October 2008 (31)

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

Especially Recommended:

IRLE Colloquium Series, October Presentations

IRLE News & Events
New Program: The Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy
Recent Sponsored Research Activity

IRLE Program News

The Labor Center
California Public Employee Relations
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
Center for Work, Technology and Society
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library
The Labor Project for Working Families

Campus News & Events


Especially Recommended:

IRLE Colloquium Series, October Presentations

All events are held at noon in the IRLE Large Conference Room,
2521 Channing Way
Light refreshments served.
RSVP to: Myra Armstrong, zulu2@berkeley.edu

Monday, October 13, 2008 - 12pm
"Some Lessons for the United States from Low-Wage Work in Europe"
John Schmitt, Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, D.C.

Monday, October 20, 2008 - 12pm
"Wal-Mart and beyond: How national institutions shape retail jobs around the world"
Chris Tilly, Professor of Urban Planning and Director, IRLE, UCLA

Monday, October 27, 2008 - 12pm
"The Disposable Model of Labor Force Utilization in Italy"
Bruno Contini, Professor of Econometrics and Director, Center for Employments Studies, University of Torino, Italy


The Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy

In response to growing concern about climate change and its potential effects, a "green" economic sector is growing rapidly in California to provide consumers with products and services ranging from solar panels to plug-in hybrid cars to environmentally certified building materials. The State of California has a strong history of policies to promote energy efficiency and renewables, and is about to implement the strongest anti-global warming legislation in the country, the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32, 2007). At the local level, cities and counties are developing initiatives to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and attract new business in emerging technologies, such as the East Bay Green Initiative recently proposed by the mayors of Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley and Richmond.

Employers, economic development planners, workforce professionals, educators, and unions want to know what these new policies and the new green economy will mean for them. Affected industries will include cement manufacturing, oil refining, steel production, construction, solar electronics, energy generation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, plumbing, and many more. While not all these sectors are high-tech, incipient changes will demand improved methods, better engineering, and new job skills. Many of these industries have been organized by trade unions which have generated higher wages and benefits and a strong apprenticeship infrastructure in the skilled trades.

The opportunities are many: a chance for California to lead the way in environmental policy and climate change; an occasion to train a new generation of engineers, technical workers and skilled tradespeople in green technologies; an opportunity for labor, business, and workforce development and economic planners to help develop a new array of well-paying jobs and careers with good benefits; and an opening at the ground level to make quality jobs accessible to low-income communities.

The challenges are also clear. Green technologies will not flourish without a well-trained technical and supporting labor force. Unions will resist green policies if it means trading in old jobs that pay well for new jobs of lesser quality. Green entrepreneurs will be afraid of negotiating away their flexibility and profit margins if wage and regulatory demands are too great. Local community groups will not support "brownfields" redevelopment if they don’t see jobs made available to their residents. There is potential for a "win-win-win" strategy in this growing facet of California’s economy, but it will require careful strategies, educational efforts, and coalitions.

Vial Center Advisory Board

Robert Balgenorth - President, Building and Construction Trades Council of California
Severin Borenstein - Director, UC Energy Institute and Professor, Haas School of Business
Ralph Cavanaugh - Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council
Tom Dalzell - Business Manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1245
Kate Gordon - Co-Director, Apollo Alliance
Michael Hanemann - Director, California Climate Change Center and Professor, Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley
Van Jones - Founder & President, Green for All
Daniel Kammen - Director, Institute of the Environment and Professor, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
Ian Kim - Director, Green Jobs Program, Ella Baker Center
Chuck Mack - International Vice President, Teamsters
Nancy McFadden - Senior Vice President, Pacific Gas & Electric
Patrick Mason - President, California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy
Gabriel Metcalf - Executive Director, San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association
Michael Peevey - President, California Public Utilities Commission
Art Pulaski - Executive Secretary-Treasurer, California Labor Federation
David Sickler - Center for Labor Research & Education, UCLA
Jan Smutny-Jones - Executive Director, Independent Energy Producers Association
Laura Tyson - Professor, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley


Recent Sponsored Research Activity

Steven Pitts
Ford Foundation
Project title: Reducing Tensions Concerning Immigration and Employment between the Black and Latino Communities
Abstract: This project is an expansion of the work CLRE has been carrying out with the "Black-Brown conversations" started by Steven Pitts and Veronica Carrizales as well as Pitts’ Black Worker Project and CLRE’s ongoing focus through leadership development programs with Latino immigrant workers.

Robert Dow
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Project Title: Effects of SF Employer Heath Spending Mandate
Abstract:This project is the second stage of a larger researcher agenda on the effects of the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance. This policy offers an important opportunity to study the impacts of a broad-based health spending requirement across a variety of metrics, including employer heath benefit decisions and employee take-ups.

