December 06 - January 07 (17)
Editor: Terence K. Huwe
Contributors: Elizabeth del Rocío Camacho, Janice Kimball

IRLE News & Events
IRLE (formerly IIR) 60th Anniversary Celebration:  A Huge Success
New Research by David Levine and Jonathan Leonard featured by the UC Berkeley Newscenter
New Sponsored Research
Industrial Relations:  A Journal of Economy and Society:  October 2006 articles and abstracts

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

Campus News and Events
Economics Department
Haas School of Business


IRLE (formerly IIR) 60th Anniversary Celebration:  A Huge Success

IRLE’s day-long event attracted hundreds of people and many of them stayed throughout the day to listen to four panel discussions-- on globalization, immigration, the state of the labor movement, and public policy to improve California’s labor markets-- as well as a “poster” session featuring the work of many faculty and staff affiliated with IIT. The lunchtime address was by Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. Breakfast and lunch were provided, and a wine and cheese reception finished the day.  Associate Chancellor John Cummins officially thanked IRLE, and conferred Chancellor Robert J. Biregenau’s appreciation of IRLE’s activities. He presented past Directors Lloyd Ulman, George Strauss and Clair Brown with plaques in recognition of their service to the University. IRLE received a certificate of appreciation for our 60 years of contributions from the California Legislature.

The 60th Anniversary was Webcast, and is available for viewing at:

David I. Levine and Jonathan Leonard Feature on the UC  Berkeley NewsCenter

IRLE affiliates David Levine and Jonathan Leonard received front-and-center attention for their recent study of employee turnover.  David and Jonathan studied over 70,000 “front line” employees in more than 800 workplaces. They find interesting and provocative links between employee turnover and workplace diversity.  The full story may be found at:

New Sponsored Research

Marcy Whitebook

Marcy has been awarded two grants from First 5 Alameda County to assist with the research and development of a new undergraduate Minor program and Master's in Interdisciplinary Studies in Early Childhood, housed in U.C. Berkeley's School of Education.  This is a joint effort of the School of Education, School of Social Welfare and the Department of Psychology.

Carol Zabin

Carol has received a grant from the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO is to study the contributions of unions to workforce development programs. This project will report on four to five labor-management partnerships and focus on the role of the union in initiating, designing and implementing the training programs and the specific added value that union involvement has brought.  Workforce Learning Strategies will subcontract with the Labor Center to set up the interviews and assist with conducting the analysis and writing the final report.

Industrial Relations:  A Journal of Economy and Society: October 2006 articles and abstracts

SPECIAL ISSUE: Organizational Participation

Volume 45 Issue 4 - October 2006


The Diffusion of Calculative and Collaborative HRM Practices in European Firms

The aim of this paper is to trace and explain variations in calculative and collaborative human resource management (HRM) practices between companies and across national borders. Variations and similarities are explained in terms of the convergence and divergence of HRM practices determined by national institutions, and the increasing influence of multinational companies (MNCs). We explore the diffusion of HRM practices in Europe over time, using data sets from two surveys conducted in several European countries in 1995 and 2000. We use institutional explanations for the development of three selected bundles of HRM practices: individual, calculative performance-oriented practices; collective incentive schemes for the alignment of interests; and collaborative practices that seek to enhance the commitment of employees. We found substantial effects of country-specific institutions and of the country of origin of MNCs, which clearly support the institutional duality thesis. Foreign-owned MNCs, especially those that are US-based, appear to moderate country-specific institutional effects on the diffusion of the three HRM bundles.

U.S. High-Performance Work Practices at Century's End

This study examines the incidence, industry differences, and economic environment of work practices in the United States in 1994 and 1997 using census data from a nationally representative random sample of establishments. Self-managed work teams were used by a majority of workers in some sites. Work-related meetings had higher incidence. A high-performance work organization is used in about 1 percent of establishments. There were significant industry differences associated with globalization, namely, imports and exports.

Determinants of the Extent of Participatory Employment Practices: Evidence from Japan

Prior studies on the effects of participatory employment practices often assume that once introduced, participatory employment practices change little in their nature and scope over time. Using unique micro data that provide detailed information on various attributes of participatory employment practices of Japanese firms as well as the age of such practices, we provide the first direct and systematic evidence that such practices expand significantly in their scope and nature as they age.

