The Challenge for Unions in Contemporary California
Edited by Ruth Milkman
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.