Cornell University

September 19 2008

Labor in China

Sarosh KuruvillaResearchers from around the world will meet at ILR

Scholars and graduate students from around the world will present research on labor issues in China at a conference Sept. 26-28 in the ILR School Conference Center.

"These are the best researchers on China in their specific areas who write in the English language," said Sarosh Kuruvilla.  An organizer of the conference, Kuruvilla is a professor in the ILR School's Comparative Industrial Relations and Collective Bargaining Department.  He is also a professor in the graduate fields of Asian Studies and Public Affairs, and serves currently as director of Cornell's Southeast Asia Program.  The other organizers are Professor of Sociology Ching Kwan Lee of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Professor of Political Science Mary Gallagher of the University of Michigan.

As China develops, the labor issues affecting the country's working population of 840 million will have an increasing impact on the global economy.

The conference agenda is organized into seven sections:

  • Labor Markets and Institutions
  • Workers, Unions and Activism
  • Labor Relations in Industries
  • Migration and State Protection
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Introduction of New Labor Law
  • Unions, Factories and Human Resource Management

The conference is the first step, Kuruvilla said, in creating a sustainable network of China labor scholars who would work together in the future on collaborative research projects. Building a network is the primary reason, he said, that graduate students who are writing dissertations on different aspects of the Chinese labor movement have been invited to present their work.  Lee, Gallagher and Kuruvilla will edit a book based on conference findings.  It will be published by the ILR Press.

The conference is funded through the Waks Family Fund for International Education & Research; the Pierce Memorial Fund, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and the
Jeffrey S. Lehman Fund for Scholarly Exchange with China.

Conference presenters and discussants are from a variety of international  institutions such as  Oberlin College, Australian National University, ILR School, University of Michigan, University of British Columbia, Tsinghua University, The Ethical Trading Initiative, National Tsing Hua University, Syracuse University, National University of Singapore,  University of Michigan,  Oxford University, China Labor College, City University of Hong Kong, Rutgers University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of California, Berkeley, University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Toronto.

The China conference agenda is available on the International Programs web site.