Spring 2005 Colloquia

January 31, 2005

“HAS MANAGEMENT STRANGLED U.S. UNIONS?”

Professor Robert Flanagan, Konosuke Matsushita Professor of International Labor Economics and Policy Analysis, Stanford University

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Professor Flanagan's recent research interests include the effects of globalization on labor conditions, wage structure and labor market adjustments in transition economies and other global human resource management issues. He has written extensively on labor economics, of which two books are co-authored by Lloyd Ullman. His research has covered both macro and micro labor market issues in both U.S. and international labor markets. He has collaborated with economists in other countries, and his early books analyze the effects of income policies in Western European nations.

February 14, 2005

UNION STRUCTURE: THE DEMOCRACY VS. EFFICIENCY DILEMMA AND THE SEIU’S NEW UNITY PROPOSAL

George Strauss, Professor Emeritus, U.C. Berkeley Katie Quan, Chair, CLRE

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The SEIU's proposed New Unity Partnership has stirred up considerable interest and controversy within the union movement. Aside from the question whether it might ever be adopted, the proposal raises a number of issues: On the basis of what criteria would (or should) membership be divided among the proposed 20 unions? Would forced mergers work? What would be the impact of SEIU-like centralization on union organizing success? What would be its impacts on opportunities for membership participation, leadership development, and internal democracy? And what do we mean by union democracy, why is it desirable (or isn't it?), and what is the tradeoff between democracy and efficiency?

If time permits, the impacts of three related trends will also be discussed: the increased hiring of staff from "outside" rather than from the rank-and file; staff people's growing mobility from union to union; and the rapid adoption by unions of managerial techniques (such as formal personnel appraisals) taken from Big Business.

Strauss's talk will be based in part on a book he is co-authoring, tentatively titled "What's Happening in US Unions Today?"

February 25, 2005

A SPECIAL ADDITION TO THE SPRING COLLOQUIA SERIES:
CHANGING ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENTS, EVOLVING DIVERSIFICATION STRATEGIES, AND DIFFERING FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: JAPAN'S LARGEST TEXTILE FIRMS, 1970-2001

Asli M. Colpan , Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Economics at Kyoto University
Takashi Hikino, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Economics of Kyoto University; Co-editor (with Alfred Chandler, and Franco Amatori) of Big Business and the Wealth of Nations. (NY: Cambridge, 1997)
Masahiro Shimotani, Professor and Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Economics at Kyoto University; Co-editor (with Takao Shiba) of Beyond the Firm: Business Groups in International and Historical Perspective (NY: Oxford, 1997), and a number of books in Japanese on business groups and corporate structure.

 

February 28, 2005

PREPARING & RETAINING THE WORKFORCE FOR QUALITY EARLY CARE & EDUCATION:
CURRENT RESEARCH AN POLICY INITIATIVES

Marcy Whitebook, Director and Senior Researcher, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Berkeley

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March 3, 2005

"SLAVES TO FASHION"

Robert Ross Professor, Sociology, Clark University
Author of "Slaves To Fashion: Poverty and Abuse in the New Sweatshops"

Co-Sponsored with Center for Labor Research & Education, UC Berkeley

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March 14, 2005

FAMILY, WAGES & CAREERS: Lessons from Scandinavia

Trond Petersen, Professor, Sociology, Haas School of Business, U.C. Berkeley

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March 22, 2005

CHINESE LABOUR STANDARDS, CHINA'S TRADE UNION FEDERATION, AND THE QUESTION OF ENGAGEMENT

Anita Chan, Senior Research Associate,Contemporary China Centre,Research School of Pacific & Asian Studies, Australia National University, Canberra, Australia

Co-sponsored with the Center for Labor Research & Education

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Monday, April 4, 2005

PBGC AND THE CURRENT CHALLENGES FACING THE U.S. DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION SYSTEM

Mark M. Glickman, U.S. Government Accountability Office, San Francisco

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Wednesday, April 6, 2005

VARIETIES OF LABOR TRANSNATIONALISM - COMPARING LABOR STRATEGIES FOR THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

Thomas Greven, Visiting Scholar

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Monday, April 18, 2005 ~ 12noon – 1pm

ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF A PERMANENT POLITICAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

Arie Arnon, Professor of Economics, Ben Gurion University, Israel
http://www.ec.bgu.ac.il

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Arie Arnon has been a professor at the Department of Economics, Ben Gurion University since 1983. His areas of research include macroeconomics and monetary theory as well as the history of economic thought. A major focus in recent years has been the political economy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was a co-author of "The Palestinian Economy: Between Imposed Integration and Voluntary Separation" (Brill, 1997) as well as many articles and is now working with colleagues from Palestine, Israel and elsewhere on economic aspects of a permanent peace agreement.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

SHOULD WE BE BLAMING WAL-MART?

Professor Robert Reich, Distinguished Visiting Professor - Spring 2005
http://www.robertreich.org

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Professor Reich served as the 22nd Secretary of Labor during President Clinton's first term. Before heading the Department of Labor, he was on the faculty of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He served as an assistant to the solicitor general in the Ford administration, where he represented the United States before the Supreme Court, and he headed the policy planning staff of the Federal Trade Commission in the Carter administration. Professor Reich is author of seven books, including The Work of Nations (which has been translated into 17 languages), Locked in the Cabinet, and most recently, The Future of Success, as well as more than 200 articles on the global economy, the changing nature of work, and the centrality of human capital.

Other Affiliations:
University Professor and Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University

Monday, May 2, 2005

"I LIKE DOING THINGS ON MY OWN" THE IRONIES OF INDIVIDUALISM AMONG BLACK, URBAN POOR JOBSEEKERS

Sandra S. Smith, Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley


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In the urban poverty, joblessness, and job search literatures, the assumption is that when connected to friends, relatives and acquaintances in possession of job information and influence, jobseekers will embrace assistance from these relations to find work. Thus, black joblessness results in part from the lack of these vital social resources. My research suggests that the problem is far more complicated. Drawing from 105 in-depth interviews of low-income blacks from Southeast Michigan, I find that roughly one-third refused to seek or accept assistance from their personal contacts with job information and influence and instead chose to go it alone. In this paper, I investigate why and examine the conditions that facilitate social resource mobilization for job-finding. I link reluctance to accept aid to fears of losing face—of falling short of expectations and/or being maligned by their personal contacts for being jobless—and I show that fears of losing face were greatest among those who deployed joblessness discourses that give primacy to individual and cultural deficiency explanations. In other words, reluctant jobseekers embraced self-reliance during the job search process in an effort to avoid failure and to show their worth, but in so doing, reduced their chances of finding work in low-wage labor markets where employers rely heavily on informal job referral networks for screening and recruitment of job applicants.