Featured Books: Past Recommendations
Behind the Kitchen Door
How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions—discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens—affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables? Saru Jayaraman, who launched the national restaurant workers' organization Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, sets out to answer these questions by following the lives of restaurant workers in New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Detroit, and New Orleans.
Blending personal narrative and investigative journalism, Jayaraman shows us that the quality of the food that arrives at our restaurant tables depends not only on the sourcing of the ingredients. Our meals benefit from the attention and skill of the people who chop, grill, sauté, and serve. Behind the Kitchen Door is a groundbreaking exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of dining out. Jayaraman focuses on the stories of individuals, like Daniel, who grew up on a farm in Ecuador and sought to improve the conditions for employees at Del Posto; the treatment of workers behind the scenes belied the high-toned Slow Food ethic on display in the front of the house.
Increasingly, Americans are choosing to dine at restaurants that offer organic, fair-trade, and free-range ingredients for reasons of both health and ethics. Yet few of these diners are aware of the working conditions at the restaurants themselves. But whether you eat haute cuisine or fast food, the well-being of restaurant workers is a pressing concern, affecting our health and safety, local economies, and the life of our communities. Highlighting the roles of the 10 million people, many immigrants, many people of color, who bring their passion, tenacity, and vision to the American dining experience, Jayaraman sets out a bold agenda to raise the living standards of the nation's second-largest private sector workforce—and ensure that dining out is a positive experience on both sides of the kitchen door. [from publisher web site]
Ithaca, NY: ILR Press. 191 pages
ISBN 9780801451720 HD8039.F72 U563 2013
The State of Working America (12th edition)
Lawrence Mishel, Josh Bivens, Elise Gould, and Heidi Shierholz
Since 1988, The State of Working America has provided a comprehensive answer to a question newly in vogue in this age of Occupy Wall Street: To what extent has overall economic growth translated into rising living standards for the vast majority of American workers and their families? In the 12th edition, Lawrence Mishel, Josh Bivens, Elise Gould, and Heidi Shierholz analyze a trove of data on income, jobs, mobility, poverty, wages, and wealth to demonstrate that rising economic inequality over the past three decades has decoupled overall economic growth from growth in the living standards of the vast majority.
The new edition of The State of Working America also expands on this analysis of American living standards, most notably by placing the Great Recession in historical context. The severe economic downturn that began in December 2007 came on the heels of a historically weak recovery following the 2001 recession, a recovery that saw many measures of living standards stagnate. The authors view the past decade as “lost” in terms of living standards growth, and warn that millions of American households face another decade of lost opportunity.
Especially troubling, the authors stress, is that while overall economic performance in the decades before the Great Recession was more than sufficient to broadly raise living standards, broad-based growth was blocked by rising inequality driven largely by policy choices. A determinedly data-driven narrative, The State of Working America remains the most comprehensive resource about the economic experience of working Americans. [from publisher web site]
More information available at http://stateofworkingamerica.org/.
Ithaca: ILR Press. 505 pages
ISBN 9780801451706 HD8066 .S73 2013
Gender, Inequality, and Wages
Francine D. Blau
In all Western societies women earn lower wages on average than men. The gender wage gap has existed for many years, although there have been some important changes over time. This volume of collected papers contains extensive research on progress made by women in the labor market, and the characteristics and causes of remaining gender inequalities. It also covers other dimensions of inequality and their interplay with gender, such as family formation, wellbeing, race, and immigrant status. The author was awarded the 2010 IZA Prize in Labor Economics for this research.
Part I comprises an Introduction by the Editors (Anne C. Gielen and Klaus F. Zimmermann). Part II probes and quantifies the explanations for the gender wage gap, including differential choices made in the labor market by men and women as well as labor market discrimination and employment segregation. It also delineates how the gender wage gap has decreased over time in the United States and suggests explanations for this narrowing of the gap and the more recent slowdown in wage convergence.
Part III considers international differences in the gender wage gap and wage inequality and the relationship between the two. Part IV considers a variety of indicators of gender inequality and how they have changed over time in the United States, painting a picture of significant gains in women's relative status across a number of dimensions. It also considers the trends in female labor supply and what they indicate about changing gender roles in the United States and considers a successful intervention designed to increase the relative success of academic women.