Steven Pitts/Cheryl Brown
Mitchell Kapor Foundation
Central and East Contra Costa County Labor-Community Green Jobs Project
CLRE will partner with the Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization (CCISCO) to bring together labor unions, community-based organizations, workforce development professionals and elected officials to address issues related to the emerging green economy, such as workforce preparedness, training opportunities and access to quality jobs for low income youths and people of color.


The Labor Center

Book Event with David Bacon

Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants

Wednesday, October 1st, 6 PM
Newman Hall, 2700 Dwight Way (at College Avenue)
Berkeley (4 blocks from the Labor Center

Join us for an evening with David Bacon, author of the new book Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants. In Illegal People, Bacon explores the human side of globalization, exposing the many ways it uproots people in Latin America and Asia, driving them to migrate. At the same time, U.S. immigration policy makes the labor of those displaced people a crime in the United States. Through interviews and on-the-spot reporting, Bacon shows how the United States' trade and economic policies abroad create conditions to displace communities and set migration into motion. In the U.S. and other developed countries, immigration raids and guest worker programs reinforce inequality, low wages and lack of rights for migrants.

David Bacon is an award-winning labor journalist, photographer, immigrant-rights activist and former labor organizer.

Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Labor Center, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, Oakland Institute, UC Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies and the Worker Immigrant Rights Coalition.

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

Raw Encounters: Labor Relations in Africa's Chinese Enclaves
A Talk with China Expert Ching Kwan Lee

Thursday, October 9, 12 Noon
Newman Hall, 2700 Dwight Way (at College Avenue), Berkeley

China's return to Africa in recent years has attracted much media and political attention worldwide. Join us for a presentation and discussion with Ching Kwan Lee, who will report on her recent fieldwork in Zambia’s Copperbelt and Tanzania’s textile mills, where she saw first-hand the impact of China’s investment in Africa. She will focus primarily on labor relations, including a discussion of encounters between Chinese managers and African workers and how these encounters impact local societies.

Ching Kwan Lee received her PhD in Sociology from UC Berkeley and is now Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is author of Against the Law: Labor Protests in China's Rustbelt and Sunbelt and Gender and the South China Miracle. Her current projects include studies of the impacts of Chinese investment in Africa, and labor and property rights activism in China.

Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, Center for Chinese Studies and Center for African Studies.

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


California Public Employee Relations

Our program just finished CPER No. 192. We’re getting close to celebrating our 200th issue, which will be published after over 40 years at the Institute. The last eNews detailed the main articles in that issue, which cover the science and the law of unconscious stereotyping, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the ‘class-of-one’ theory of equal protection. The Recent Developments section in that issue reports on Public Employment Relations Board jurisdiction, expansion of Americans with Disabilities protections, the state controller’s strategy to stall the governor’s minimum wage threat, the effects of the budget cuts on every sector of state public employment, and more.

In the December issue, our outside experts will describe the interplay between city charters and collecting bargaining statutes, and will explain the complex and often confusing body of wage and hour laws enforced by the Department of Industrial Relations.

In the pocket guide arena, this month we are releasing the much-anticipated Pocket Guide to Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act, by J. Scott Tiedemann (Liebert Cassidy Whitmore). The law, which became effective January 1 of this year, was modeled in large part on the peace officer bill of rights act. Case law interpreting the PSOPBRA is sure to be applied in interpreting the new legislation, but there are both subtle and not so subtle differences that will require the courts to address issues of first impression.

Upcoming winter and spring titles will include updates of Pocket Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Acts, by attorney Peter Brown (Miller Brown & Dannis) and Pocket Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act, by attorney Brian Walter (Liebert Cassidy Whitmore). We anticipate another new title, the 16th in the series, Pocket Guide to Just Cause, by arbitrator and former CPER director Bonnie Bogue along with CPER associate editor Katherine Thomson.

CPER will continue to have a presence at major public sector conferences around the state. In November, we’ll be at the 26th annual meeting of the State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section, in San Diego. Also in November, we’ll have materials at the annual CALPELRA (California Public Employers Labor Relations Association) conference in Monterey.

In the months ahead, CPER looks forward to tracking a broad range of developments in the public sector, and to keeping labor relations practitioners abreast of developments in Sacramento, California, and Washington, D.C.


Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

This month, CSCCE will be posting two new items at our web site, http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/cscce/:

  • "Diversity and Stratification in California's Early Care and Education Workforce," a policy brief
  • A Spanish translation of our 2007 report, "Chutes or Ladders? Creating Support Services to Help Early Childhood Students Succeed in Higher Education."


Center for Work, Technology and Society

Prof Clair Brown and Dr Greg Linden, of IRLE's Center for Work, Technology, and Society, signed a contract with MIT Press to publish their book about the global semiconductor industry with the working title Change Is The Only Constant. The book, which will appear early next Fall, analyzes the survival methods of the engineers and firms in the miracle-making chip industry as they faced a series of technological and business crises over the past twenty years. This new study reflects insights gathered in more than a decade of field research with primary funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library

IRLE’s New Web Administrator: Heather Lynch

The Library is pleased to announce that after a rigorous open recruitment, Heather Lynch has stepped into the position of Web Administrator that was vacated by our longtime friend Elizabeth del Rocio Camacho. Heather brings many new skills and plenty of initiative to this position, and will help IRLE advance its online presence in many ways.

