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Joseph William Garbarino
In Memoriam

Joseph William Garbarino

Professor Emeritus of Business Administration

UC Berkeley

Joseph William Garbarino, Professor Emeritus at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, for 39 years, veteran of service in World War II and the Korean War, and labor arbitrator, died October 18, 2016. He was 96 years old.

Professor Garbarino was born in Medina, New York, on December 7, 1919. He joined the U.S. Army immediately after graduation from Duquesne University in 1942. In World War II, he made three amphibious landings at Eniwetok Atoll in the South Pacific as an artillery forward observer, and was awarded the Bronze Star. After the Japanese surrender, he served in the occupation forces in Japan.

After his discharge as a captain in October 1945, he enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Economics at Harvard University in 1946. After being awarded the Ph.D. in 1949, he joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, with a joint appointment as an assistant professor in the School of Business and as research associate in the Institute of Industrial Relations. He taught economics, industrial relations, compensation, and collective bargaining.

In 1951, he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War and served in the Program Review and Analysis Division of the Office of the Army General Staff in the U.S. Pentagon for a year and a half.

Professor Garbarino's principal research interests were in the fields of wage and income policy, health economics, and faculty and professional unionism. In addition to numerous academic articles, he was the author of three books and the coauthor of a fourth, published as a member of the staffs of the UC Institute of Industrial Relations, the Brookings Institution, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Study of Higher Education. Various publications were republished in Japanese, French, and Portuguese. He was a member of the American Economic Association and the Industrial Relations Research Association.

Professor Garbarino was a pioneer in the field of industrial relations, to which he brought a balanced and even-handed view. This is evident in his early work on wage patterns across industry, which showed that industries with high wage growth also had high productivity growth, and that this relationship was stronger in heavily unionized industries. Wage gains were also greater in industries with more market power.

Professor Garbarino's vision and prescience is also evident in his later work on "Unionism without Unions". Taking a broad view, he divided employee relations systems into three categories: administrative, legal, and civil service. During this period, federal regulation of labor markets had grown through passage of laws protecting pensions and workplace health and safety, and regulating minimum wages and overtime pay. Professor Garbarino understood that these new laws could help unions by setting higher standards, but at the same time partially substitute for unions. This paper correctly predicted the continued decline of unions, both as a result of direct employer opposition, but also because employees could increasingly enjoy many of the benefits of unionism without being represented by unions themselves. Looking at the growth of groups representing workers by ethnicity, gender, class, and political base, he pointed out that this fragmentation might make obtaining consensus more difficult. More than 30 years ago, he pointed out that political pressure in the U.S. could push the government to pursue tariff protection as part of an activist industrial policy, a point that echoes today.

Professor Garbarino was perhaps best known for his work on faculty unionism. He appreciated the complex internal politics of employee representation and found that when faculty unionized it was often as part of a wider bargaining unit that included professional and administrative staff, whose interests came to dominate the resulting bargaining.

Beyond his writing, Professor Garbarino performed essential service to the University. He served for 27 years as the director of the Institute of Business and Economic Research, making him perhaps the longest serving director of a research unit on the Berkeley campus. And in the 1960's, as director of the Ph.D. program in the School of Business he was instrumental in updating the doctoral program curriculum from its exclusive concentration on economics to include the other social sciences, particularly psychology and sociology, as fields of study in business administration. As chairman of the Berkeley Division's Committee on Academic Freedom during the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, he introduced to the Academic Senate the December 8 resolution that defined the faculty in support of free speech on campus. He also served the Academic Senate from 1960 to 1984 on numerous committees: Privilege and Tenure, Faculty Welfare, Assembly Representation, Courses, Prizes, University Welfare, as well as the Panel of Counselors and the UC Committee on Faculty Welfare. And as longtime member of The Faculty Club, he served on the Board of Directors and also as president of the Club. During his term as president he oversaw the first admission of women to membership in the Club.

For this exceptionally broad and diverse record of contributions to the University, on his retirement, Professor Garbarino was awarded the Berkeley Citation for his distinguished achievement and notable service.

Professor Garbarino's expertise also made a significant impact beyond Berkeley. He was appointed a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, Scotland in 1969, where he served as a consultant to the labor parliamentary minister in charge of the then- Department of Employment. Professor Garbarino also taught as a visiting faculty member at Cornell University; University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Buffalo; and the University of Minnesota, and was a visiting scholar at Columbia University, the University of Warwick (England), University College (Dublin, Ireland), and the London School of Economics.

He also served as a labor arbitrator in the Bay Area and nationally from 1960 to 2000, overseeing more than 400 cases. He served as the "impartial chairman" of the grievance arbitration systems of the Northern California Trucking Association and the Teamsters contracts, as well as for the Food Processors and Growers. He was also a member of the standing panels of arbitrators for the Retail Food industry, the Social Security Administration, and the Las Vegas hotels. He was chairman of the state Industrial Welfare Commission.

Joe had the good sense to get to the heart of complicated situations. He earned people's trust, even in contentious times. Throughout his work, Joe was fair, even-handed, and insightful. Joe called them like he saw them.

He leaves us with one of his many compelling aphorisms: "The most important decision you will ever make is whether to be happy." The choice Joe made for himself was clear. His wit and good cheer enriched the lives of his friends and colleagues.

He was married to the former Mary Jane Godward for 65 years. He is survived by his four daughters, Ann and Joan of Berkeley, Susan of Oakland, and Ellen of Sydney, Australia, and his five grandchildren.

Jonathan S. Leonard
David J. Vogel