Part V focuses on inequality by race and immigrant status. It considers not only race difference in wages and the differential progress made by African-American women and men in reducing the race wage gap, but also race differences in wealth which are considerably larger than differences in wages. It also examines immigrant-native differences in the use of transfer payments, and the impact of gender roles in immigrant source countries on immigrant women's labor market assimilation in the U.S. labor market.. [from publisher web site]
Oxford: Oxford University Press. 545 pages
ISBN 9780199665853 HD6061.2.U6 B59 2012
Mexican Women in American Factories: Free Trade and Exploitation on the Border
Prior to the millennium, economists and policy makers argued that free trade between the United States and Mexico would benefit both Americans and Mexicans. They believed that NAFTA would be a “win-win” proposition that would offer U.S. companies new markets for their products and Mexicans the hope of living in a more developed country with the modern conveniences of wealthier nations. Blending rigorous economic and statistical analysis with concern for the people affected, Mexican Women in American Factories offers the first assessment of whether NAFTA has fulfilled these expectations by examining its socioeconomic impact on workers in a Mexican border town.
Carolyn Tuttle led a group that interviewed 620 women maquila workers in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The responses from this representative sample refute many of the hopeful predictions made by scholars before NAFTA and reveal instead that little has improved for maquila workers. The women’s stories make it plain that free trade has created more low-paying jobs in sweatshops where workers are exploited. Families of maquila workers live in one- or two-room houses with no running water, no drainage, and no heat. The multinational companies who operate the maquilas consistently break Mexican labor laws by requiring women to work more than nine hours a day, six days a week, without medical benefits, while the minimum wage they pay workers is insufficient to feed their families. These findings will make a crucial contribution to debates over free trade, CAFTA-DR, and the impact of globalization. [from publisher web site]
Austin: University of Texas Press. 235 pages
ISBN 9780292739130 HD9734 .M42 T88 2012
Employment and Work (The SAGE Reference Series on Disability: Key Issues and Future Directions)
Susanne M. Bruyère, Linda Barrington
This volume in The SAGE Reference Series on Disability explores issues facing people with disabilities in employment and the work environment. It is one of eight volumes in the cross-disciplinary and issues-based series, which incorporates links from varied fields making up Disability Studies as volumes examine topics central to the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. With a balance of history, theory, research, and application, specialists set out the findings and implications of research and practice for others whose current or future work involves the care and/or study of those with disabilities, as well as for the disabled themselves. The presentational style (concise and engaging) emphasizes accessibility. Taken individually, each volume sets out the fundamentals of the topic it addresses, accompanied by compiled data and statistics, recommended further readings, a guide to organizations and associations, and other annotated resources, thus providing the ideal introductory platform and gateway for further study. Taken together, the series represents both a survey of major disability issues and a guide to new directions and trends and contemporary resources in the field as a whole. [from publisher web site]
Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. 416 pages
ISBN 9781412992923 HD7255 .B78 2012
Pay: Why People Earn What They Earn and What You Can Do Now to Make More
Kevin F. Hallock
Billions of people throughout the world are paid for their work. This book was written to explain why they earn what they earn and, in doing so, to help readers understand how they can earn more in both the short and long run. It describes wages, wage differences across groups, wage inequality, how organizations set pay and why, executive and 'superstar' pay, the difference between pay and 'total rewards' (including benefits, opportunities for growth, colleagues and working conditions), compensation in nonprofits, and the differences between the cost of compensation to organizations and the value employees place on that compensation. It also offers tips on what an individual can do to earn more. [from publisher web site]
Cambridge; New York City: Cambridge University Press. 226 pages
ISBN 9781107014985 HD4926 .H33 2012
Labor Rising: The Past and Future of Working People in America
Daniel Katz and Richard A. Greenwald
When Wisconsin governor Scott Walker threatened the collective bargaining rights of the state’s public sector employees in early 2011, the massive protests that erupted in response put the labor movement back on the nation’s front pages. It was a fleeting reminder of a not-so-distant past when the “labor question”—and the power of organized labor—was part and parcel of a century-long struggle for justice and equality in America.
