Exposing Pay: Pay Transparency and What it Means for Employees, Employers, and Public Policy (December, 2023)
Should employees be allowed to discuss their pay with other employees? Should managers explain the logic underlying pay structures and decisions to employees? Should companies disclose more information on pay for particular positions or even an individuals' actual pay? Pay equity has become a hot topic in recent years with pay transparency viewed as an important way to narrow gender and racial pay gaps. However, pay transparency policies and practices remain highly controversial, with divergent attitudes based largely on conjecture or anecdote.
In Exposing Pay, Peter Bamberger provides evidence-based insights into how pay communication policies and practices impact outcomes at individual, organizational, and societal levels. Bamberger reviews findings from the recent surge in pay transparency research to help employees, managers, and policymakers better understand when pay communication policies and practices might enhance organizational performance and address social inequality and when such practices can lead to harmful consequences. Starting with a short overview of how companies have addressed the question of pay transparency over the past century and a brief summary of contemporary transparency regulations in dozens of countries around the world, Exposing Pay presents findings on the various forms of pay transparency on such outcomes as individual task performance, employee retention and turnover, citizenship behaviors such as helping, counter-productive work behavior, and pay dispersion or spread.
An honest assessment of the good and the bad of pay transparency, Exposing Pay gives policymakers, managers, and HR specialists the perspective and information they need to make fair, sensible, and informed decisions. [from publisher web site].E-book also available to Cornell community: https://catalog.library.cornell.edu/catalog/15711572
The labor–climate movement in the U.S. laid the groundwork for the Green New Deal by building a base within labor for supporting climate protection as a vehicle for good jobs. But as we confront the climate crisis and seek environmental justice, a “jobs vs. environment” discourse often pits workers against climate activists. How can we make a “just transition” moving away from fossil fuels, while also compensating for the human cost when jobs are lost or displaced?
In his timely book, Clean Air and Good Jobs, Todd Vachon examines the labor–climate movement and demonstrates what can be envisioned and accomplished when climate justice is on labor’s agenda and unions work together with other social movements to formulate bold solutions to the climate crisis. Vachon profiles the workers and union leaders who have been waging a slow, but steadily growing revolution within their unions to make labor as a whole an active and progressive champion for both workers and the environment.
Clean Air and Good Jobs examines the “movement within the movement” offering useful solutions to the dual crises of climate and inequality. [from publisher web site].
E-book also available to Cornell community: https://catalog.library.cornell.edu/catalog/16059742.
Unionizing the Ivory Tower: Cornell Workers' Fifteen-Year Fight for Justice and a Living Wage (October, 2023)
Unionizing the Ivory Tower chronicles how a thousand low-paid custodians, cooks, and gardeners succeeded in organizing a union at Cornell University. Al Davidoff, the Cornell student leader who became a custodian and the union's first president, tells the extraordinary story of these ordinary workers with passion, sensitivity, and wit.
His memoir reveals how they took on the dominant power in the community, built a strong organization, and waged multiple strikes and campaigns for livable wages and their dignity. Their strategies and tactics were creative and feisty, founded on worker participation and ownership.
The union's commitment to fairness, equity, and economic justice also engaged these workers—mostly rural, white, and conservative—at the intersections of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. Davidoff's story demonstrates how a fighting union can activate today's working class to oppose antidemocratic and white supremacist forces. [from publisher web site]. E-book also available to Cornell community: https://catalog.library.cornell.edu/catalog/15889136
Transforming Unemployment Insurance for the Twenty-First Century: A Comprehensive Guide to Reform (September, 2023)
This timely investigation reveals how sustained tight labor markets improve the job prospects and life chances of America’s most vulnerable households.
Most research on poverty focuses on the damage caused by persistent unemployment. But what happens when jobs are plentiful and workers are hard to come by? Moving the Needle examines how very low unemployment boosts wages at the bottom, improves benefits, lengthens job ladders, and pulls the unemployed into a booming job market.
Drawing on over seventy years of quantitative data, as well as interviews with employers, jobseekers, and longtime residents of poor neighborhoods, Katherine S. Newman and Elisabeth S. Jacobs investigate the most durable positive consequences of tight labor markets. They also consider the downside of overheated economies that can ignite surging rents and spur outmigration. Moving the Needle is an urgent and original call to implement policies that will maintain the current momentum and prepare for potential slowdowns that may lie ahead. [from publisher web site]
The UAW's Southern Gamble is the first in-depth assessment of the United Auto Workers' efforts to organize foreign vehicle plants (Daimler-Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Volkswagen) in the American South since 1989, an era when union membership declined precipitously. Stephen J. Silvia chronicles transnational union cooperation between the UAW and its counterparts in Brazil, France, Germany, and Japan and documents the development of employer strategies that have proven increasingly effective at thwarting unionization.
Silvia shows that when organizing, unions must now fight on three fronts: at the worksite; in the corporate boardroom; and in the political realm. The UAW's Southern Gamble makes clear that the UAW's failed campaigns in the South can teach hard-won lessons about challenging the structural and legal roadblocks to union participation and effectively organizing workers within and beyond the auto industry. [from publisher web site]
At the opening of the twentieth century, labor strife repeatedly racked the nation. Union organization and collective bargaining briefly looked like a promising avenue to stability. But both employers and many middle-class observers remained wary of unions exercising independent power.
Vilja Hulden reveals how this tension provided the opening for pro-business organizations to shift public attention from concerns about inequality and dangerous working conditions to a belief that unions trampled on an individual's right to work. Inventing the term closed shop, employers mounted what they called an open-shop campaign to undermine union demands that workers at unionized workplaces join the union. Employer organizations lobbied Congress to resist labor's proposals as tyrannical, brought court cases to taint labor's tactics as illegal, and influenced newspaper coverage of unions. While employers were not a monolith nor all-powerful, they generally agreed that unions were a nuisance. Employers successfully leveraged money and connections to create perceptions of organized labor that still echo in our discussions of worker rights. [from publisher web site]
Data and Democracy at Work: Advanced Information Technologies, Labor Law, and the New Working Class (April, 2023)
As our economy has shifted away from industrial production and service industries have become dominant, many of the nation's largest employers are now in fields like retail, food service, logistics, and hospitality. These companies have turned to data-driven surveillance technologies that operate over a vast distance, enabling cheaper oversight of massive numbers of workers. Data and Democracy at Work argues that companies often use new data-driven technologies as a power resource—or even a tool of class domination—and that our labor laws allow them to do so.
Employers have established broad rights to use technology to gather data on workers and their performance, to exclude others from accessing that data, and to use that data to refine their managerial strategies. Through these means, companies have suppressed workers' ability to organize and unionize, thereby driving down wages and eroding working conditions.
Labor law today encourages employer dominance in many ways—but labor law can also be reformed to become a tool for increased equity. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent Great Resignation have indicated an increased political mobilization of the so-called essential workers of the pandemic, many of them service industry workers. This book describes the necessary legal reforms to increase workers' associational power and democratize workplace data, establishing more balanced relationships between workers and employers and ensuring a brighter and more equitable future for us all. [from publisher web site].
Also available to read as an open access ebook. See: https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/11253.001.0001