l a story immigrant workers and the future of the u s labor movement

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L A Story

Author : Ruth Milkman
ISBN : 9781610443968
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 75. 84 MB
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Sharp decreases in union membership over the last fifty years have caused many to dismiss organized labor as irrelevant in today’s labor market. In the private sector, only 8 percent of workers today are union members, down from 24 percent as recently as 1973. Yet developments in Southern California—including the successful Justice for Janitors campaign—suggest that reports of organized labor’s demise may have been exaggerated. In L.A. Story, sociologist and labor expert Ruth Milkman explains how Los Angeles, once known as a company town hostile to labor, became a hotbed for unionism, and how immigrant service workers emerged as the unlikely leaders in the battle for workers’ rights. L.A. Story shatters many of the myths of modern labor with a close look at workers in four industries in Los Angeles: building maintenance, trucking, construction, and garment production. Though many blame deunionization and deteriorating working conditions on immigrants, Milkman shows that this conventional wisdom is wrong. Her analysis reveals that worsening work environments preceded the influx of foreign-born workers, who filled the positions only after native-born workers fled these suddenly undesirable jobs. Ironically, L.A. Story shows that immigrant workers, who many union leaders feared were incapable of being organized because of language constraints and fear of deportation, instead proved highly responsive to organizing efforts. As Milkman demonstrates, these mostly Latino workers came to their service jobs in the United States with a more group-oriented mentality than the American workers they replaced. Some also drew on experience in their native countries with labor and political struggles. This stock of fresh minds and new ideas, along with a physical distance from the east-coast centers of labor’s old guard, made Los Angeles the center of a burgeoning workers’ rights movement. Los Angeles’ recent labor history highlights some of the key ingredients of the labor movement’s resurgence—new leadership, latitude to experiment with organizing techniques, and a willingness to embrace both top-down and bottom-up strategies. L.A. Story’s clear and thorough assessment of these developments points to an alternative, high-road national economic agenda that could provide workers with a way out of poverty and into the middle class.

New Labor In New York

Author : Ruth Milkman
ISBN : 9780801470752
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 85. 44 MB
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New York City boasts a higher rate of unionization than any other major U.S. city—roughly double the national average—but the city's unions have suffered steady and relentless decline, especially in the private sector. With higher levels of income inequality than any other large city in the nation, New York today is home to a large and growing "precariat": workers with little or no employment security who are often excluded from the basic legal protections that unions struggled for and won in the twentieth century. Community-based organizations and worker centers have developed the most promising approach to organizing the new precariat and to addressing the crisis facing the labor movement. Home to some of the nation’s very first worker centers, New York City today has the single largest concentration of these organizations in the United States, yet until now no one has documented their efforts. New Labor in New York includes thirteen fine-grained case studies of recent campaigns by worker centers and unions, each of which is based on original research and participant observation. Some of the campaigns documented here involve taxi drivers, street vendors, and domestic workers, as well as middle-strata freelancers, all of whom are excluded from basic employment laws. Other cases focus on supermarket, retail, and restaurant workers, who are nominally covered by such laws but who often experience wage theft and other legal violations; still other campaigns are not restricted to a single occupation or industry. This book offers a richly detailed portrait of the new labor movement in New York City, as well as several recent efforts to expand that movement from the local to the national scale. Contributors: Benjamin Becker, CUNY Graduate Center; Marnie Brady, CUNY Graduate Center; Jeffrey D. Broxmeyer; CUNY Graduate Center; Kathleen Dunn; Loyola University; United Food and Commercial Workers Local 2013; Harmony Goldberg; CUNY Graduate Center; Peter Ikeler, SUNY College at Old Westbury; Martha W. King, CUNY Graduate Center; Jane McAlevey, CUNY Graduate Center; CUNY Graduate Center; Susan McQuade, CUNY Graduate Center and New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health; Erin Michaels, CUNY Graduate Center; Ruth Milkman, CUNY Graduate Center and Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, CUNY School of Professional Studies; Ed Ott, Murphy Institute, CUNY School of Professional Studies; Ben Shapiro, New York Communities for Change; Lynne Turner, Murphy Institute, CUNY School of Professional Studies.

