Featured Book of the Month
The authors examine developments in labor standards in global supply chains over the past thirty years, analyzing factors that create challenges and opportunities for improving working conditions. They illustrate the complex dynamics within and among key groups, including brands, suppliers, governments, workers and consumers.
Using extended examples from China, Honduras, Bangladesh and the United States, as well as new quantitative evidence, the authors analyze stakeholders and mechanisms that create or obstruct opportunities for improving labor rights. They evaluate key clusters of actors and their interests in order to comprehensively map the complex interactions and relationships that make up global supply chains. Original data and analyses, including four in-depth case studies, present a systematic evaluation of the points of leverage for changing labor standards in sectors including apparel, footwear, and electronics.
This exciting new contribution to a burgeoning field of study will benefit scholars of labor rights and human rights, as well as students with an interest in labor and working conditions. It also presents critical information for political scientists, NGOs, and practitioners looking to effect change in working conditions and learn more about key players in the global economy. (from publisher web site)
Cheltenham, UK : Edward Elgar Publishing. 205 pages
ISBN 9781783470358 HD38.5 .B4695 2015
Do service-sector workers represent the future of the U.S. labor movement? Mid-twentieth-century union activism transformed manufacturing jobs from backbreaking, low-wage work into careers that allowed workers to buy homes and send their kids to college. Some union activists insist that there is no reason why service-sector workers cannot follow that same path. In If We Can Win Here, Fran Quigley tells the stories of janitors, fry cooks, and health care aides trying to fight their way to middle-class incomes in Indianapolis. He also chronicles the struggles of the union organizers with whom the workers have made common cause.
The service-sector workers of Indianapolis mirror the city's demographics: they are white, African American, and Latino. In contrast, the union organizers are mostly white and younger than the workers they help rally. Quigley chronicles these allies’ setbacks, victories, bonds, and conflicts while placing their journey in the broader context of the global economy and labor history. As one Indiana-based organizer says of the struggle being waged in a state that has earned a reputation as antiunion: "If we can win here, we can win anywhere." The outcome of the battle of Indianapolis may foretell the fate of workers across the United States. [from publisher web site]
Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press. 209 pages
ISBN 9780801453670 HD8072.5 .Q46 2015
Democratization in the developing and post-communist world has yielded limited gains for labor. Explanations for this phenomenon have focused on the effect of economic crisis and globalization on the capacities of unions to become influential political actors and to secure policies that benefit their members. In contrast, the contributors to Working through the Past highlight the critical role that authoritarian legacies play in shaping labor politics in new democracies, providing the first cross-regional analysis of the impact of authoritarianism on labor, focusing on East and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
Legacies from the pre-democratic era shape labor’s present in ways that both limit and enhance organized labor’s power in new democracies. Assessing the comparative impact on a variety of outcomes relevant to labor in widely divergent settings, this volume argues that political legacies provide new insights into why labor movements in some countries have confronted the challenges of neoliberal globalization better than others. [from publisher web site]
Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press. 286 pages
ISBN 9780801453519 HD6971 .W8555 2015
Apparel manufacturing in the American South, by virtue of its size, its reliance upon female labor, and its broad geographic scope, is an important but often overlooked industry that connects the disparate concerns of women’s history, southern cultural history, and labor history. In Striking Beauties, Michelle Haberland examines its essential features and the varied experiences of its workers during the industry’s great expansion from the late 1930s through the demise of its southern branch at the end of the twentieth century.
The popular conception of the early twentieth-century South as largely agrarian informs many histories of industry and labor in the United States. But as Haberland demonstrates, the apparel industry became a key part of the southern economy after the Great Depression and a major driver of southern industrialization. The gender and racial composition of the workforce, the growth of trade unions, technology, and capital investment were all powerful forces in apparel’s migration south. Yet those same forces also revealed the tensions caused by racial and gender inequities not only in the region but in the nation at large. Striking Beauties places the struggles of working women for racial and economic justice in the larger context of southern history. The role of women as the primary consumers of the family placed them in a critical position to influence the success or failure of boycotts, union label programs and ultimately solidarity. [from publisher web site]
Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. 228 pages
ISBN 9780820325842 HD8083 .S9 H23 2015
During the first decade of the twenty-first century, worker resistance in China increased rapidly despite the fact that certain segments of the state began moving in a pro-labor direction. In explaining this, Eli Friedman argues that the Chinese state has become hemmed in by an “insurgency trap” of its own devising and is thus unable to tame expansive worker unrest. Labor conflict in the process of capitalist industrialization is certainly not unique to China and indeed has appeared in a wide array of countries around the world. What is distinct in China, however, is the combination of postsocialist politics with rapid capitalist development.
