[alaya_dropcap]O[/alaya_dropcap]ne of NCCU’s visiting professors, Dr. Santanu Sarkar gave a presentation about the cross-national comparisons of industrial relations systems (IRS) considering union membership growth in India and Finland. He is currently a senior research fellow at the ILR school at Cornell University in New York. He is also a professor here at NCCU in the Institute for Labor Studies. The main topic of his speech was about the difference in worker unions between the two countries. During his speech, he talked about how if business systems are converging, then there should be no difference in industry relations systems outcomes between divergent political economies. He also talked about how factors causing changes union development and divergent political economies, and how they are embracing different forms of capitalism.
The unique comparison between India and Finland was because they have both had changes in the union development, and their changes both occurred around the same time in the early 1990’s. It was quite interesting to hear about the comparison of such vastly different countries, yet seeing the path each country took when it came to union development. Since the 90’s, India and Finland have taken vastly different stances when it comes to union workers in their respective countries. The divergence brought to India very low union development, meaning that under less than 10% of the Indian population is in a union. Conversely, Finland currently has a very high union development with 70% of its labor force being part of a union.
It was great to see Dr. Santanu speak with such engagement about the topic of worker unions because it is not usually a topic that is often in the spotlight. His excitement about his research is highly welcomed to create more interest and attention toward the subject, and he was kind enough to take time after his presentation to talk with some of the students and professors who wanted to know even more about his area of expertise.
If you would like to know more about Dr. Santanu, India, Finland, or work unions, you can find him in NCCU’s Institute for Labor Studies.