Wayne State University

News and Announcements Archive

Return to News Listing Bookmark and Share

Wayne Law to host ‘Forum on Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy,’ March 31

March 18, 2010

DETROIT (March 18, 2010) – Wayne State University Law School’s Program for International Legal Studies, in conjunction with Labor@Wayne, will host a “Forum on Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy” from 2 – 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 in Conference Rooms L & M in the McGregor Memorial Conference Center on Wayne State University’s campus.

According to Wayne Law Professor William Mateikis, the forum will provide an opportunity for a constructive dialog between a leading external workers’ rights activist and a leading internal workers’ rights advocate.

“Our thinking about workers’ rights in the global economy has been muddled and, therefore, too antagonistic,” Professor Mateikis said. “This forum is designed to bring together leading human/labor rights activists, advocates and scholars for a constructive dialogue on complimentary actions that activists and advocates can take to improve the working lives of the least fortunate workers in the global economy.”

Forum speakers include: Manfred Elfstrom, program officer, International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF); Pat McDermott, Frank Perdue School of Business professor, Salisbury University; Carrie Nantais, assistant for The Jesuit Social and International Ministry, Detroit Province; and Ed Potter, director, Global Workplace Rights, The Coca-Cola Company.

This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Holly Hughes, program assistant for the Program for International Legal Studies, at hhughes@wayne.edu or (313) 577-3620.

Manfred Elfstrom has been active on labor issues in China and Pakistan since joining the ILRF in May 2007. In particular, he has helped develop the organization's China-based worker legal training and labor law clinic programs. Before coming to the ILRF, Elfstrom was campaign coordinator for China Labor Watch and Program Assistant at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. From 2004-2005, he interned with The Carter Center’s China Elections Project (now China Program) in Atlanta, where he followed the progress of village-level democracy and traveled to observe local elections and decision-making in Southwestern China. Before that, he lived in rural Shanxi Province, China for two years, teaching and studying.

Manfred holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

Dr. E. Patrick McDermott is an assistant professor of legal studies/management at the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business and the director of research and evaluation at the Center for Conflict Resolution at Salisbury University. He has co-authored a book on workplace dispute resolution and has written extensively on workplace legal issues. He was the principal researcher on a three part study of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission mediation program and is currently serving as a co-principal researcher of an evaluation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration Integrated Conflict Resolution program.

Dr. McDermott has served as a Fulbright lecturer at East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, China. His research on Chinese Labor Contract Arbitration has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Labour and Industry.

Prior to joining academe McDermott was associate general counsel for labor relations at ABC. Inc., a division of the Walt Disney Company in New York City. He holds a B.S. in industrial and labor relations and a M.S. in collective bargaining from the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He also earned a J.D. from Rutgers-Newark School of Law, an LL.M. from New York University School of Law and a Ph.D. in human resources management from the School of Business and Public Management at The George Washington University.

Ed Potter joined The Coca-Cola Company in March 2005 and is the director of Global Workplace Rights. His responsibilities include global labor and employee relations, workplace and human rights, and the workplace social compliance of the business system and supply chain.

Potter has an extensive background in international labor, workplace rights and employment law issues. Attending the International Labor Organization (ILO) Conference since 1982, he became the U.S. Employer Delegate in 1997. In 1998, he was the employer spokesperson for the negotiation of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Since 2005, he has been the employer spokesperson on the ILO Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations that holds countries accountable for their obligations resulting from the ratification of ILO conventions.

Potter was an attorney and partner with the law firm McGuiness, Norris & Williams, LLP in Washington, D.C. for 26 years. He has testified frequently before the U.S. Congress, and has published several books and articles. Potter earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in labor economics and collective bargaining from Cornell University, and a law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law.

About Wayne Law
Wayne State University Law School has educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 West Palmer Street in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 30 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne Law students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities. For more information, visit law.wayne.edu.



Training the next generation of lawyers, advocates and leaders