April 2008 (28)

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

Especially Recommended:
David E. Feller Memorial Labor Law Lecture
The Diller Lecture
California Studies Association: Conference and Dramatic Presentation
David Stern Talk

IRLE News & Events
Colloquium Series

IRLE Program News

The Labor Center
California Public Employee Relations
California Studies Center
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


David E. Feller Memorial Labor Law Lecture:
How A Low Wage Economy with Weak Labor Laws Brought Us the Mortgage Credit Crisis

Speaker: Damon Silvers, Associate General Counsel, AFL-CIO

April 2, 7-8:30 pm
100 Boalt Hall
School of Law

Sponsor: Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law

To honor the memory of David E. Feller, the well-known labor law professor and advocate who died in 2003, the David E. Feller Memorial Labor Law Lectureship annually presents a scholar or practitioner to speak about his or her work in the field of labor law. The primary goal of the Lectureship is to bring attention to the study and practice of American labor law and to spur the academic exchange of ideas about its contemporary significance.

AFL-CIO Associate General Counsel Damon Silvers will deliver the 2008 Feller Memorial Labor Law Lecture on the topic "How A Low Wage Economy with Weak Labor Laws Brought Us the Mortgage Credit Crisis."

Mr. Silvers’ work focuses on bankruptcy, corporate governance, and pension and general business law issues. Mr. Silvers led the AFL-CIO legal team that won severance payments for laid off Enron and WorldCom workers. He is a member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Standing Advisory Group and the Financial Accounting Standards Board User Advisory Council. He is also a member of the United States Treasury Department Investor’s Practice Committee of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets and is the Chair of the Competition Subcommittee of the United States Treasury Department Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession.

Event Contact: 510-642-5003

The Diller Lecture:
"Between One State and Two: The Political and Economic Future of Israel & Palestine"

Faculty Club, Great Hall
5:30 pm April 10, 2008

Speaker: Professor Arie Arnon, Visiting Professor, Department of Economics, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California at Berkeley

Sponsor: Center for Middle Eastern Studies

This annual lecture is made possible by the Helen Diller Family Visiting Israeli Professor Program.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is neither a purely territorial war, as some have argued, nor merely the result of disagreements about human or political rights. It is also an important economic dimension. Any imagined agreement between the two sides, assuming there will be one, must be conceptualized in terms of two possible schemes: a) ‘Two States’, i.e. the division of the land into two states and two economic sovereign entities or b) ‘One State’, i.e. the establishment of a single political and economic entity. Although Israeli policy since 1967 has repudiated both the ‘Two’ and the ‘One’, it changes character and formulations from time to time, as do Palestinian positions. This lecture will review both past transitions and current issues to be addressed in any future agreement, including the question of borders, Jerusalem, and the 1948 refugees. Special attention will be paid to the economic aspects of these issues, such as trade regimes, labour links, economic borders, and financial and monetary arrangements. It will also suggest the necessary conditions for economic development to ensure sovereignty for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Event Contact: 510-642-8208

The California Studies Association, in conjunction with the California Studies Center at UC Berkeley and the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, presents:

The 18th Annual California Studies Conference:
Changing Climates:
Class, Culture, and Politics in an Era of Global Warming

April 11-13, 2008
Berkeley City College
2050 Center Street

Keynote address by Matt Gonzalez

7pm, Friday, April 11th
Wine and cheese reception to follow

Luncheon address by Jackie Goldberg
12:30, Saturday, April 12th

Saturday night entertainment by Ian Ruskin, performing
"From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks: The Life and Times of Harry Bridges."

Conference Panels include:
Coping with Climate Change, Working in a Green Economy, Immigration, Community Organizing in Silicon Valley, Green Media, In Praise of Taxes, People & Water, Arts & Activism

Speakers include: Rick Wartzman, Margaret Gordon, Peter Schrag, Raquel Pinderhughes, Ian Kim, Raj Jayadev, Tom Athanasiou, Sasha Abramsky, David Bacon, Richard Walker, Norman Miller, and many more

For additional information visit: http://geography.berkeley.edu/ProjectsResources/californiastudies.html

Conference contact: Lindsey Dillon at changingclimates@gmail.com

"Why Some High Schools Keep Trying to Combine: Preparation for Colleges and Careers"
Speaker: David Stern, Graduate School of Education

May 1, 2008, 4-6 pm
2515 Tolman Hall

Sponsor: Policy, Organization, Measurement & Evaluation (POME)

Americans assign multiple goals to their schools. For example, high schools are expected to prepare students for citizenship, work, and further education. Yet during the past century, high schools' vocational and higher education agendas have usually been separate. Some students prepare for college while others are trained for jobs. Various programmatic initiatives have tried to avoid student tracking, but de-tracking efforts are hard to sustain. Still, some high schools keep trying. Do their efforts really help students?