Twin Tracks­Employee Representation at Eurotunnel Revisited

The introduction of the European Directive on Information and Consultation and the recent implementation of the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations into United Kingdom (UK) law have increased the focus on workplace representation arrangements. This paper examines the interplay between nonunion and union representative arrangements at Eurotunnel (UK) and assesses their effectiveness in representing the needs of employees over a 5-year period. Importantly, the paper also examines the opportunities and challenges of both nonunion representation (NER) and union voice arrangements. The findings show that the effectiveness of nonunion structures as bodies representing the interests of employees in filling the lack of representation is questionable. However, union recognition through an employer–union partnership agreement has also raised important issues regarding the effectiveness, impact, and legitimacy of unions at Eurotunnel. The main implication of this research is that the existence of a mechanism­union or nonunion­for communication between management and employees at the workplace may not be a sufficient condition for effective representation of employee interests. In addition, while trade unions may provide greater voice than nonunion arrangements (thus the reluctance of management to accept such voice arrangements), the strength of voice is dependent on the legitimacy and effectiveness of trade unions in representing employees' interests at the workplace. And that in turn depends on the union being perceived by the workforce as both representative and able to act independently. If the union cannot, it will not meet the needs of either employees or management­and could run the risk of being supplanted under the provisions of the new EU Directive on Information and Consultation with tougher requirements for compliance in terms of procedures for consultation and information disclosure.

What Factors Lead Management to Support or Oppose Employee Participation­With and Without Works Councils? Hypotheses and Evidence from Germany

This paper provides the first econometric analysis to distinguish between works councils in establishments where managers have a positive or negative view toward employee involvement in decision making. We similarly distinguish between establishments where no council is present in which management supports or does not support worker participation. We stress the potential role of works councils and participation in motivating employees. Our theoretical analysis and empirical results from German manufacturing establishment data show that the structure of the workforce, principal-agent problems between owners and managers, collective bargaining, direct employee involvement, human resource management practices, and market strategy and innovativeness all play important roles. Some conflicting conclusions in the works council literature may be due to the failure to distinguish among industrial relations participation regimes characterized by cooperative or uncooperative relationships between works councils and management.

The Performance of European Works Councils in Engineering: Perspectives of the Employee Representatives

Drawing on a structured survey of European works council representatives within the engineering industry, this paper identifies a number of shortfalls in the performance of European works councils. In particular, it shows that European works council representatives retain a national rather than a European point of reference and are critical of the integration of European works councils with other aspects of trade union organization and activity. In contrast, European works council representatives welcome the transparency within multinational companies introduced by the directive. The paper concludes in terms of a range of revisions that might usefully be introduced to improve the performance of the directive.

Unions and Employee Ownership: A Road to Economic Democracy?

In the relationship between unions and employee share ownership, neither threatened the other, and their combination led to benefits for employees, particularly where unionized employees were majority owners. Companies adding communication, training, and participation reported performance gains. These practices were more common among majority-owned companies and in companies facing economic threats. Economic performance and benefits were comparable, whether unionized employees owned a majority of the stock, a minority, or none at all.

Intellectual Capital, Monitoring, and Risk: What Predicts the Adoption of Employee Stock Options?

We use empirical analysis to analyze company characteristics associated with the adoption and maintenance of broad-based stock option plans. First, a cross-sectional analysis evaluates what company characteristics are now associated the incidence of such plans. Second, a longitudinal analysis examines the company characteristics that predict the adoption of such plans. Our results show that firms with higher levels of intellectual capital and capital intensity are more likely to adopt and maintain employee stock option plans.

Incentives, Monitoring, and Employee Stock Ownership Plans: New Evidence and Interpretations

This paper reviews the theory and evidence for agency theory-based explanations for employee stock ownership plans found in the financial participation literature. The UK Workplace Employee Relations Survey 1998 is used to test whether share plans substitute for direct monitoring and individual incentives. Contrary to some predictions in the literature, individual incentives are found to be complements of share plans, while other measures of monitoring costs provide mixed results. However, it is found that monitoring costs and a wide range of performance targets explain the conjunction of stock plans and individual incentives. It is suggested that share plans are used to mitigate dysfunctional effects of individual incentives by engendering cooperation and trust, and by broadening the range and time frame of desired performance outcomes.

Worker Participation­Some Under-Considered Issues

This paper deals with a variety of issues regarding participation that may have received too little attention or that may be viewed from a different perspective. These include the sometimes faddist interest in the topic, participation as a form of bargaining, and alternate research strategies. It also reports on the current status of several once-publicized participation sites.

IRLE Unit News

Labor Center News

The Labor Center’s Fall 2006 Newsletter is now available for download:

New Grants

Katie Quan recently received a research grant for her project “Wal-Mart In China: Is There an Opening for Labor?”


Friday, January 19, 2007 from 5-7pm, IRLE Director’s Room

Visual presentation by photojournalist David Bacon from his new book Communities Without Borders: Images and Voices from the World of Migration, followed by discussion of issues of migration and work. Other panel participants TBA.