Other countries undergoing capitalist industrialization have incorporated relatively independent unions to tame labor conflict and channel insurgent workers into legal and rationalized modes of contention. In contrast, the Chinese state only allows for one union federation, the All China Federation of Trade Unions, over which it maintains tight control. Official unions have been unable to win recognition from workers, and wildcat strikes and other forms of disruption continue to be the most effective means for addressing workplace grievances. In support of this argument, Friedman offers evidence from Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces, where unions are experimenting with new initiatives, leadership models, and organizational forms. [from publisher web site]
Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press. 214 pages
ISBN 9780801452697 HD6837 .F77 2014
A nurse inserts an I.V. A personal care attendant helps a quadriplegic bathe and get dressed. A nanny reads a bedtime story to soothe a child to sleep. Every day, workers like these provide critical support to some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Caring on the Clock provides a wealth of insight into these workers, who take care of our most fundamental needs, often at risk to their own economic and physical well-being.
Caring on the Clock is the first book to bring together cutting-edge research on a wide range of paid care occupations, and to place the various fields within a comprehensive and comparative framework across occupational boundaries. The book includes twenty-two original essays by leading researchers across a range of disciplines—including sociology, psychology, social work, and public health. They examine the history of the paid care sector in America, reveal why paid-care work can be both personally fulfilling but also make workers vulnerable to burnout, emotional fatigue, physical injuries, and wage exploitation. Finally, the editors outline many innovative ideas for reform, including top-down and grassroots efforts to improve recognition, remuneration, and mobility for care workers.
As America faces a series of challenges to providing care for its citizens, including the many aging baby boomers, this volume offers a wealth of information and insight for policymakers, scholars, advocates, and the general public. [from publisher web site]
New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 332 pages
ISBN 9780813563121 HD8039.S45 C37 2015
Compelled by the extent to which globalization has changed the nature of labor relations, Harry C. Katz, Thomas A. Kochan, and Alexander J. S. Colvin give us the first textbook to focus on the workplace outcomes of the production of goods and services in emerging countries. In Labor Relations in a Globalizing World, they draw lessons from the United States and other advanced industrial countries to provide a menu of options for management, labor, and government leaders in emerging countries. They include discussions based in countries such as China, Brazil, India, and South Africa which, given the advanced levels of economic development they have already achieved, are often described as “transitional,” because the labor relations practices and procedures used in those countries are still in a state of flux.
Katz, Kochan, and Colvin analyze how labor relations functions in emerging countries in a manner that is useful to practitioners, policymakers, and academics. They take account of the fact that labor relations are much more politicized in emerging countries than in advanced industrialized countries. They also address the traditional role played by state-dominated unions in emerging countries and the recent increased importance of independent unions that have emerged as alternatives. These independent unions tend to promote firm- or workplace-level collective bargaining in contrast to the more traditional top-down systems. Katz, Kochan, and Colvin explain how multinational corporations, nongovernmental organizations, and other groups that act across national borders increasingly influence work and employment outcomes. [from publisher web site]
Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press. 348 pages
ISBN 9780801453816 HD8943 .K38 2015
February 2015: Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resource Management: A Diversity Perspective
This innovative book analyses the intersection between the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Human Resource Management (HRM), with a focus on diversity management. The book presents the scope of institutional engagements with CSR and diversity policies in a range of organizations and organizational networks.
The editors explore the macro, meso and micro aspects of CSR, answering questions such as: what are the socio-economic, political, legal and cultural influences shaping CSR and diversity management? What are the institutional practices for linking CSR and HRM, and what are the implications of this for employee and organizational well-being? And, how can the differing needs and expectations of a diverse workforce be fulfilled through CSR?
Including both theoretical and empirical chapters, the contributors explore how global organizations and organizational networks can collaborate with stakeholders within their community to leverage their HRM strategies. They share their knowledge of the management process involved in mainstreaming diversity through effective design and implementation of CSR programs in organizations.
This book will be a valuable resource for students at postgraduate and research level. It will also appeal to international audiences, including academic researchers, policy makers and organizational practitioners interested in the concept of corporate social responsibility and its links to human resource management in the context of globalization. [from publisher web site]
Cheltenham, UK : Edward Elgar. 334 pages
ISBN 9781848447936 HF5549 .C67 2014
Today, most Americans lack constitutional rights on the job. Instead of enjoying free speech or privacy, they can be fired for almost any reason or no reason at all. This book uses history to explain why. It takes readers back to the 1930s and 1940s when advocates across the political spectrum – labor leaders, civil rights advocates, and conservatives opposed to government regulation – set out to enshrine constitutional rights in the workplace. The book tells their interlocking stories of fighting for constitutional protections for American workers, recovers their surprising successes, explains their ultimate failure, and helps readers assess this outcome. [from publisher web site]
New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 401 pages
ISBN 9781107613218 KF3369 .L368 2014
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. 541 pages
ISBN 9780199653676 HD42 .O936 2014