Drawing on his long and distinguished career of scholarship and reform, promoting the development of more engaging and equitable schools, Professor Stern will examine why some high schools sustain a dual commitment to career and college preparation, as well as the impact of their efforts on students.

Please join us in honoring David Stern's contribution to the field of education.

Wine reception to follow

Event Contact: 510-642-0709


IRLE Colloquium Series: April Presentations

Monday, April 7, 2008 –12pm

Nurse Organizing, Labor Strife, and Patient Health Outcomes
Ethan Kaplan, IRLE Visiting Scholar

Monday, April 14, 2008 –12pm

Does Power Drive Out Trust? Relations Between Labour Market Actors in Sweden
PerOla Oberg, IRLE Visiting Scholar; Professor, Department of Government, Uppsala University, Sweden

Monday, April 21, 2008 –12pm

Next Generation Unionism: Power, Politics and the Informational Labor Process
Chris Benner, Associate Professor of Human and Community Development at the University of California, Davis

Monday, April 28, 2008 –12pm

The Local in the Global: Rethinking Social Movements in the New Millennium
Kim Voss, Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley

All events are located at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA.

To attend an event, please RSVP: Myra Armstrong, zulu2@berkeley.edu



The Labor Center

Spring 2008 Events:

Thursday, April 17, Noon - 1 PM

THE CHINA PRICE: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage

Financial Times reporter Alexandra Harney will discuss her new book about the consequences of China’s ceaseless pursuit of economic growth, from unethical business practices to pollution to an epidemic of occupational diseases. Harney visited factories and worker dormitories throughout China and interviewed dozens of migrant and youth workers.

Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and others.
Information: andreabuffa@berkeley.edu, 510-642-6371

Friday, April 25, Noon - 1 PM

The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker

New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse tells the stories of software engineers in Seattle, hotel housekeepers in Chicago, call center workers in New York, and janitors in Houston, as he explores why, in the world’s most affluent nation, so many corporations are intent on squeezing their workers dry.

Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and

Information: andreabuffa@berkeley.edu, 510-642-6371

The Center for Labor Research and Education is helping develop a Green
Jobs Workshop Track for the upcoming California Labor Federation Workforce
and Economic Development Conference. Information about the conference

Building Workforce Partnerships Conference
June 11 - 13, 2008
Sheraton Gateway Hotel Los Angeles
5101 West Century Blvd.
Angeles, CA 90045

Register Online NOW!

Building Workforce Partnerships is an annual collaboration of the Federation’s Workforce and Economic Development Program (WED), the State of California, and other partners. The event draws a diverse and increasingly national group of practitioners, academics, policy makers, labor, and industry leaders to debate and explore the nexus of labor market realities, economic policy, and access to good jobs.

Volatility increasingly defines the labor-market. This is true in California, the nation, and all advanced market economies. Jobs are created and destroyed at an alarming pace. The causes of this volatility are manifold, and highly debatable. What is certain is that workers struggle with economic insecurity at all levels of income, skill, and education. Is our job training and education infrastructure equipped or built to respond to turbulent labor markets and excessive "churn"?

What is the role of industry, labor, and government affecting this reality? What broad economic or industrial policy could shape a more effective response?  These questions and others are the focus of Building Workforce Partnerships 2008.  


California Public Employee Relations

CPER’s April 2008 issue (No. 189) – our largest issue ever – is jam-packed with exciting, in-depth articles that track a broad range of recent developments. One of our feature stories, by Ed Eames, Adjunct Professor of Sociology at CSU Fresno, concerns a topic never before covered in our pages – the scope of reasonable accommodation of guide dogs in the workplace.

The ongoing jurisdictional confrontation between the Public Employment Relations Board and the superior courts in Meyers-Milias-Brown Act strike situations is again in the news. CPER Editor Carol Vendrillo provides an analysis of the recent Court of Appeal decision in City of San Jose v. Operating Engineers, Local No. 3. Attorney Jeff Sloan’s main article gives management’s perspective on the wisdom of the court’s opinion.

Bargaining updates are front and center in the State section, with CCPOA again taking the offensive. PERB’s adoption of fundamental legal principles applicable to the Trial Court Act is noteworthy. Alice Dowdin Calvillo, PERB’s most recent board member, is introduced in News from PERB.

