Poor Worker's Unions by Vanessa Tait

Poor Worker's Unions by Vanessa Tait

Author:Vanessa Tait
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Social Science, ebook
ISBN: 978-1-60846-521-7
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Published: 2016-04-24T16:00:00+00:00

Management’s attempts to divide workers along race, gender, ethnicity, or citizenship lines undermine broader labor solidarity and lead to lower wages for all workers. This is particularly true in areas where undocumented immigrants make up a large portion of the workforce, such as Los Angeles, where an estimated 55 to 90 percent of workers in the food, textile, apparel, lumber, and furniture industries are immigrants.41 But employers who rely on undocumented workers may also be trapped by their location in the production process. Because undocumented workers fill the US economy’s “hidden” jobs, they are virtually indispensable to their employers, who sometimes fear high turnover and interruptions of the production process more than unionization. One worker told Delgado he wasn’t afraid of being fired for union activity, because he could get another job easily: “There are places in Los Angeles that hire only people like me. Everywhere I’ve worked, everyone . . . was illegal.” In addition, companies who betray their workers to the DHS may become government-identified illegal employers, which would limit their ability to attract undocumented workers in the future.42


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