Immigrants, Unions, and the New U.S. Labor Market

Immanuel Ness
Book Cover

PB: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-041-2
Publication: Jun 05

HC: $71.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-040-5
Publication: Jun 05

Ebook: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-802-9
Publication: Jun 05

240 pages
5.5 x 8.25
4 tables

Examining the lives of immigrant workers, both on the job and off


In recent years, New Yorkers have been surprised to see workers they had taken for granted—Mexicans in greengroceries, West African supermarket deliverymen and South Asian limousine drivers—striking, picketing, and seeking support for better working conditions. Suddenly, businesses in New York and the nation had changed and were now dependent upon low-paid immigrants to fill the entry-level jobs that few native-born Americans would take. Immigrants, Unions, and the New U.S. Labor Market tells the story of these workers' struggle for living wages, humane working conditions, and the respect due to all people. It describes how they found the courage to organize labor actions at a time when most laborers have become quiescent and while most labor unions were ignoring them. Showing how unions can learn from the example of these laborers, and demonstrating the importance of solidarity beyond the workplace, Immanuel Ness offers a telling look into the lives of some of America's newest immigrants.

Table of Contents


1. Why New Immigrants Organize

2. The Political Economy of Transnational Labor in New York City: The Context for Immigrant Worker Militancy

3. Unions and Immigrant Worker Organizing: New Models for New Workers

4. Mexican Immigrants, Class Formation, and Union Organizing in New York's Greengrocery Industry

5. Francophone West African Supermarket Delivery Workers Autonomous Union Organizing Outside of a Union

6. Black-Car Drivers: Industrial Restructuring and New Worker Organizing

7. The Post-September 11 Economic Crisis and the Government Crackdown on Immigrant Workers

8. Parallel Organizing: Immigrants and Unions




About the Author(s)

Immanuel Ness is Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College – City University of New York. He is the editor of the journal WorkingUSA. His books include Trade Unions and the Betrayal of the Unemployed: Labor Conflict in the 1990s and Organizing for Justice in Our Communities: Central Labor Councils and the Revival of American Unionism.