The New Urban Immigrant Workforce: Organizing Innovations
Edited by Sarumathi Jayaraman and Immanuel Ness
This ground-breaking look at immigrant labor organizing and mobilization today draws on participant observation, ethnographic interviews, historical documents, and new case studies. The writers provide real evidence of immigrants’ eagerness for collective action and organizing, and they argue that this desire to organize stems from the immigrants’ social isolation. With this argument, the book parts company with mainstream thinking that recommends building an array of social networks to aid in organizing efforts.
Many of the contributors highlight a specific ethnic group and special labor niches, such as the dominance of Punjabi in the New York City taxi industry. Each case study examines efforts beyond the conventional unions to organize the immigrants, including independent syndicalism on the job and worker centers such as the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, created to support displaced workers and victims’ families of Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center.
"Essential reading in order to understand the challenges of building a new labor movement... This book makes an important contribution toward new thinking regarding strategies and organizational forms for today’s working class."186 pages paperback
BILL FLETCHER, JR., PRESIDENT, TRANSAFRICA FORUM AND FORMER ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE AFL-CIO
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