Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Gloves-Off Economy

Glovesoff Noah Zatz (UCLA) bring to our attention a new collection of essays:  “THE GLOVES-OFF ECONOMY: Workplace Standards at the Bottom of America's Labor Market."  It is the latest volume in the Labor and Employment Research Association (LERA) research series published by Cornell’s ILR press.  Here is another link from Amazon.  Noah has a chapter in it, but he promises that, "despite that, there should be lots of good stuff from a range of academics in different disciplines and from advocates in the field."

Here's the blurb:

Across the United States, increasing numbers of employers are breaking, bending, or evading long-established laws and standards designed to protect workers, from the minimum wage to job safety standards to the right to organize. This “gloves-off economy,” no longer confined to a marginal set of sweatshops and fly-by-night small businesses, is sending shock waves into every corner of the low-wage labor market. In the process, employers who play by the rules are under growing pressure to follow suit, intensifying the search for low-cost business strategies across a wide range of industries and ratcheting up into ever higher reaches of the labor market. Although other books have touched on pieces of this problem, The Gloves-off Economy is the first to provide a comprehensive, integrated analysis-and quite a disturbing one.

This book examines a range of gloves-off practices, the workers who are affected by them, and strategies for enforcing workplace standards. The editors, four respected labor scholars, have brought together economists, sociologists, labor attorneys, union strategists, and other experts to offer varying perspectives on both the problem and the creative solutions currently being explored in a wide range of communities and industries. Annette Bernhardt, Heather Boushey, Laura Dresser, and Chris Tilly and the volume's other authors combine rigorous analysis with a stirring call to renew worker protections in the twenty-first century.

Timely collection. Check it out.



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