Organizing Immigrants

Organizing Immigrants

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.

Ruth Milkman

Ruth Milkman is Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and Academic Director of CUNY's Murphy Labor Institute. She is the author of several books, including the prizewinning Gender at Work and L.A. Story: Immigrant Workers and the Future of the U.S. Labor Movement. She is the coauthor of Unfinished Business, editor of Organizing Immigrants, and coeditor of New Labor in New York: Precarious Workers and the Future of the Labor Movement, Rebuilding Labor, and Working for Justice, all from Cornell.



Unfinished Business
Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S. Work-Family Policy
Ruth Milkman, Eileen Appelbaum
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.


Contributions:

New Labor in New York
Precarious Workers and the Future of the Labor Movement
This volume comprises thirteen fine-grained case studies of recent campaigns by worker centers and unions to organize the new "precariat" class of workers and to address the crisis facing the labor movement, each of which is based on original research and participant observation.



Working for Justice
The L.A. Model of Organizing and Advocacy
Working for Justice features eleven case studies of recent low-wage worker organizing campaigns in Los Angeles, making the case for a distinctive "L.A. Model" of union and worker center organizing.



Rebuilding Labor
Organizing and Organizers in the New Union Movement
"In order to recruit new members on a scale that would be required to significantly rebuild union power, unions must fundamentally alter their internal organizational practices. This means creating more organizer positions on the staff; developing...