Cornell University

International Programs

117 Ives Hall, 607-254-7255

Visiting Fellow Profile

Katie Quan

UC Berkeley Labor Center

Katie Quan

Katie Quan, Associate Chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center and internationally recognized leader in labor education, is spending the 2007-08 academic year working with ILR in NYC. She will launch a participatory oral history research project with New York Chinatown garment workers that will be the basis for an exhibit at the Museum of Chinese in Americas.

Her areas of specialization are labor strategies in the global economy, policies that promote the rights of immigrant workers, and equity issues for women workers. She also heads the Labor Center’s education and training activities. Prior to joining the Labor Center staff, Katie was an international vice-president of UNITE, the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees. She rose through the ranks, having been a rank and file seamstress, shop steward, union organizer, and manager of the union’s Pacific Northwest District Council. Katie chaired the founding convention of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, and her organizing experiences have been documented by Ruth Milkman in Women in Unions (Cornell ILR Press, 1993), and by Xiaolan Bao in Holding Up More than Half the Sky (University of Illinois Press 2001). She continues her involvement with garment worker and women’s issues as a Board member of Sweatshop Watch, the Worker Rights Consortium, the Labor Project for Working Families, the International Labor Rights Fund, and the Union Community Fund. She was also just named to the Board of Directors of the Working for Good Jobs in America Fund.

Areas of Expertise
• Global Labor Strategies
• Immigrant Workers Rights
• Race, Class and Gender

Current Projects
Documenting the Impacts of the End of the Multi-Fiber Agreement on Workers in Los Angeles and China
This participatory research project is a collaboration with labor organizations to train workers to survey garment workers about their employment levels, factory conditions, and community changes since the end of the worldwide textile trade agreement, known as the Multi-Fiber Agreement, in January 2005. A report will be published in 2007.

Retail Supply Chains in China
This book project is collaboration with scholars from China, Hong Kong, and Australia to study conditions in the production supply chain for foreign retailers in China.

Core Competencies Necessary for Effective Union Leadership
This research projects will identify core competencies necessary for effective union leadership, and then develop a menu of courses for union leaders based upon these competencies.

ILR Faculty Sponsor: Sally Alvarez
Appointment: September 2007 - June 2008

- Katie Quan

ILR Worldwide


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