RDG Conference Report of Jonathan P. Sale

Write up about the Conference

The International Labour Process Conference (ILPC) is one of the longest established and best known forums for the analysis of all aspects of work and employment. It has earned a reputation as a cornerstone of empirical research and cutting edge theoretical debate within the labour process and work organization tradition. Every year, the conference brings together academics and policy makers from the sociology of work and employment, business and management studies, human resource management, industrial relations, organizational analysis and a range of other discipline to discuss and critically assess developments in the field. Keynote speakers for the 31st ILPC were Andrew Ross, New York University Professor of social and cultural analysis, and Ruth Milkman, Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and Academic Director of the Joseph S. Murphy Institute of Worker Education at School of Professional Studies (SPS). (Taken from http://www.ilpc.org.uk/Portals.56.ilpc2013-docs/ilpc2013-callforpapers.pdf).

Feedback on paper presented

The paper was well-recieved. Questions were asked (after the paper presentation) about unemployment and poverty in the National Capital Region, CALABARZON and Central Luzon, data standardization and women domestic workers. One of the participants in the Migrant Labour Stream Session commented that remittance flows to these three (3) regions could be high, thus alleviating poverty, I agreed with the observation, stating that the Philippine economy is sensitive to OFW remittance flows, and the data indicate that the most number of OFWs come from these 3 regions where unemployment rates are also high. As to data standardization, I mentioned that the study looked into absolute numbers or values, percentages, ratios and proportions of various aggregate data. As regards domestic workers, I commented that based on data on sex ratio a lot more women than men from the biggest occupation group – laborers and unskilled workers – leave the country for work, which includes domestic workers or house helpers.

Future directions of research presented

The impact and outcomes of the 2009 amendatory law RA 10022, which was enacted to further improve the standard of protection and promotion of the welfare of migrant workers, their families and overseas Filipino in distress, is worth studying in future researches.

Potential foreign collaborators

On invitation, the paper, after revision, has been forwarded/submitted to Professors Alan Tuckman (Nottingham Trent University) and Immanuel Ness (City University of New York) for assessment as to suitability for publication (in a book or a special issue of Working USA). Another potential foreign collaborator is Professor Paula Voos of the Rutgers University’s School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR).

Other important contacts and insights

The ILPC is a very significant annual conference, and paper presenters and other participants therein are important contracts. The conference is a veritable forum for studies and analyses of the importance and concepts of work and work relations.

Short write-up of one’s participation (to be used to feature/publicize the grantee’s participation in the conference)

There were two (2) plenary sessions and six (6) parallel stream sessions during the conference, i.e., Work, Labor ans Employment in China, Whither the State? The Missing Link: Integrating Labour with Global Value Chains, Migrant Workers in the Labours Process, Union power and effectiveness in the global economy, and the General Conference. On the first day of the Conference (March 18), I attended the plenary session. The Conference was opened by Dr. Susan Schurman, Dean of Rutgers University’s SMLR. During the keynote session, Professor Andrew Ross talked about “Working for Nothing – A New High-Growth Sector.” Then, I participated in the Migrant Labour Stream Sessions and eventually presented my paper during the 3:00 – 4:30 pm Session (see Section7.3, supra). Afterwards, I proceeded to the Stream Session on Union power and effectiveness in the global economy. On the second day (March 19), I participated on the Panel Session on Alternative issues and forms of union power, the Migrant Workers in the Labour Process Stream Sessions, and the Symposium on the Evolution of Digital Labor. On the third day (March 20), I attended the General Conference Sessions which included papers on the nature of trade union and worker responses of Japanization in Poland, trade union development within workplace in Taiwan, effectiveness of alternative dispute resolution, and regulating for mutual losses in liberal economies, as well as the final plenary session during which Professor Ruth Milkman spoke of increased economic insecurity and precarious employment in the “new Guilded Age”.