Homecare Workers Revitalize the Labor Movement.
For more information on this book, visit http://books.labor.ucla.edu/

"Memories of the 1982 ILGWU Strike in New York Chinatown," by Katie Quan
In this piece, published in the latest Amerasia Journal (an Asian American Studies Journal), Katie Quan discusses her experience during the 1982 garment workers' strike in New York City.
Available for download at http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/staff/quan_amerasia09.pdf

"Comparing the Employer Requirements in the Congressional Health Proposals," by Ken Jacobs
Produced for the Institute for America's Future, this short piece analyzes the effectiveness of the employer requirement provisions in the various congressional bills.

"The National Health Care Debate: What is being proposed and what does it mean for union members?" by Ken Jacobs
Another short piece available for download at http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/healthpolicy/health_reform_and_unions.pdf

Upcoming Trainings

Strategic Campaigns
Monday-Friday, December 7-11, 2009 at the UC Berkeley Labor Center
The application deadline is November 13, 2009
This five-day intensive workshop is for organizers, researchers, field reps and business agents, communications specialists and political coordinators from unions and community organizations. Participants will develop deeper analyses of issues they are working on, create strategic plans and learn new tools for their campaigns. For more information please visit http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/workshops/index.shtml#strat

C. L. Dellums African American Union Leadership School
February 20–May 22, 2010, (8 bi-weekly Saturday sessions), at the UC Berkeley Labor Center The aim of the C. L. Dellums African American Union Leadership School is to develop the leadership skills of Bay Area trade unionists –both elected union officers and local member leaders –who are deeply committed to strengthening the relationship between the labor movement and the Black community.
The C.L. Dellums African American Union Leadership School welcomes participation regardless of race, ethnicity, color, sex, or national origin.
For more information please visit http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/leadershipschools/

 


California Public Employee Relations

CPER just went to press with CPER Journal number 197 (November 2009). The two main articles provide a refreshing look at subjects outside the realm of layoffs and furloughs. Attorneys Cynthia O'Neill and Suzanne Solomon review the status of employment testing after Ricci v. DeStefano, the case where racial disparities showed up in the results of promotion exams given to New Haven firefighters. The authors stress that any selection procedure must be validated by predicting success on the job. Attorney Stacey Leyton outlines the federal and state labor law protections that extend to employees' email, a medium now used more than ever.

Other news in the public sector covers the unprecedented layoffs that have hit all segments of our workforce. At the local government level, efforts to trade furlough days for layoffs have not been successful. Even law enforcement has not gotten a pass.

In the state sector, where employees are being furloughed three days a month, real questions exist as to the effectiveness of the strategy. Does it make sense to furlough those state employees whose work enriches state coffers? In this issue of CPER, you'll read that the struggle to curtail spending by cutting labor costs may not save as much money as predicted. Also, as furloughed employees have less money in their pockets, there can be collateral damage to the local economy.

And, when is a furlough not a furlough but a pay cut? In the higher education setting, the argument is, if the furlough day does not fall on an instructional day and reduce teaching responsibilities, it's a pay cut dressed up as a furlough.

This fall, CPER has been present at several conferences, including those of the State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section and the California Employment Lawyers Association, both in Oakland, and at the California Public Employers Labor Relations Conference in Monterey, where CPER Director Carol Vendrillo is on the panel, "Making the Most of Arbitration."

 


Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE)

CSCCE will be releasing two important reports before the end of the calendar year:

Learning Together: A Study of 6 BA Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education, Year 2 Student Report. By Marcy Whitebook, Fran Kipnis, Laura Sakai, Dan Bellm, and Mirella Almaraz

This study focuses on four counties' efforts to expand bachelor's degree opportunities in early care and education (ECE) for working adults through the student cohort model-in which small groups of ECE students with similar academic interests who are working full-time pursue a bachelor's degree together, and receive targeted support services. Retention in school rates, and likely graduation rates, are high, suggesting these programs are an effective model to help working adults access and succeed in completing college degrees.

Leadership in Early Childhood: A Curriculum for Emerging and Established Agents of Change. by Marcy Whitebook and Lea Austin

Despite the fundamental importance of early care and education (ECE) practitioners in the lives of young children and their families, the ECE profession is seriously hampered by a shortage of training opportunities to develop and nurture a diverse and well-prepared cadre of leaders.. This work, supported by a grant from the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, seeks to strengthen the capacity of leaders to understand policy, politics, and power and to participate at "tables of power" where decisions are made that impact children, families and teachers and providers. The curriculum is intended for use in higher education and community-based settings.

Recent Projects

CSCCE recently began working with RAND Corporation on an examination of the early care and education workforce development system in California, Funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation

CSCCE is also working with other national organizations (including the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislators, Pre-K Now, and the Council of Chief State School Officers) to shape how early care and education workforce data are integrated with other educational and child data systems central to the Obama's Administration on Early Learning and K-12 reform.

 


Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library

Library Presentation on Online Research to Chinese Trade Unionists

During October 2009, IRLE Library staff Terry Huwe and Janice Kimball covered strategies for researching U.S. and international corporations for a visiting delegation of Chinese union officials. The presentation involved a simultaneous translator, which enabled spirited question-and-answer dialogue. The visit was organized by Katie Quan of the Labor Center.

