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May 23 2014

"Bargaining is rapidly growing”

Eli Friedman presents his research on collective bargaining in China


Twenty two representatives from ILR faculty, Extension faculty, Ph.D. students and recent graduates representing the ILR School and the School's Scheinman Institute, Healthcare Transformation Project and Worker Institute at Cornell will speak on eighteen panels at LERA's 66th Annual Meeting.

Eli Friedman, Assistant Professor at the ILR School, discusses his upcoming presentation, Centralization of Bargaining in China's Urban Services for the panel Strikes and Collective Bargaining in China.

Q: What is the focus of the panel on which you are speaking?

A: I am speaking a panel on collective bargaining in China.

Q: How does your current work or research connect to this panel?

A: The participants come from a group that first convened in Ithaca last year, and we have been working on a joint research project with Renmin University. This collaboration involves faculty and students from Cornell and Renmin as well as other schools in the UK, Australia and China. We are looking at collective bargaining and particularly movements towards greater recentralization of bargaining in a number of regions and industries.

Although collective bargaining is on the decline in most of the West, China is one place where it appears to be rapidly growing. There have not been comprehensive studies of how the practice is emerging, and so we aim to address that gap. It's still very much a work in progress.

I very much see this as an outgrowth of the research in my first book, Insurgency Trap, published by Cornell University Press with a release date of June 3, 2014.

Q: What is significant about this work; how is it relevant to today's issues in the workplace?

A: There is probably no country in the world where the study and practice of collective bargaining is developing as rapidly as China. Although the government has failed to develop effective collective bargaining mechanisms, this will continue to be a pressing issue for many years to come.

Q: How will attending LERA help move your work forward?

A: This will give me a chance to check in with some of the collaborators on the project before we meet in Beijing in December to report back on our work. It will be a great opportunity for me to get feedback on work that is still in process.

Follow ILR at the event on ILR’s website at www.ilr.cornell.edu/LERA and on Facebook at CornellILR.

On Twitter, look for tweets from the meeting at @ILRSchool and/or @ILRhealthcare, @workerinstitute and @TheScheinman. The hashtag for the annual meeting is #LERA2014.