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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 2, 2007

Nov. 19 panel discussion focuses on job loss in the global economy

Concern about the serious erosion of U.S. worker protection and the threat of long-term damage to the economy is growing as millions of jobs shift overseas in manufacturing, information technology, finance, healthcare and other professional services.

The University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies will address these concerns in a free, public program, "State of Labor in the Global Economy," at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, in Meeting Room A at the Iowa City Public Library.

The program will feature a panel of internationally known experts who will discuss the lack of labor regulation and its impact on individuals and communities. They will report on the economic, social and legal implications resulting from the massive movements of people and production worldwide.

Panelists include Craig Becker, legal counsel with SEIU and the AFL-CIO; Ruth Milkman, professor of sociology, the University of California, Los Angeles; and Nancy Folbre, a MacArthur Fellow and a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts. They will focus on increasing labor union bargaining power, promising approaches to job protection, the incorporation of immigrants into regulated full-time employment, and reversing the stagnation of middle-class income.

Researchers predict that 3.4 million to 14 million jobs may be lost because of globalization by the year 2015.

"Virtually any U.S. job can be outsourced to another country, including nursing home care, and our legislative policies are not in tune with what is happening to families, communities and ultimately government programs that depend on a strong tax base," said Obermann scholar Jennifer Glass, a program organizer and a professor of sociology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The program is part of the Obermann Center's Cmiel Collaborative Research Seminar, funded by the Obermann Endowment, the office of the Vice President for Research, and the Office of the Provost. It is co-sponsored by the Iowa City Human Rights Commission and the University of Iowa Labor Center.

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies provides an environment and resources for reflection and writing and for the exchange of ideas. Scholars from a broad range of disciplines and institutions interact with one another and with the public to create and communicate new knowledge and to establish a vibrant intellectual community. It is located at N103 Oakdale Hall on the UI's Oakdale Campus. For more information visit or contact Diana Baculis, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, 319-335-4360 or

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Diana Baculis, UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, 319-335-4360,; Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070,