Unfinished Business

Author : Ruth Milkman
ISBN : 9780801469497
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 87. 6 MB
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Unfinished Business documents the history and impact of California's paid family leave program, the first of its kind in the United States, which began in 2004. Drawing on original data from fieldwork and surveys of employers, workers, and the larger California adult population, Ruth Milkman and Eileen Appelbaum analyze in detail the effect of the state’s landmark paid family leave on employers and workers. They also explore the implications of California’s decade-long experience with paid family leave for the nation, which is engaged in ongoing debate about work-family policies. Milkman and Appelbaum recount the process by which California workers and their allies built a coalition to win passage of paid family leave in the state legislature, and lay out the lessons for advocates in other states and localities, as well as the nation. Because paid leave enjoys extensive popular support across the political spectrum, campaigns for such laws have an excellent chance of success if some basic preconditions are met. Do paid family leave and similar programs impose significant costs and burdens on employers? Business interests argue that they do and routinely oppose any and all legislative initiatives in this area. Once the program took effect in California, this book shows, large majorities of employers themselves reported that its impact on productivity, profitability, and performance was negligible or positive. Unfinished Business demonstrates that the California program is well managed and easy to access, but that awareness of its existence remains limited. Moreover, those who need the program’s benefits most urgently—low-wage workers, young workers, immigrants, and disadvantaged minorities—are least likely to know about it. As a result, the long-standing pattern of inequality in access to paid leave has remained largely intact.

Rebuilding Labor

Author : Ruth Milkman
ISBN : 0801489024
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 79. 98 MB
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In Rebuilding Labor Ruth Milkman and Kim Voss bring together established researchers and a new generation of labor scholars to assess the current state of labor organizing and its relationship to union revitalization. Throughout this collection, the focus is on the formidable challenges unions face today and on how they may be overcome.-publisher description.

Organizing Immigrants

Author : Ruth Milkman
ISBN : 0801486173
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 24. 56 MB
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Recruiting the growing numbers of immigrants into union ranks is imperative for the besieged U.S. labor movement. Nowhere is this task more pressing than in California, where immigrants make up a quarter of the population and hold many of the manual jobs that were once key strongholds of organized labor. The first book to offer in-depth coverage of this timely topic, Organizing Immigrants analyzes the recent history of and prospects for union organizing among foreign-born workers in the nation's most populous state.Are foreign-born workers more or less receptive to unionization than their native-born counterparts? Are undocumented immigrants as likely as legal residents and naturalized citizens to join unions? How much does the political, cultural, and ethnic background of immigrants matter? What are the social, political, and economic conditions that facilitate immigrant unionization?Drawing on newly collected evidence, the contributors to this volume explore these and other questions, analyzing immigrant employment and unionization trends in California and examining recent strikes and organizing efforts involving foreign-born workers. The case studies include both successful and unsuccessful campaigns, innovative and traditional strategies, and a variety of industrial and service sector settings.

