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Center for Labor Research and Education


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Katie Quan, Senior Fellow

About Katie Quan

Katie Quan is a senior fellow at the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. Formerly chair and associate chair of the Labor Center, she retired in 2016, but continues to work at the center on special projects involving research on global labor strategies and executive education for union leaders. In 2010 she co-founded the International Center for Joint Labor Research at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and was its co-director for four years. In 2014 she received a Fulbright grant to study the apparel supply chain in China at Peking University. Katie has recently consulted with the International Labour Organization on industrial relations reform in Vietnam.

Prior to joining the staff of the Labor Center in 1998, Katie Quan was a seamstress, organizer, and international vice-president with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, and its successor, UNITE. In 1992 she chaired the founding convention of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. She has volunteered as a board director for many labor organizations, including the Worker Rights Consortium, the International Labor Rights Forum, Sweatshop Watch, and the Labor Project for Working Families. Her organizing experiences were documented by Ruth Milkman in Women in Unions (Cornell ILR Press, 1993), and by Xiaolan Bao in Holding Up More than Half the Sky (University of Illinois Press 2001).

Publications available through subscription or book purchase

“Prospects for US-China Union Relations in the Era of Xi and Trump.” Made in China. Vol. 2, Issue 3, July-September 2017, pp. 48-63.

Labor Transformation in China: Voices from the Frontlines. In Richard Appelbaum and Nelson Lichtenstein (eds.) Achieving Workers' Rights in the Global Economy. Ithaca: Cornell University ILR Press, 2016.

One Step Forward: Collective Bargaining Experiments in Vietnam and China. In Anita Chan (ed.) Chinese Workers in Comparative Perspective. Ithaca: Cornell University ILR Press, 2015.

Labor Insurgency in China: Strikes, Unions, and the Role of the Government. New Labor Forum. Vol. 22, Issue 3, Fall 2013, pp. 64-70.

Workers and Communities versus Walmart: A Comparison of Organized Resistance in the United Stated and China. In Anita Chan (ed.) Walmart in China. Ithaca: Cornell University ILR Press, 2011, pp. 239-251. Chinese edition.

The China Watch (book review of New Masters, New Servants: Migration, Development, and Women Workers in China, By Yan Hairong). New Labor Forum. Vol. 19, No. 3, Fall 2010, pp. 93-95.

Evolving Labor Relations in the Women's Apparel Industry. In Charles J. Whalen (ed.) New Directions in the Study of Work and Employment. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. 2008.

Women Crossing Borders to Organize. In Dorothy Sue Cobble (ed.) The Sex of Class: Women and the Future of U.S. Labor Movements. Ithaca: Cornell University ILR Press, 2007.

Global Strategies for Workers: How Class Analysis Clarifies Us and Them and What We Need to Do. In Michael Zweig, ed., What's Class Got To Do With It? Ithaca: Cornell University ILR Press, 2004.

Race, Class and Gender in the U.S. Labor Movement. New Labor Forum. Vol. 8, Spring/Summer 2001.

Publications by Katie Quan