Upcoming 14th Annual Public Sector Conference

On April 11, CPER and the Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar are cosponsoring the 14th Annual Public Sector Conference in Sacramento.

The event will provide an update on recent developments in the public sector, and break-out sessions focused on accommodating the disabled public employee, PERB remedies, wage and hour law in the public sector, religion and speech protections in the workplace, and arbitration principles.

Get more information at http://www.calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_generic.jsp?cid=10709/.


California Studies Center

 See news listed under "Especially Recommended," above.


Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

For a full listing of CSCCE events, please send their Web site:


Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library

IRLE Library Hosts Laney College Students

On March 5, the Library provided a training and overview of how to conduct research on labor issues for Laney College students. This annual event continues the Library’s ongoing collaborative activities with local labor studies program. Janice Kimball was the Presenter.

Special Event: Getting to Know the Affiliated Libraries

The IRLE Library will join all eleven Affiliated Libraries in making a group presentation to the library community and interested faculty on June 12, 2008. Other Affiliated Libraries include the Law Library, The Institute of Governmental Studies, and the Institute for Transportation Studies, and each library reports to a dean or director instead of to the University Librarian. This event will give attendees an overview of the many initiatives underway in all of the libraries. It will be held in The Morrison Library, from 8:30 to 10:00 on June 12. All are welcome.

Library Labor and Economic News Blog Cited for Quality Content

The Internet-based Blog-rating service known as "Blogged" has identified Janice Kimball’s Labor and Economic News Blog as a superior Blog "Blogged’s" criteria include frequency of posts, quality of content, etc. The Blog’s rating was 8 out of a possible 10. To find out more, take a look at:


Labor Project for Working Families

The Labor Project for Working Families marks its 15th anniversary in 2007-08. Since 1992, this national nonprofit advocacy and policy organization has been working with union members, negotiating teams, organizers, policy makers as well as community based organizations and activists to advocate for family friendly workplaces.

For 15 years, the Labor Project for Working Families has:

  • Worked with unions to negotiate for work family issues such as child and elder care benefits, paid family leave, flexible work hours, etc.
  • Collaborated with local and national coalitions of unions and advocates to pass laws so workers won’t have to choose between their jobs and their families. In 2002, the Labor Project helped pass the California Paid Family Leave law –the nation’s first paid family leave legislation and is now working with other states to pass similar legislation. 
  • Trained union staff, stewards and members on work family issues, the Family and Medical Leave Act and Paid Family Leave law.
  • Forged coalitions of unions organizing child care workers to link organizing with improving child care access and quality.

The Labor Project for Working Families thanks all its Funders, Friends, Sponsors and other supporters and looks forward to continuing the important work of advocating and organizing for working families.

To mark its 15th year milestone, the Labor Project for Working Families has released a special Anniversary Report featuring the organization’s programs and achievements over a decade and a half. To receive a copy of this publication, please contact Vibhuti Mehra at (510) 643-6813 or email vibhuti@working-families.org.


Center for Latin America Studies

April 2, 2008
Philip Martin, UC Davis, Agricultural and Resource Economics
"International Migration: Global, American and Agricultural Issues"
Room 554, Barrows Hall

Center for Chinese Studies

April 17, 2008
Alexandra Harney, Former Editor, The Financial Times
"The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage"
IRLE, Center for Labor Research and Education
2521 Channing Way
Cosponsored by the Center for Labor Research and Education at IRLE

April 22, 2008
IEAS Conference Room
2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor
"The Nuts and Bolts of Social Science Research in China"
Jenny Chio, PhD. Candidate, Anthropology, UC Berkeley
Rachel Stern, PhD. Candidate, Polical Science, UC Berkeley
Leslie Wang, PhD. Candidate, Sociology, UC Berkeley

Economics Department

The Labor Economics Seminar (Econ 251) has its own Web page which lists all events:
Full listing of Economic seminars and classes for Spring 2008

Economics 222, Seminar on Innovation
C-325 Haas School

April 2, 2008
Yuriy Gorodnichenko, UC, Berkeley
Globalization and Innovation in Emerging Markets

April 9, 2008
Margaret Taylor, UC, Berkeley
Invention and Cap-and-Trade Programs

Economics 231, Public Finance Seminar
608-7 Evans Hall

May 5, 2008
Robert Margo, Boston University
"Going Postal: What Black Employment in the Postal Service Reveals About Cost of Residential Segregation, 1940-2000"


April 25, 2008
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
2521 Channing Way (near Telegraph Ave.),
The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker
Steven Greenhouse, New York Times
Presented by: UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, Graduate School of Journalism, and Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice