Solidarity Sometimes: Globalization, Transnationalism, and the Labor Movement
AuthorRothermel, Jonathan Christopher
AdvisorPollack, Mark A.
Committee memberFioretos, Karl Orfeo
SubjectPolitical Science, International Law and Relations
Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Complex Labor Transnationalism
International Labor Solidarity
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/2269
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AbstractThis dissertation investigates the role of global labor in international relations. I argue that global labor is mainly comprised of two parts: national union organizations and Global Unions. Global Unions are transnational labor organizations (TLOs) with a worldwide membership that were created by national union organizations to represent their interests internationally. I contend that Global Unions perform five interrelated functions for national unions. However, due to the inherent structural weaknesses of Global Unions, it is the national unions that, in fact, remain the critical force behind global labor. Therefore, I focus on the transnational activities of national unions. I identify three conditions that result in incentives for unions to choose strategies of labor transnationalism: the shrinking of national political opportunity structures, the increasing availability of international political opportunity structures, and the adoption of a social union or social movement unionism paradigm for union revitalization. Additionally, I identify three factors that inhibit labor transnationalism among national unions: diminishing resources, turf wars, and cultural barriers. I introduce the concept of complex labor transnationalism as an alternative approach to the more limited traditional practice of labor transnationalism. I disaggregate the activities associated with complex labor transnationalism into six types: communicative transnationalism, political transnationalism, steward transnationalism, protest transnationalism, collaborative transnationalism, and steward transnationalism. Furthermore, I conduct a case study on the state of labor transnationalism in the United States concluding that while most unions take a traditional approach towards labor transnationalism there is some evidence of complex labor transnationalism. Finally, I draw several conclusions about the role of global labor in international relations and outline three areas of potential growth.
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Three Essays on IT and Labor Market MatchingPang, Min-Seok; Wattal, Sunil; Ayabakan, Sezgin; Bai, Xue (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)Labor market matching has significant economic and social impacts since a low matching efficiency/quality reduces aggregated gains in productivity and wages and may lead to unemployment and job vacancy. IT has played a crucial role in influencing labor markets matching by reducing search costs, lowering enter barriers, and promoting flexibility. In this dissertation, I explore one antecedent (i.e., digital labor markets) and two consequences of labor market matching (i.e., local employment and wage). The first essay examines the role of project descriptions (i.e., codifiability, flexibility, outcome standards) in influencing the matching efficiency in the digital labor markets. The results find that an appropriate project description could improve the matching efficiency by 15% between employers and service providers. The second essay studies the impact of an extension in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program (STEM OPT), an immigration policy that matches local demand with global supply, on local labor markets. I found that the STEM OPT extension boosts employment for domestic IT professionals by promoting innovative and entrepreneurial activities. The third essay studies the impact of an emerging gig platform (i.e., TaskRabbit), a new matching mechanism, on the employment of workers in the housekeeping industry. The results suggest that the platform mostly impacted middle-level management (e.g., first-line supervisors), while the manual workers, such as cleaners and janitors, were not as affected. The contributions and implications of each essay are discussed.