Sunshine Was Never Enough

Author : John H. M. Laslett
ISBN : 9780520273450
Genre : History
File Size : 89. 35 MB
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"John Laslett's Sunshine Was Never Enough is an extraordinary work of historical synthesis and interpretation, which brings to more than a century of labor history in Los Angeles the insights of a new generation of social, labor, and political historians. Laslett is highly sensitive to questions of race, gender, immigration, conservative politics, left-wing movements, and political economy, all essential in any contemporary effort to chart the history of the working class, past or present." --Nelson Lichtenstein, MacArthur Foundation Chair in History, University of California, Santa Barbara "John Laslett's comprehensive overview of the labor history of Los Angeles is a long-awaited contribution. The narrative of Sunshine Was Never Enough begins in the late nineteenth century, when the city was in its infancy, and tracks developments over an arc ending in the early twenty-first century, by which time Los Angeles had become the nation's second largest metropolis and a rare beacon of hope for the U.S. labor movement. For too long, southern California was seen as a remote backwater. With this engaging volume, L.A. labor and the scholarship on it that has burgeoned in recent years finally has the careful treatment it deserves." --Ruth Milkman, author of L.A. Story: Immigrant Workers and the Future of the U.S. Labor Movement "John Laslett's latest book represents a significant contribution to the field of labor studies and labor history. The Los Angeles labor movement has emerged as a dynamic focal point of the new American labor movement, and Laslett's comprehensive and thoughtful analysis provides a much needed historic foundation. This is an invaluable resource for labor scholars and labor leaders alike." --Kent Wong, Director, UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education

Working For Justice

Author : Milkman Ruth
ISBN : 9780801459054
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 84. 69 MB
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Working for Justice, which includes eleven case studies of recent low-wage worker organizing campaigns in Los Angeles, makes the case for a distinctive "L.A. Model" of union and worker center organizing. Networks linking advocates in worker centers and labor unions facilitate mutual learning and synergy and have generated a shared repertoire of economic justice strategies. The organized labor movement in Los Angeles has weathered the effects of deindustrialization and deregulation better than unions in other parts of the United States, and this has helped to anchor the city's wider low-wage worker movement. Los Angeles is also home to the nation's highest concentration of undocumented immigrants, making it especially fertile territory for low-wage worker organizing. The case studies in Working for Justice are all based on original field research on organizing campaigns among L.A. day laborers, garment workers, car wash workers, security officers, janitors, taxi drivers, hotel workers as well as the efforts of ethnically focused worker centers and immigrant rights organizations. The authors interviewed key organizers, gained access to primary documents, and conducted participant observation. Working for Justice is a valuable resource for sociologists and other scholars in the interdisciplinary field of labor studies, as well as for advocates and policymakers.

Becoming A Mighty Voice

Author : Daniel Cornfield
ISBN : 9781610441391
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 42. 44 MB
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American labor unions resemble private representative democracies, complete with formally constituted conventions and officer election procedures. Like other democratic institutions, unions have repeatedly experienced highly charged conflicts over the integration of ethnic minorities and women into leadership positions. In Becoming a Mighty Voice, Daniel B. Cornfield traces the 55-year history of the United Furniture Workers of America (UFWA), describing the emergence of new social groups into union leadership and the conditions that encouraged or inhibited those changes. This vivid case history explores leadership change during eras of union growth, stability, and decline, not simply during isolated episodes of factionalism. Cornfield demonstrates that despite the strong forces perpetuating existing union hierarchies, leadership turnover is just as likely as leadership stagnation. He also shows that factors external to the union may influence leadership change; periods of turnover in the UFWA leadership reflected employer efforts to find cheap, non-union labor, as well as union efforts to unionize workers. When unions are threatened by intensified conflict with employers and when entrenched high status groups within the union are obliged to recruit members of lower socioeconomic status, then new social groups are likely to be integrated into union leadership. Becoming a Mighty Voice develops a theory of leadership change that will be of interest to many engaged in the labor, civil rights, and women's movements as well as to sociologists or historians of work, gender, and race, and to students of political and organizational behavior.

Getting The Goods

Author : Edna Bonacich
ISBN : 0801445728
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 79. 55 MB
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Bonacich and Wilson follow the flow of imports from Asian factories, exploring the roles of importers, container shipping companies, the ports, railroad and trucking companies, and warehouses and their impact on U.S. workers.

Staley

Author : Steven K. Ashby
ISBN : 9780252076404
Genre : History
File Size : 47. 93 MB
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A dramatic story of worker resistance in a pivotal labor struggle

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