Library Blogs Continue to Attract Attention

Janice Kimball has been blogging labor and economic news for over two years now, and during that time, her blogs have received acclaim for consistent uploading and strong topical focus. You can subscribe to her blog and receive email when posts are made. Alternatively, the Library will send out occasional digests during the term.

Fall 2008: Know Your Library Workshops

The UC Berkeley Libraries comprise one of the largest research collections in the nation, and there is much to learn in order to use the collections effectively. The University Library offers brief workshops that focus on special topics to help users make the most of their experience. These are suitable for students, staff and visiting scholars each term. As a courtesy to eNews readers, we have listed upcoming offerings below. Contact the main library directly to reserve a seat in these sessions.

Locaton: 350C Moffitt Undergraduate Library

October 16, 2008 1-3:pm Managing Bibliographies: EndNote

October 20, 2008 2-3:pm Google Scholar: What Is It Good For?

October 23, 2008 2-3:30pm Managing Bibliographies: RefWorks

October 30, 2008 2-3:30pm Government Information and Statistical Data

Labor Project for Working Families

Labor Project Wins Labor Media Awards!

The Labor Project for Working Families has won two awards in the 2008 Labor Media Contest organized by the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA):

  • General Excellence Second Award for our newsletter Labor Family News.
  • General Excellence Second Award for our website www.working-families.org.

Jenya Cassidy, Managing Editor of Labor Family News and Vibhuti Mehra, Communications & Development Director will receive the awards on behalf of the Labor Project at ILCA’s Media Awards Luncheon on November 21, 2008 in Washington, DC.


Economics Department

Web page for seminars (if current topic is not listed before IRLEenews)

Economics 231, Public Finance Seminar
608-7 Evans Hall

October 13, 2008

Job Market Preparation
Claudia Ayanna Sitgraves, UC Berkeley
Sponsors: Emmanuel Saez, Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance
Joint Seminar with Financial Economics

Ocotober 20, 2008

Job Market
Arthur-Damon Jones, UC Berkeley
Sponsors: Emmanuel Saez, Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance

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

October 6, 2008

Sources of Consumption and Income Volatility in Emerging Market Economies
Daniel Hicks, UC Berkeley

Economics 295, Survey of Research in Economics
608-7 Evans Hall

October 5, 2008

Labor Economics
Clair Brown; David Card; Patrick Kline; Enrico Moretti; Michael Reich, UC Berkeley

Center for Chinese Studies

October 3, 2008
IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor

The Increasing Significance of Guanxi in the Chinese Transitional Economy
Yanjie Bian, Professor, Sociology, University of Minnesota

October 9, 2008
Newman Hall, 2700 Dwight Way at College Ave

Raw Encounters: Labor Relations in Africa's Chinese Enclaves
Ching Kwan Lee, Professor, Sociology, UCLA
Co-sponsors: Center for Labor Research and Education, Center for African Studies

October 10, 2008
9am to 5pm
Lipman Room, Barrows Hall

Holding China Accountable?: Strategies for Protecting Consumers in a Globalized World
Co-sponsors: Department of Political Science, Center for the Study of Law & Society, School of Public Health, The Commonwealth Club

Center for Middle Eastern Studies

October 2, 2008
340 Stephens Hall
Sultan Conference Room

The Working Class, Democracy, and the Transition to the Neo-Liberal Economic Order in Egypt
Professor Joel Beinin, Professor, Department of History, Stanford University

Center for Race and Gender
691 Barrows Hall

October 2, 2008

Race and Space: Residential Location and Labor Market Outcomes
Steven Raphael, Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy; John Quigley, Professor, Department of Economics

October 16, 2008

Filipina Migrant and Mexicana/Chicana Labor: Fighting Workplace Abuse and Dislocation Through Law and Activism
Francisca James Hernández, Ethnic Studies, Cheryl Andrada, La

Institute for the Study of Social Change
ISSC Conference Room, 2420 Bowditch Street (at Haste)

October 28, 2008

Immigrant Generation, Cultural Capital, Ethnicity, and Gender:
Undergraduate Diversity at Berkeley, 1998-2008
Gregg Thomson, Director, Office of Student Research, UC Berkeley with Michael Omi, Interim Director, ISSC, and Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies Department, UC Berkeley, as respondent. (Some findings from the UC Experience Survey)

Department of Statistics
1011 Evans Hall

October 1, 2008

We Measure America: the Census Bureau in the 21st Century
Speaker: Linda Clark, Information Services Specialist, US Census Bureau