Librarians Association Sponsors High-Profile Conference

The Librarians Association of the University of California, Berkeley Division sponsored a one day conference titled "Library Student Users: Deliver What They Need–The Way They Want It." The conference featured noted experts, including Joan P. Lippincott of the Coalition for Networked Information and Sarah Houghton-Jan, Digital Futures Director at the San Jose Public Library. The event explored the new challenges associated with teaching "net-gen" students. Attendees included not only UC faculty and librarians but also public librarians, high school librarians, and colleagues from many other California colleges and universities. The conference was co-chaired by Terry Huwe and Pat Maughan, Doe Library Instructional Services. More information can be found at: http://lib.berkeley.edu/LAUC/2009conference

IRLE Library Keynotes in New York

The Long Island Library Resources Council invited Terry Huwe to keynote at their 18th Annual Conference, which was held at Long Island University- C.W. Post campus, in Woodbury, New York. The theme of the conference was "Brave New Social Media." Other keynoters included Sara Nelson, books editor of Oprah magazine; Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, and Siva Vaidhyanathan, cultural historian, and Professor of Media Studies and Law at the University of Virginia. The event covered a wide range of issues facing educators and library planners, and attracted over 200 attendees.

 


Labor Project for Working Families

Labor Project's New Guide on Family Leave Laws for California Unions

The Labor Project for Working Families has produced a new guide for California labor unions entitled "Knows Your Rights! Family Leave Laws in California". This guide will help shop stewards, union representatives and organizers to get the facts about California's family leave laws; understand the difference between federal and state laws and how they how they interact with each other; and advocate for members' rights. To order a free print copy, contact Jenya Cassidy: (510) 642-5498 or jenya@working-families.org. To download a copy, go to: http://www.working-families.org/learnmore/ca_paidleave.html.

Labor Project Op-Ed in The Sacramento Bee

The Sacramento Bee recently published an Op-Ed "State, Businesses must Recognize Workplace Gender Shift" co-authored by Netsy Firestein, Executive Director of the Labor Project for Working Families with Mary Wiberg, Executive Director of the California Commission on the Status on Women. The Op-Ed discusses the findings of "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything" and examines how the proposals in the report by California First Lady Maria Shriver are in striking contrast to the policies of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Op-Ed highlights the dichotomy and the need for policy reforms in California. Read the Op-Ed: http://www.working-families.org/press/sacbee_oct09.html.

Netsy Firestein receives 2009 Caring for the Caregiver Award

Netsy Firestein, Executive Director of the Labor Project for Working Families has received the 2009 Caring for the Caregiver Award from the Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center in recognition of the Labor Project’s efforts to advocate for working family caregivers and support families faced with the challenges of caregiving. Ms. Firestein received the award at the 10th Annual Caring for Caregiver Conference held on November 7 at Los Angeles, California. The award was presented by Dr. Donna Benton, Director of the Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center and Gerald C. Davison, Dean, USC Davis School of Gerontology.


CAMPUS EVENTS


Center for Chinese Studies

November 12, 2009
Faculty Club , Heyns Room
4-6 p.m.

Chinese Reforms in Historical and Comparative Perspective
Prasenjit Duara, Raffles Professor of Humanities, National University of Singapore
A look at the last 30 years of reform in China in both a global, comparative perspective and a Chinese historical one. The speaker will explore the long-term role of the cultural nexus of power in creating an entrepreneurial local culture as well as long-term patterns of state-society relations.

Center for Race and Gender

CRG Afternoon Forum Series,
691 Barrows Hall
4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

December 3, 2009
The Persisting Plantation: Laborers in the Field & Literature
The Costs of Certified Food: Just Pineapple Production in Costa Rica
Dr. Sang Lee, College of Natural Resources
Little Gold Piece: The Production of Fetish Value in Corregidora
Dr. Alia Pan, Center for Race & Gender
Detailed info: http://crg.berkeley.edu/content/persisting-plantation

Economics Department

Economics 231, Public Finance Seminar
608-7 Evans Hall
Mondays
2-4pm

November 9, 2009 "Income Effects in Labor Supply: New Evidence from Taxes and Birth Timing"
Philippe Wingender, UC Berkeley

Economics 251, Labor Economics Seminar
608-7 Evans Hall
Thursdays
2-4pm

November 5, 2009
"The Role of Labor and Marriage Markets, Preference Heterogeneity and the Welfare System in the Life Cycle Decisions of Black, Hispanic and White Women"
Kenneth Wolpin, University of Pennsylvania

Economics 271, Planning and Development Seminar
608-7 Evans Hall
Mondays
4-6pm

November 23, 2009
"Unbundling Property Rights: Urban Housing Privatization and Labor Mobility in China"
Nancy Qian, Yale University

Economics 295, Survey of Research in Economics
608-7 Evans Hall
Mondays
12-2pm

November 16, 2009
Survey of Research: Labor
David Card, UC Berkeley; Patrick Kline, UC Berkeley; Enrico Moretti, UC Berkeley; Michael Reich, UC Berkeley

Institute of Governmental Studies

November 16, 2009
Alumni House Toll Room
4 p.m.

The Future of Chimerica
Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and William Ziegler Professor at Harvard Business School.
Sponsors: Institute of International Studies, Institute of Governmental Studies
When does a rising power become a threat? There is seldom a single moment. A century ago, AngloGerman antagonism was still a relatively new phenomenon; an alliance between the two empires seemed plausible as late as 1899. Likewise, the United States took time to identify Japan as a serious rival in the Pacific region; it was not until the 1930s that relations really soured. In both cases, the perception of a strategic threat was slow to grow. But grow it did–and ultimately it led to war. Could the same be happening to the United States and China today? Are we imperceptibly but inexorably slipping from cooperation to competition?