Light food and drink will be provided. Copies of David’s new book will be available for purchase.

For more information on the book, take a look at:

2007 Trainings: Dates & Deadlines

Full information may be found at:

C. L. Dellums African American Union Leadership School
Eight bi-weekly Saturday sessions, January 27 through May 5, 2007
Deadline for applying: January 5, 2007

California Union Leadership School
Sunday–Friday, January 21–26, 2007, Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa, Kelseyville, CA

Financial Skills Workshop
Thursday and Friday, February 22 and 23, 2007

California Lead Organizers Institute
March 2007, week-long, specific dates TBA, Ben Lomond Center near Santa Cruz

Conflict Mediation Workshop
Friday, March 23, 2007

Power Analysis and Strategic Planning
Thursday and Friday, April 12 and 13, 2007

Media Skills Workshop
May, 2007, two days, specific date TBA

Labor Summer
Union/CBO host applications deadline: Friday, February 16, 2007
Student internship applications deadline: Friday, March 2, 2007

Summer Institute for Union Women
Monday­Friday, July 16–20, 2007, at UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr Conference Center

Strategic Campaigns
Monday­Friday, September 17-21, 2007, at a Central Valley location

California Public Employee Relations News

In the December issue (No. 181), CPER published “Getting Religion’: Teaching Religion in the Public Schools.” The article discussed the case of Eklund v. Byron Union School District, where a seventh-grade teacher's world history class in Contra Costa County became the focus of a lawsuit when she covered the chapter on Islam.

In the upcoming February issue (No. 182), the theme of religion in the public schools will continue. Alan Hersh, legal counsel for the Contra Costa Country Unified School District, will address the conflict between employees wishing to express their religion and public school employers hoping to impose restrictions that will keep the public workplace neutral. Hersh’s article will discuss concerns regarding the wearing of religious garb, conflicts between religious ceremonies and work schedules, use of interoffice mail for religious material, and religious displays at work stations.

Attorney Genevieve Ng of the law firm Renne Sloan Holtzman and Sakai, is tackling the topic of the looming deadline for compliance with the Government Accounting Standards Board. Taking a long look at their unfunded liability and considering the rocketing cost of health care, cities and counties may wish to reassess the health benefits it confers on their retired members and their dependents. The article will discuss the general rules for whether or not these health care benefits are vested, as the law in this area is unsettled.  However, some systems, such as the County Employee Retirement Law of 1937, have special statutory provisions that apply. The special vesting rules under the 1937 Act is the primary focus of this article.

The third main article is a report on novel employment issues that have arisen under two acts which govern court employees (Trial Court Employment Protection and Governance Act) and trial court interpreters (Trial Court Interpreter Employment and Labor Relations Act). These are relatively new statutes with very little case law, yet they present some interesting issues for the courts in their role as employer of over 20,000 employees in California. The article’s author, Tim Emert, is an attorney with the Administrative Office of the Courts, the staff agency of the Judicial Council that has policymaking authority over the state court system.

Also on the CPER calendar, in January, Editor Carol Vendrillo will attend the California Federation of Teachers’ Leadership Conference and training session in Sacramento, where CPER materials will be available to attendees.

Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

CSCCE is releasing two new policy research reports in December, which will be available online at

a. Roots of Decline: How Government Policy Has De-Educated Teachers of Young Children, by Dan Bellm and Marcy Whitebook, analyzes labor trends for the early care and education workforce over the past 25 years - notably, an overall decrease in educational qualifications, and persistent wage stagnation - in the light of federal and state policy, and makes a series of recommendations for reversing these downward trends.  This report was produced with support from the Foundation for Child Development.

b. Clearing a Career Path: Lessons From Two Communities in Promoting Higher Education Access for the Early Care and Education Workforce, by Kara Dukakis and Dan Bellm, documents recent groundbreaking efforts in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, CA, including challenges faced and lessons learned, as a guide for other counties and institutions seeking to improve professional development in the ECE field.  This report was produced with
support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Center for Work, Technology and Society

Clair Brown and Greg Linden from the Center for Work, Technology, and Society completed a research project about semiconductor engineers for the National Academy of Engineering. Clair presented this research in Washington DC on October 25th at the NAE's Workshop Offshoring of Engineering: Facts, Myths, Unknowns, and Implications, and the proceedings will be issued as a book. Their research shows that, overall, semiconductor engineers in the US are finding adequate employment opportunities, with real earnings growth and wages above the average for engineers in other industries. The offshoring of engineering work by U.S. semiconductor companies appears to be more of a complement than a substitute, with fieldwork indicating that, in most cases, offshore development work supports higher-level coordination and conceptual work in the U.S.  Causes for concern include a decline in the opportunities for engineers older than 50, and a declining premium for MS and PhD  degrees. The heavy use of offshore and H-1B engineers may be limiting salary growth, and the large-scale involvement of foreign students in graduate degree program (>50% for PhDs granted since 2002) may be increasing the exposure of the labor market to political and economic turbulence.

Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library News

Library Hosts IRLE (formerly IIR) 60th Celebration
The Library Commons hosted a large audience for the full day of events.  This enabled visitors to move between the foyer, Conference Room and Library Commons for refreshments and to view the poster sessions.

Visiting Scholars and Information Gateway Update
Two PC workstations have been installed in the Visiting Scholars alcove. The remaining workstations are reserved for scholars with their own laptops, who can access the network via AirBears.  Five computer workstations with be installed in the Information Gateway during December, and one of these will have a scanner attached.

Library Staff Move on December 4, 2006

Elizabeth del Rocio Camacho, Janice Kimball and the library student employees will begin moving to the front of the Library Commons on December 4.  This long-expected move will make the staff much more accessible.  Terry Huwe stays in Room 121.

Campus Teaching and Learning Spaces Task Force
Terry Huwe is a member of the Campus Teaching and Learning Spaces Task Forces, a joint effort led by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Affairs, the campus Chief Information Officer, and The University Library.  The group will make recommendations for planning learning spaces (classrooms, labs, libraries) as the campus undertakes building renovations.  Because the IRLE Library has itself been renovated, many more groups are requesting tours­including this task force.  The Task Force’s report is due in January and will assess the design challenges and opportunities confronting higher education generally, and this campus in particular.

Labor Project for Working Families News

Coming in January 2007

New web site:  Visit the Labor Project’s new website at
  This new user-friendly web site will soon allow access to the contracts database as well as provide helpful information on balancing work and family.

Flex Pack:  a toolkit for organizing, bargaining and legislating for worker controlled flexibility.  Go to or call the Labor Project at 510-643-7088 to order a copy for your union or workplace.

Labor Family News: Our winter newsletter will feature how paid sick days were won in San Francisco, how unions help working families send their kids to college and the latest union victories in the work/family arena.

Coming in February, 2007

The Labor Project is screening “The Motherhood Manifesto,”
a new documentary by award-winning film-makers Laura Pacheco and John De Graaf portraying motherhood in America and inspiring moms to work together for more progressive laws around issues like breast feeding, equal pay for equal work, maternity and paternity leave.  Speakers include Art Pulaski from the California Labor Federation and Joan Blades, Co-founder of and founder of  The date and time are TBA.  Go to for more information or call the Labor Project at 510-643-7088.

Paid Family Leave Trainings

The Labor Project is offering trainings on the California Paid Family Leave law for union members.  The training addresses how workers can use the paid family leave benefits to bond with a new baby or adopted child or care for a seriously ill family member. For more information, call 510-643-7088.

Campus News and Events

Economics Department

Economics 211, Economic History Seminar
597 Evans Hall

December 4, 2006
John Tang, University of California, Berkeley
"Leading by Nature or Design? Zaibatsu and Industrialization in Meiji Japan"

Economics 218, Psychology and Economics Seminar
608-7 Evans Hall

December 5, 2006
Botond Koszegi, UC Berkeley
"Dynamic Reference-Dependent Preferences" (with Professor Matthew Rabin)

Economics 231, Public Finance Seminar
608-7 Evans Hall

December 4, 2006
Kent Smetters, University of Pennsylvania
“Ricardian Equivalence with Incomplete Household Risk Sharing"

Economics 237, Macroeconomics Seminar
639 Evans Hall

December 7, 2006
Dean Scrimgeour, University of California, Berkeley
Empirical Evidence on International Monetary Spillovers

Economics 251, Labor Economics Seminar
608-7 Evans Hall

December 7, 2006
Luigi Pistaferri, Stanford University
Wage Risk and Employment Risk Over the Life Cycle (with H. Low and C. Meghir)

Economics 271, Planning and Development Seminar
608-7 Evans Hall

December 4, 2006
Stefano Della Vigna, UCB
"Detecting Illegal Arms Trade"

Economics 281, International Trade and Finance Seminar
639 Evans Hall

December 5, 2006
Doireann Fitzgerald , Stanford University
Trade Costs, Asset Market Frictions and Risk Sharing: A Joint Test

Haas School of Business

OBIR Colloquium
Haas Room C-325

December 6, 2006
Sebastien Brion and Jennifer Kurkoski, PhD students, Haas