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Harley Shaiken

Professor of Education and Geography, and Director, Center for Latin American Studies, University of California-Berkeley
Chapter Member: Bay Area SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Harley

Shaiken specializes in issues of work, technology, and global production. He explores issues at the intersection of globalization and the organization of work and their consequences for labor. In particular, he has examined issues of economic and political integration in the Americas, with a focus on the United States and Mexico. He is an adviser on trade and labor issues to public and private organizations and leading members of the U.S. Congress, and a member of the advisory boards of the Center for American Progress and the Latin American Program of the Open Society Institute.

In the News

Harley Shaiken quoted on factory closures in the Midwest by David Welch, "Trump's 'Great News' Lands with Thud on Abandoned GM Plant Floor" Bloomberg, May 8, 2019.
"Our Trading Relationship with Mexico is Broken. The New NAFTA Won't Fix It.," Harley Shaiken (with Sandy Levin), Detroit Free Press, December 7, 2018.
"Can Trump Stop GM From Shutting Down Four U.S. Plants?," Harley Shaiken, Interview with Don Gonyea, NPR, November 27, 2018.
"Labor Clout Takes A Hit In Supreme Court Ruling On Dues," Harley Shaiken, Interview with Don Gonyea, NPR, June 30, 2018.
Harley Shaiken quoted on NAFTA by Daniel Dale, "NAFTA Talks Focus on Low Wages for Mexican Autoworkers" The Star, May 11, 2018.
Harley Shaiken quoted by Jaclyn Diaz, "Auto, Service Worker Unions See Growth; Others Not so Much" Bloomberg News, April 5, 2018.
Harley Shaiken quoted on health care and unions by Jaclyn Diaz, "Kaiser Permanente Labor Partnership Fractures after 20 Years" Bloomberg News, March 28, 2018.
Harley Shaiken quoted by Steve Hanley, "Are the United Auto Workers and Tesla Locked in a Fight to the Finish?" CleanTechnica, March 21, 2018.
Harley Shaiken quoted by Robert Snell, "Feds Charge Ex-UAW Official in Widening Scandal" Detroit News, March 21, 2018.
Harley Shaiken quoted by Brooks Jarosz, "San Francisco Payment System Issues Causes 4,000 Contractor Invoices to Go Unpaid" KTVU, February 12, 2018.
Harley Shaiken quoted by Jordyn Holman and Jeff Green, "Martin Luther King Day is Now More Popular than Presidents Day" Bloomberg, January 15, 2018.
Harley Shaiken's research on Teri Webster, "Union Offices across Nation are Plagued by Embezzlement, Detroit Free Press Report Says," TheBlaze, January 7, 2018.
"UAW’s Loss at Nissan Auto Plant Masks Genuine Progress for Organized Labor," Harley Shaiken, The Conversation, August 22, 2017.
Harley Shaiken's research on unions and Tesla discussed by Joseph Szczesny, "Organizing Tesla Takes UAW into Uncharted Territory," Wards Auto, March 31, 2017.
"Q&A with Labor and Trade Expert Harley Shaiken," Harley Shaiken, Interview with Aleah Jennings-Newhouse, The Daily Californian, January 31, 2017.
Harley Shaiken quoted on labor union support for Trump by Larry P. Vellequette, "Labor Union Anger Fueled Trump in Midwest" Automotive News, November 9, 2016.
Guest to discuss unions in the age of the "share economy" on PBS Newshour, Harley Shaiken, September 5, 2016.
Interview on the FARC-Colombia peace negotiations Harley Shaiken, Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley, August 26, 2016.
Harley Shaiken quoted on union contracts by David Welch and Keith Naughton, "GM Reaches Tentative Deal with UAW Workers, Avoiding Strike" Bloomberg, October 25, 2015.
Harley Shaiken quoted on the unionized autoindustry by Brent Snavely, "Steelworkers Face Contract Cuts amid Autoworker Gains" Detroit Free Press, October 20, 2015.
Interview on labor relations in the auto industry Harley Shaiken, Automobile Magazine, October 2, 2015.
Harley Shaiken quoted on union contracts with car companies by Tracy Samilton, "Will Next UAW-Detroit Three Contract Bring Big Changes to Health Insurance?" Michigan Public Radio, September 7, 2015.
"Why Pelosi and House Democrats Turned on Their President over Free Trade," Harley Shaiken, The Conversation, June 12, 2015.
Harley Shaiken quoted on the seriousness of the environmental and labor standards set forth by the new trade deal by Greg Robb, "Asian Trade Pact Won’t be the Nafta Rewrite Obama Claims, Experts Say" Market Watch, April 28, 2015.
Harley Shaiken quoted on the benefits of effectively organized labor unions by Alana Semuels, "Can Labor Survive Nevada's Republican Party?" The Atlantic, February 23, 2015.
Harley Shaiken quoted on the West Coast ports and labor union dispute by Brian Mahoney, "President Obama Faces Port Politics" Politico, February 17, 2015.
Harley Shaiken quoted on the ongoing labor slowdown at West Coast ports by Pete Carey, "Port Labor Negotiations Stymied by a Key Issue" San Jose Mercury News, February 13, 2015.
Harley Shaiken quoted on Governor Rauner's assault on unions by Mary Wisniewski, "Illinois Governor Makes Union Dues Voluntary for Some State Workers" Global Post, February 9, 2015.
Guest to discuss wage increases for auto workers on Bloomberg's In the Loop, Harley Shaiken, February 6, 2015.
Harley Shaiken quoted on the impact of a labor disruption at Los Angeles ports by Lynn Doan, "Empty Holiday Shelves Hinge on 120 Los Angeles Truckers" Bloomberg News, August 4, 2014.
Guest to discuss American factory jobs on KCRW’s Press Play with Madeleine Brand, Harley Shaiken, January 31, 2014.
Harley Shaiken quoted on temporary workers by Michael Grabell, "The Expendables: How the Temps Who Power Corporate Giants are Getting Crushed" The Nation, July 1, 2013.
Guest to discuss the labor protests in Wisconsin on PBS Newshour, Harley Shaiken, March 1, 2011.
Guest to discuss the bankruptcy and future of General Motors on Democracy Now!, Harley Shaiken, June 2, 2009.
Regular contributions by Harley Shaiken to The Berkeley Blog.


"Work, Development, and Globalization," Center for Latin American Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2004.

Aims to provide fresh perspectives on the tension between the promise of export-led growth and the pressures of globalization, and concludes that depressed wages can make firms competitive in the short run but do not lay the basis for positive development.

"The High Road to a Competitive Economy: A Labor Law Strategy," Center for American Progress, May 31, 2004.
Argues that the pervasive decline in union density is a matter of importance to citizens because unions play a vital economic role, and a strong labor movement is a cornerstone of a democratic society.
"Crossing Borders: Trade Policy and Transnational Labor Education" (with Owen Herrnstad and Catha Worthman). Labour, Capital and Society 35, no. 2 (2004): 342-268.
Reports on an innovative transnational educational effort by Berkeley’s Center for Latin American Studies and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers that sent representatives to worksites to inform union members and leaders throughout North America on the realities of the global economy and the importance of the union’s role on trade policy.
"The New Global Economy: Trade and Production under NAFTA" Journal Fur Entwicklungspolitik 3, no. 4 (2001): 241-254.

Examines three dimensions of Mexico-U.S. trade: first, the overall nature of the trading relationship, focusing on “revolving door” exports; second, the emergence of Mexico as a high quality, high productivity exporter; and third, the institutional factors shaping the disconnect between Mexico’s increasing productivity and low real wages.

Technology and Work Organization in Latin American Motor Vehicle Industries (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, 1995).
Discusses changes in technology and manufacturing practice, and those shifts’ effects on labor and the economy in South America.
"Advanced Manufacturing and Mexico: A New International Division of Labor?" Latin American Research Review 29, no. 2 (1994): 39-71.
Looks at ways in which Mexico’s high-tech sector could exercise significant influence on wages and working conditions in the United States.
Mexico in the Global Economy: High Technology and Work Organization in Export Industries (Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, 1989).
Explores the impact of computerization and other burgeoning technological advances on Mexico’s export economy and labor structures.
Work Transformed: Automation and Labor in the Computer Age (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1985).
Combines insider views of industrial life as it is lived – by workers, engineers, and managers – with analyses of the problems and opportunities created by computer technology.