Now, on the heels of the expansive Occupy Wall Street movement and midterm election outcomes that are encouraging for the labor movement, the lessons of history are a vital handhold for the thousands of activists and citizens everywhere who sense that something has gone terribly wrong. This pithy and accessible volume provides readers with an understanding of the history that is directly relevant to the economic and political crises working people face today, and points the way to a revitalized twenty-first-century labor movement. With original contributions from leading labor historians, social critics, and activists, Labor Rising makes crucial connections between the past and present, and then looks forward, asking how we might imagine a different future for all Americans. [from publisher web site]
New York: New Press. 318 pages
ISBN 9781595585189 HD8066 .L327 2012
The New Geography of Jobs
An unprecedented redistribution of American jobs, population, and wealth is under way, and it is likely to accelerate in the years to come. In this important and persuasive book, Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti reveals this "new geography of jobs" that's benefiting centers of innovation like San Francisco, Boston, Austin, and Durham. And the winners and losers aren't necessarily who you'd expect. Moretti's groundbreaking research shows that you don't have to be a scientist or an engineer to thrive in one of these brain hubs.
Among the beneficiaries are the workers who support the "idea-creators"—the carpenters, hair stylists, personal trainers, lawyers, doctors, and teachers. In fact, Moretti has shown that for every new innovation job in a city, five additional non-innovation jobs are created, and those workers earn higher salaries than their counterparts in other urban areas. It wasn't supposed to be this way. As the global economy shifted from manufacturing to innovation, geography was supposed to matter less. But the pundits were wrong. A new map is being drawn and it's not about red versus blue or rich versus poor. The rise of American brain hubs is causing huge geographic disparities in education, income, life expectancy, family stability, and political engagement. Dealing with this split—encouraging growth in the hubs while arresting the decline elsewhere—will be the challenge of the century, and The New Geography of Jobs lights the way. [from publisher web site]
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 294 pages
ISBN 9780547750118 HD5706 .M596 2012
Downsizing: Is Less Still More?
Cary Cooper, Alankrita Pandey, James Campbell Quick (editors)
Downsizing is one of the most frequently used business strategies for reducing costs, returning firms to profit or for restructuring businesses following takeovers, mergers and acquisitions. Downsizing measures are also set to become much more prevalent in the public sector as governments seek to restrict levels of public spending. This book is one of the first to provide a thorough study of downsizing from a global perspective. It examines the phenomenon in its entirety, exploring how it is initiated and what the process of downsizing looks like. It also looks at the effects of downsizing at a number of different levels, from the individual (e.g., motivational effects, effects on health and stress levels) to the organizational (e.g., financial outcomes, reputational and productivity outcomes). Written by an international team of experts, the book provides a comprehensive overview of downsizing that examines both the strategic and human implications of this process. [from publisher web site]
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 429 pages
ISBN 9781107004672 HD58.85 .D69 2012
Handbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management
Chris Brewster, Wolfgang Maryhofer (editors)
This unique and path-breaking Handbook explores the issue of comparative Human Resource Management (HRM) and challenges the notion that there can be a ‘one best way’ to manage HRM. The Handbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management provides a theoretical, practical and regional analysis of comparative HRM. This book, edited by two specialists on comparative HRM and written by leading experts on each topic and from each region, explores the range of different approaches to conceptualising HRM, and highlights HRM policy and practice that occur in the various regions of the world. As such, the volume provides a challenge to the typical assumption that there are consistent problems in managing human resources around the globe that call for standardised solutions. Instead, the contributors emphasise the importance of institutional and cultural factors that make HRM a most context-sensitive management task. Offering a comprehensive view for readers with different interests, this insightful Handbook will prove to be an essential resource for academics, researchers and postgraduate students in international business, business administration, HRM, socio-economics and cross-cultural management. Practitioners interested in the cultural aspects of HRM will also find this Handbook invaluable. [from publisher web site]
Cheltenham, UK : Northampton, MA : Edward Elgar. 693 pages
ISBN 9781847207265 HF5549.15 .H36 2012
Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, From Madison to Wall Street
This book is about the protest movement that captivated the nation and paved the path for Occupy Wall Street. More than 100,000 public employees, teachers, students, and their allies descended on the capital in Madison, Wisconsin after Governor Scott Walker announced his plan to eliminate the right of public sector employees to unionize. The struggle (and the Democratic caucus’ escape to Indiana in order to prevent a quorum from being reached) elicited extensive national media coverage and debate—as well as enormous grassroots support for protestors. Uprising provides an anatomy of the event and its implications for the political future of the nation. As state legislatures across the US (in Ohio and New Hampshire, to name a few) take up union busting measures, Nichols shows how the Wisconsin case is a blueprint for progressives around America who’ve had enough. He also explores how Wisconsin protesters organized and inspired the Occupy Wall Street movement.
New York: Nation Books. 192 pages
ISBN 9781568587035 HD8083.W6 N53