The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) was
founded in 1944 when University of California President Gordon Sproul and California
Governor Earl Warren together planned the inception of the Institutes of Industrial
Relations to be founded at Berkeley and Los Angeles. Governor Warren asked President
Sproul to enlarge the University's educational base in labor and industrial
relations, and so facilitate, "open and honest labor-management relationships." The
publications of IRLE capture a cross-section of viewpoints and perspectives about
work and working life during the second half of the twentieth century, revealing
policy and political objectives, the everyday experience of workers, and the key
areas of interest for the faculty researchers associated with IRLE.
The origins of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) predate
World War II, and could be considered to have begun in the 1920s. At the time, the
University of California, Berkeley was home to the most influential labor economists
of the day, including Ira Cross, Paul Taylor and Charles Gulick. Berkeley had one of
the first Labor Education schools, and Berkeley faculty were especially active and
influential in San Francisco's labor relations during the turbulent years of the
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